Spring has sprung: Tips on storing winter clothes
Spring is finally here! Now comes the time to purge your closet, putting away those wool jumpers, bulky coats, and gifted scarves that you don’t actually wear. It’s more than just throwing everything into a box marked “Winter Clothes” and throwing it somewhere in storage. “One of the biggest mistakes people make after cleaning their winter wardrobe is storing clothes in improper environments”, said Chicago-based Steve Boorstein, a third-generation former dry cleaner, author and clothing-care guru also known as The Clothing Doctor.
If you want to take proper care of your clothing, then we suggest you do the following steps to ensure maximum winter storage potential, thus making it easier for you when that winter comes again, all too soon unfortunately.
- Clean your closet. They don’t call it “Spring cleaning” for nothing. When you are switching everything over to your spring/summer wardrobe take the time to vacuum and wipe down your closet doors, shelves, and even those upper corners. Nasty things like dust mites and moth sacs can be found in nearly every closet. So it’s important to start off the new season fresh, with a clean and organised closet.
- Properly clean the items you want to store. Things like perfume, and deodorants may stay in the fabrics causing stains, potentially attracting moths. More moths = holes in your favourite wolly knits and sweaters. So take those important items to the dry-cleaner’s first!
- Get proper storage. Storing winter items in plastic containers and cardboard boxes actually attract bugs. Natural fibres need oxygen, and when left in a plastic container for long periods of time, white clothes may turn yellow. If possible, the best way to let your clothes breath would be to buy cotton or polypropylene clothing bags for storage.
- Pack your clothing appropriately. Fold those bulky sweaters, but pack them loosely allowing air to circulate. For bigger items such as coats, we suggest you do not use wire hangers. Wire hangers aren’t made to hold items with weight, and may cause distortion to the shoulders of your garment over time. Ideally you would want heavy-duty, padded hangers, but you shouldn’t use plastic or wood hangers either. To add padding you can tuck a towel into the shoulder of the coat to ensure it doesn’t stretch out. You may want to throw in a lavender or cedar sachet into each bag, as an extra bug repellent.
- Store items in dry, dark places. Steve Boorstein advises against storing seasonal clothes in the basement. “They generally sweat and have moisture. In worst-case scenarios, you’ll end up with mouldy odours. If you have to store them in a basement, you should consider a dehumidifier.” Make sure to store away from sunlight, as it can cause fading in your garments.
Follow this guide and it will make the transition into next season much easier. It will also help your winter clothes last longer.