Even if they don’t stay there for long, temperatures are supposed to hit close to 70 degrees this week. Come on Spring!

For many of us, that means time to start putting away winter clothing and breaking out the shorts and short sleeves. Winter clothing is bulky and takes up a lot of space, so storing it for the next six months makes perfect sense, especially if you have small closets or limited drawer space. Besides, who wants to have to dig through a stack of sweaters to find the perfect tank top buried at the bottom?

Putting away the family’s winter clothes is often the first step of spring cleaning. Do it right and preparations for next winter will be almost painless.

Take Inventory

Whether you have growing kids or just adults in your household, the first step of packing away your winter clothes should be a thorough inventory of what you have.

  • Start by inspecting clothes for tears and stains. Discard or set aside for recycling the items that are too damaged to be useful next year. Replace missing buttons and mend torn seams.
  • This is also a good time to decide if you really need five black sweaters. Give away or donate items you didn’t wear this winter or don’t love.
  • Determine if it fits. Maybe you kept your new year’s resolution and it’s too big or maybe the kids out grew it. If it doesn’t fit, give it away instead of packing it up.
  • Pair gloves and mittens with their mates, using a safety pin to keep them together.
  • Make a list of clothing items you might want to replace at end of season clearance or back to school sales.

Once you have only the things that fit, get used and are in good shape, it’s time to prep everything for storage.

Wash and Dry

Nothing is more frustrating when the cold days of winter set in than pulling out your winter coat and finding that it needs dry cleaning or pulling out your favorite scarf and discovering it smells like last year’s perfume.

Prepare your winter clothes for storage by making sure they are clean. Send coats to the dry cleaners. Wash your sweaters. Then make sure everything is dry before you start packing it.

Consider turning your clothing inside out before you fold them for packing.  This can help extend the life of your clothes.

Packing Containers

Your clothing is probably a substantial investment since even cheap jeans often cost $30 a pair. Don’t endanger the lifespan of your clothing by packing it in whatever boxes you happen to have around the house. Cardboard boxes will draw moisture to them and are like magnets for some insects and mice.

Avoid putting your clothing in plastic bags unless you are vacuum-packing it. Plastic bags hold moisture inside and, if you opt not to use climate-controlled storage, clothes may mildew.

Add dryer sheets or cedar chips to your plastic totes to help keep your clothes smelling nice and to help ward off moths and other destructive insects.

Taking a few extra minutes in packing your winter clothes for storage can help make prepping for next winter a lot easier. It also helps protect your clothing investment.



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