our everyday life

How to Put Away Clothes for Winter

by Jaimie Zinski

When it's time to rotate the clothes in your closet, packing up seasonal garments can be an arduous task. Often the clothing is damaged by moisture or insects if packed and stored improperly. To ensure that your favorite cold-weather clothing will be ready to keep you warm once the temperature drops, implement these preventative solutions now.

Launder everything according to the label's directions. If anything reads “dry clean only", send it to the cleansers and allow time to have it returned. For cashmere or any other delicate fabrics, hand wash the products in cool water with a detergent designed for use with delicate fabrics. According to Lucky magazine, packing away dirty clothing not only spreads the odor to everything in the box, it will also attract insects, including moths.

Divide the clothing according to fabric. For example, create piles of clothing constructed from cotton, synthetic fibers – including rayon and polyester, and cashmere. Store your winter gloves and hats by fabric as well. Place your shoes and boots in a separate pile.

Store each of these piles in separate plastic storage bins. It might require several bins to store one variety of fabric, depending on the amount of clothing. When storing shoes and boots, wipe off any dirt or mud with a damp washcloth and stuff tissue paper or newspaper into the toes. This helps the footwear retain their shape.

Slip a lavender potpourri sachet, a small cloth baggie of cedar chips or a cedar block inside each container. Also place a desiccant packet, available at department and home improvement stores, into each container. The potpourri and cedar products deter insects, including moths, while the desiccant absorbs excess moisture, preventing the formation of mold and mildew.

Cover each container with a fitted lid and label the bin by the contents with masking tape and a permanent marker. Store the containers in a closet, or any other area of your home that is cool, dry and maintains a constant temperature. Avoid the attic and basement. Basements are prone to moisture, and the temperature in both rooms will fluctuate, which will damage the clothing.

Items you will need
  • Detergent for delicate clothing
  • Plastic storage bins with lids
  • Washcloth
  • Tissue paper
  • Newspaper
  • Lavender potpourri sachets
  • Small cloth baggies
  • Cedar chips
  • Cedar blocks
  • Desiccant packets
  • Masking tape
  • Permanent marker

Tip

  • Store furs in a cloth, not plastic, garment bag in a cool, dry place. If the fur is vintage or valuable, consider storing it with a furrier.

Photo Credits

  • Dynamic Graphics/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images