Okay, I’m going to state the obvious. It’s March – and to top it off, March in Minnesota. Weather can do some pretty crazy things. Shorts one day then thermals and mittens the next. But honestly, I’m just itching to put away the winter clothes. Aren’t you?
It may not be the best time to go hog-wild and store all your sweaters, turtlenecks, and thick pajamas, but to make the task easier, you can certainly start putting some garments away. To help temper that spring fever, I’ve compiled a list of helpful ideas to keep in mind when storing seasonal clothing.
- Remember your promise. At the beginning of this year, you took an oath. Remember? If you need a reminder check out our January blog Sick of the Closet Clutter? Five Tips to Pain-Free Organization. The 2016 resolution was only to save clothing that made us feel and look terrific.
Keeping that in mind, it’s time for some additional purging. Did another year go by without you wearing that brand new blue and black striped sweater? Yes, in two years the tags will still be on it. Cut your loss and donate the sweater to charity or pass it on to a friend.
- Clean everything. Whether you hand wash, machine wash, or dry clean, take the time to clean everything before storing. Face it, stains may be invisible to us but, not to bugs. Bugs love that leftover salad dressing and champagne from the wedding reception. Plus, stains don’t magically go away. Any spills that are there now will only get worse the longer you leave them. Also, because of those nasty little critters, it’s best to skip the starch.
- Repair, de-pill, and replace. Those pills are a pain – an unsightly fabric blemish. Here’s the deal, you’re not going to wear the sweater with pills, so it’s time to unload it or dig out the little battery-operated pill remover. It’s also time to sew up the seams and replace buttons. How great will it be to have “good as new” garments waiting for you next fall?
- Choose lavender and cedar over mothballs. Not only do mothballs stink, but the ingredients used make to some of them are questionable. As a substitute, cedar (in any form) or lavender sachets/packets are excellent choices. As fiber retains moisture, it’s also a good idea to toss a couple of those humidity control desiccant packets into each container.
- Pick the right container. Plastic storage boxes are a good choice if moisture or pests are a concern. Just fold up your garments, throw in the lavender or cedar, and stow away. Garbage bags and cardboard boxes just don’t provide the protection that a few good containers do.
- Protect your investments. While dry cleaning bags are great at protecting clothes during transit to your house, it’s best not to store garments in them. Dry cleaning bags can trap moisture and lead to mold growth and mildew. Sealed cloth garment bags work well for furs. Store fur and leather in cool, dry areas and away from windows.
- Keep a stash of emergency clothes handy. Don’t be left with only sleeveless shirts and crop tops if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Make a few of your favorite winter garments readily available – you may be very happy that you did!