Clean, re­pair win­ter clothes be­fore stor­age

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Michelle Hopkins

The re­turn of the warm weather can sig­nal a re­turn to that spring wardrobe — and the chance to stow away those heavy coats and woolly sweaters.

But putting away your win­ter wear should in­volve more than sim­ply mov­ing it from one closet to an­other, says Molly Maid fran­chisee Michelle Yonge. Be­fore you be­gin, you need to en­sure your items are clean and in good re­pair.

In­spect your win­ter wardrobe be­fore you pack it up. If you’re un­sure whether an item is clean, laun­der it any­way. When you next un­pack your win­ter cloth­ing, you don’t want to dis­cover some­thing that’s slightly dirty.

Then make any re­pairs that need to be done be­fore putting them away, so they’re ready to go come next win­ter, Yonge says, such as hems need­ing stitch­ing or but­tons need­ing reat­tach­ing.

Moths love your body oil, so be­fore you put them away, dry-clean all your woollen items.

Then fold your clothes neatly; sep­a­rate woollen trousers with tis­sue paper so they won’t wrin­kle.

De­cide which of your chil­dren’s cloth­ing items will be out­grown by next win­ter; some can be given to a con­sign­ment store or char­ity.

Or if you have younger sib­lings, keep the clothes for them, says Yonge. The best place to stow chil­dren’s cloth­ing is at the top of their closet.

Re­mem­ber to al­low clothes to breathe; that helps pre­vent mould and mildew from form­ing. When stor­ing items in a con­tainer, put the heav­ier items on the bot­tom and the lighter ones on top to pro­mote air flow, Yonge says.

While some of your cloth­ing needs to be hung up, the rest should be folded and placed in a drawer or box that has been lined with white, acid-free tis­sue paper. (If you don’t have spare draw­ers, a win­ter wardrobe can be stored in card­board boxes.)

Never wrap your clothes in plas­tic, un­less it’s a vac­uum-sealed plas­tic or ny­lon con­tainer, Yonge notes.

Cer­tain items, in­clud­ing knits, can be pulled out of shape if they’re hung up for a long pe­riod, so it’s bet­ter to store them in boxes. Items that are hung up should be sit­ting prop­erly on hang­ers.

When it comes to win­ter sports gear — snow­shoes, skis, hockey equip­ment, skates and snow­boards — ap­ply the same rules as you would for cloth­ing: clean, re­pair and store.

Win­ter cloth­ing, sports equip­ment and Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions should be placed in la­belled boxes, con­tain­ers or gar­ment bags. Good stor­age places in­clude the at­tic or base­ment, al­though items can also be stowed be­neath a guest bed.

It’s a good idea to store them where it’s typ­i­cally cooler and dark, which keeps cloth­ing in good shape for next win­ter, Yonge says, adding that too much light can cause clothes and other fabrics to fade.

If you find you don’t have enough room in your home, con­sider rent­ing a stor­age unit for part of the year. Stor­age-rental fa­cil­i­ties have a wide range of sizes, from tiny clos­ets to big garages. It’s an in­ex­pen­sive op­tion if you need a lit­tle more space.

With just a lit­tle at­ten­tion to stor­age, you’re sure to have all your win­ter clothes and equip­ment ready to go next year.

— Canwest News Ser­vice

It’s a good idea to laun­der win­ter clothes be­fore putting them away for win­ter.

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