How to Store Your Winter Clothes Like a Boss!
Well ladies and gentlemen, winter is finally over here in Canada and our clothes need to go into storage for the season! Granted, it may only be a few short months until we need these items again, but hey! I'm looking forward to the hot summer months while they last!
So where is the best place to store winter clothing, and how exactly are we supposed to do it?
There are numerous options, but I want you to remember this saying:
Cool, Clean, Dark & Dry
If you can remember these 4 words, it will make your winter clothing storage a cinch! The best places to store your winter items are usually in the storage room, the spare room, or under the bed. But really any other place you have that fits those four descriptives listed above will do!
So how exactly do we make this happen? Let's get started!
No matter what you do, complete this step! How fantastic will it feel when October 15th rolls around and you have to go down into your storage room and pull out those clothes and they not only smell beautiful but they are clean and ready to wear?? It will feel AMAZING. So let's do this right!
Declutter: Take a look at your items. Whatever you did not wear this season goes! Make sure every pair of gloves is still a pair, and ensure that children's items will actually fit a future child. Make sure you love every item you are keeping!
Mend: Assess the items you want to keep and mend or have someone mend any items with tears, holes or broken zippers.
Launder: Dry clean any wool and dress coats to prepare them for storage and remain clean over the summer season, as well as any heavy winter sweaters. If your items have stains in them now, they will set in over the winter and leave your item ruined for the next winter season. Hand wash any scarves and dry flat to maintain their shape.
Polish: Wipe down and polish shoes and boots that will be stored.
Above all, be sure every item is PERFECTLY DRY before storing for the season. When you take the extra time to follow these steps, come fall your clothes will be in perfect condition when you pull them out of storage!
Now that all of your items are perfectly clean and ready for storage, let's talk about exactly how to store them!
Hang: Any items that may get wrinkled inside of a tote should be hung. Do not hang items that may lose their shape when hung for a long period of time. You can mount a hanging bar in your storage room, or use a guest room closet. This should be in a cool, clean, dark and dry location (remember our 4 rules!) When hanging items, if possible place them in fully enclosed garment bags. Bonus points if you use vacuum sealed hanging bags! You can easily find these on Amazon.
Fold: Any items that will lose their shape when hung should be carefully folded and placed in sealed plastic totes. Do not pack things in tightly as this means air cannot circulate. I know you may be tempted to use cardboard boxes, but moisture can get in and items can be damaged. Sealed plastic totes are your best bet.
Vacuum Pack: Anything and everything that you can should be vacuum packed and then placed into totes with lids or hung, with the exception of feather and down-fill. These can be damaged in vacuum packing and should be folded lightly and placed in a tote or hung up. Vacuum packing works extremely well for placing items under the bed for storage. Totes with sealing lids are especially important so that pests cannot get in.
Delicate Items: Any delicate items like heirloom pieces or lace/cashmere items, fold and wrap in acid-free tissue paper. The acid in regular tissue paper can actually break down fibres, weakening your items. Once wrapped in tissue paper, store in cotton-canvas bags.
Shoes: Place all clean, dry footwear in totes. Do not overpack these! Pack your shoes and boots with inflatable or quilted boot savers, or my top money saving tip: newspaper! This helps prevent them from losing their shape.
Where: Again, the best locations are places that are cool, clean, dark and dry. In your home this may be the storage room, spare bedroom closet, under the bed or even the top shelf in the closet.
When all else fails: Do whatever it is that you have the room for! If you have room to hang 5 items, choose the ones that are the most fitting to be hung and tote the rest. If the only storage you have is under the bed, then utilize that as necessary.
You have all the basics! Now for a few extra tidbits of information:
Use lavender sachets or cedar balls to deter pests from invading your stored items! At the end of the storage season, refresh lavender sachets in the sun, and lightly sand cedar balls to bring back the freshness.
If you are not a usual traveller, store your vacuum packed bags inside unused luggage! This is a simple, space saving way to use up space that is already occupied, keeping your storage area clear for other items.
Do not store clothing in the dry cleaning plastic! Use garment bags or vacuum packed hanging bags instead. The dry cleaning plastic can damage clothes over time as it does not breathe at all. This type of plastic releases BHT which reacts with moisture and can cause yellowish stains on clothing.
When your clothes are cleaned, stored properly, and labelled, getting them out for use at the start of the next winter season will not only bring you satisfaction, but you can step out in style! And who doesn't love that?