a winter hat and sweater folded in a neat pile

How to Store Winter Clothing

It’s time to put those winter clothes away! Such a job! How do we protect our clothing? What’s the best way to store them? I have answers!

Start with all of the heavy stuff now — thick sweaters and heavy tweedy type fabrics. You won’t be wearing them for quite a while. This is a good time to make decisions on items to donate or sell. If it doesn’t fit or you don’t like…off it goes!

Look at clothing carefully. Check zippers, buttons, and linings for any damage. If something needs to be mended, make a special note of it and let the dry cleaner know. If your shoes, boots, and handbags are looking worn, take them to the shoemaker. They can polish them up, touch up nicks, and make them look like new again.

Anything that is wool needs to go to the dry cleaner. When articles come back, take the plastic off and put them away. If you have moths, I suggest you work with your exterminator; they can spray the carpet in your closet. If you don’t have a cedar closet, put your hanging clothes in fabric hanging bagsand use plenty of cedar or lavender sachets, blocks, or spray. Your clothes should be stored in a clean, cool, dry, and dark place. Avoid wire hangers since your clothes may stretch and lose shape.

store-bannerI like to use rolling racks when there isn’t a cedar closet. They are great with the canvas bags or covers on them. Put your sweaters in bags that are canvas as well, and don’t be afraid to put lavender and cedar in these, either. I would stay away from placing sweaters in boxes and plastic bins – they can hold moisture, which bugs love!

All other items that you won’t be using in the spring and summer should be inspected and laundered. Anything with a spot on it will attract bugs. Fabric softener and starch attract bugs, too, so skip those for now. Boots, shoes, and handbags should all be stuffed before being stored. You can use boot and shoe shapers or clear plastic shoeboxes.

While you are doing this, remember your gloves, hats, scarves, ski gear, and anything else you may wear in the winter. I put away heavy socks, thermals, and winter workout clothing as well. I am not a huge fan of the vacuum storage bags because everything gets horribly wrinkled in them.

Alternatives to Storing Clothes in Your Home

Many dry cleaners will clean and store your clothes for you. And there are companies, such as Garde Robe, that will clean, store, and provide an online inventory of your clothing. Consider it a “cyber closet”. If you need something, you can request it. This is a great solution for those of you who have luxury clothing, a lack of closet space, multiple homes, or travel frequently.