8 Steps to Get Your Winter Clothes Ready for Storage | Maid4Condos

8 Steps to Get Your Winter Clothes Ready for Storage

8 Steps to Get Your Winter Clothes Ready for Storage
March 9, 2020

Living in Toronto can make weather prediction a little challenging. You never really know when it’s time to officially get out of your summer clothes. Sometimes we can be well into June and still be getting chilly days and nights. Hopefully, you can put most of your winter clothes into storage by the time late April or early May rolls around!

Here are eight steps to get your winter clothes ready for storage and make room for your favourite warm-weather fashions.

How to get winter clothes ready for storage?

1. Head to the dry cleaners

Before putting your coats away for the summer, they require a cleaning. It’s always a good idea to have a little bit of money set aside to do a spring dry cleaning for your coats, but it’s not always necessary.

For example, many “puffy” coats with down filling might be machine washable as it helps them keep their puffiness. Other cloth coats of varying materials and faux furs might do better with dry cleaning. To be safe, check the labels before deciding on washing them at home or paying for a professional cleaning.

2. Brush coats down and wrap them

Moths are one of the biggest worries when it comes to storing away your winter wear. Before storing any of your coats, take them outside and brush them down with a clean brush. Make sure to get into the folds and pockets to remove any moth eggs. Hang coats in cotton garment bags and use cedar planks or balls to keep moths away. If you don’t have cotton bags, plastic will work just fine.

3. Clean your boots

Snow and salt can be very damaging for your boots. When left on your boots for months, it can permanently damage and stain them. Wipe your boots down to remove salt using water and vinegar.

If they are leather, you should then treat them with a leather conditioner to keep them supple. Waterproof your boots before storing them so they are ready to wear when that first dreaded snowfall arrives unexpectedly.

You can then stuff your boots with newspaper, so they maintain their shape. Pack the toes nice and tight to avoid dents, but don’t force it, or you can stretch them, and they won’t fit properly in the winter.

4. Wash your sweaters

It’s not uncommon to re-wear more delicate sweaters made of cashmere and wool to avoid worrying about hand washing or dry cleaning them throughout the winter months. However, before storing them, you have to clean them properly.

Keep in mind this natural material is what moths love to eat. If stored with traces of food, they become even more appetizing.

Read the labels to see if dry cleaning or hand washing is recommended. If the label indicates you can do either or if budget is an issue, you can take the handwashing route:

  • Have three bins, one to wash, one to rinse, and one to wring out excess water.
  • In one bin, use lukewarm water and a gentle, hand washing laundry detergent.
  • Place your sweater in the wash bin and gently swirl the water with your hand. Don’t lift the sweater out of the water or pull at it as this will stretch the sweater and can create pilling.
  • Gently squeeze the sweater to remove soapy water and then place it in the rinse bin for a few minutes. The rinse bin should be cool water.
  • Place the sweater in the final bin, which should be empty. Press out the excess water, avoiding tugging and pulling. Dump out the water to prepare for the next sweater.
  • Lay your sweaters flat, making sure the shoulders are square, and the arms are laid out evenly to keep their shape. If the sweater seems very wet, you can lay it on a clean towel to help absorb the excess water.

As you can see, the handwashing process is pretty time consuming, so dry cleaning might be your best bet.

5. Store in plastic

Once clean, your winter garments will need to be protected from moths. Store them with a cedar plank or balls in the closet. Never store sweaters on hangers as it will cause issues such as stretching and can leave pointed hanger indents in the shoulders or sleeves.

Ideally, you can store sweaters and other winter clothing items in individually sealed plastic bags and then lay them flat in plastic storage bins. If you must layer your winter garments on top of each other without bags, lay colourless tissue paper between each sweater to avoid any risk of colour transfer.

6. Clean winter accessories

This can be a bit complicated because your hats, scarves, mitts and gloves will all be made of different materials. Anything that is made of wool will require hand washing or dry cleaning like your sweaters. If you have any blended materials for your scarves and mitts, they can go in a gentle wash but check the labels to be safe.

Avoid using the dryer unless the instructions say you can. Even then, you will most likely see pilling and scarves could be stretched long. It is best to lay these items to dry instead. Anything that has real fur, leather, or suede should be professionally cleaned.

7. Save space

Your accessories can be stored in plastic containers with tight seals. Plastic storage bins not only keep moths at bay but can often be slid conveniently under your bed to keep them out of the way. This is an excellent option if you live in a smaller home like a condo. If you have any accessories made of more delicate materials such as silk and wool, use layers of tissue paper to avoid colour transfer.

8. Choose a dark, dry space

Storing your winter clothes requires a cool, dark space. If you choose an area that is too hot, then you increase the risk for moisture and condensation, which allows mould and mildew to grow. Moths prefer the dark but don’t like the cold, so you can make clothes less tempting in a cool, dry place.

For more tips on getting your winter clothes ready for storage, call Maid4Condos at 647-822-0601 or contact us here.

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