It’s time to store winter clothing. There’s nothing worse than unpacking your favorite fall sweater and finding that rodents or mold or something else has ruined it. Here are a few quick tips to keep your cold weather wardrobe serviceable. 

Most people use a spare closet or a storage room in the basement for their off-season clothing. The first thing to do is clean the storage area. Make sure you vacuum every nook and cranny to remove any debris. It’s not a bad idea to wipe the area down with a bleach and water mixture to kill any mold spores. Once the area is dry, you’re ready to use it. 

If you are using plastic storage bags be sure to wash them thoroughly to remove any bugs or mold spores. The same goes for plastic storage bins. Cleaning thoroughly and drying before use will save you time and effort later and may well save the life of your clothing. 

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Every expert will tell you to wash your garments first. Wash and dry or dry-clean everything you intend to put into storage. This will remove mold spores, troublesome insect eggs and larvae (like moths). 

Boots and Shoes for Winter Storage

Remove all dirt, mud, salt or other detritus. If you’re feeling super industrious, take the time to oil leathers and apply a coat of water sealant as well. Shoes and boots should be stored upright. 

Sweaters and Coats

Sweaters should be folded neatly. Heavy winter coats should be hung on thick, wooden hangers, zipped or buttoned to mitigate wrinkles. 

Scarves and Gloves

As with other garments, they should be thoroughly cleaned. Match mittens and gloves and store in a plastic garment bag or plastic storage bin as with other garments.

Mothballs, Dryer Sheets, Et Al

Many experts suggest using mothballs to drive away insects or a dryer sheet to maintain freshness. Just remember that mothballs are dangerous if ingested (by pets or children). Some suggest using a chunk of cedar wood to freshen and drive away insects. Of course, there might be mold spores in the chunk of cedar – so use your best judgment when adding anything to your storage bins.

Image credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / AnikaSalsera