Closet Cue — Storing your Winter Wardrobe

Shed off winter’s woes and make room for springtime bliss! With the first day of spring only 12 days away, are those wardrobes ready for this season’s equinox? Annual March cleaning reminds us to go beyond getting the carpet shampooed, and to check in with our transitioning winter wardrobe. 

Below are simple tips for how to organize, care for, and store your garments so that you positively impact the longevity of the pieces. Consider the following when storing in between seasons: 

  1. Clean the items, even if the garment seems clean.
      Launder or dry clean in order avoid the discovery of six month set-in stains. Bodily oils are not only unpleasant if not removed, they attract moths. If storing dry cleaned pieces, exchange the plastic bags provided for cotton covers, one can even use old sheets. The plastic covers from the dry cleaner refuse air circulation and can cause condensation, which leads to mildew. This storage method works for shoes and accessories, as well.

  2. Attics are worrisome for heat, as they can damage clothing and set stains.  Direct sunlight has the potential for fading colors. Choose a dry, well-ventilated, and cool location to store your clothing.

  3. When boxing garments for storage, avoid cardboard boxes. The glue used in cardboard is attractive to insects and pests. Choose a plastic or cedar bin with a good fitting lid. If the garments are being stored for more than a year, take the piece out and refold to prevent damage to folded fibers. Stack clothing from heaviest to lightest. Using a suitcase for storage can be helpful for moving pieces. Box knits, sweaters, pants, shirts, and delicates. 

  4. A note on moth maintenance: those little pesky holes can be avoided with the use of moth balls, cedar blocks, shavings, or oil. The moth balls, however, can be toxic to humans, and must be stored in a closed container. Do not store balls directly on garments, and be sure to aerate the piece before wearing. 

  5. When hanging garments in storage, use wider or padded hangers to avoid “dents” in the garments. Bulky jackets and coats should be stored hanging on wood or plastic hangers.  No more wire hangers! 
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