It’s been a cool start to the summer here in St. Louis. And if you’re like us, you haven’t quite put your cool weather clothes away for the summer. But when you decide the time is right, make sure you take extra care. Winter clothes are susceptible to all sorts of damage if improperly stored for the summer months.
The cleaner and more organized you pack your winter clothing, the easier and more pleasant experience you will have pulling it back out in the fall.
– Teresa Maluniu, Wikihow
Don’t take chance with your winter clothing investment. Make sure your coats, hats, gloves, boots, blankets, furs and other expensive garments are well prepared for the summer.
1. Remove All of Your Winter Items
Make sure you have an area in your house that is cleaned out and has enough room to hold all of your winter items – this will be your sorting area. Go through your closet and remove all of your heavy sweaters, thick shirts, winter hats, winter gloves, scarves, winter coats and winter shoes and place them in your sorting area. You might want to leave a couple of sweatshirts or a long sleeve sweater or 2 in your closet in case the weather gets un-seasonally cold.
- Wash and/or Dry Clean all of the winter clothes that you are going to store.
- Take your coats, bulky jackets, scarves and winter hats to the dry cleaner so they are cleaned before they are packed away. You don’t want any stains or odors to set into your clothes while they’re stored.
- Wipe down and treat winter boots before placing them in storage.
- Wipe out any drawers that are going to be used to store your winter clothes, or if you’re going to use storage boxes, now is a good time to pull them out and add some cedar pieces or cedar liners.
3. Pack & Store
When all of your winter items are cleaned, it’s time to start packing them away.
- Collect snow gear – coats, snow pants, boots, etc. and arrange them into 18 gallon totes or large rolling storage bags, beginning with boots at the bottom. Next, put the coats and pants in, topping it off with hats, gloves, and scarves. If you wish to, you can pair the gloves together with safety pins or rubber bands. Tuck the totes into the very back of the closet, whether it is under a shelf or behind the hanging coat rack, or in the attic or basement if you have room.
- Bulky Sweaters – fold flat and place them in storage boxes or large rolling storage bags. If you have several bulky sweaters, you can organize them by color and place them in the storage box. If your storage box isn’t clear, you can use your label maker or clear packing/shipping tape and marker to write what is inside on the tape. For example, Pink Bulky Sweaters. You can also lay all of the sweaters together, but not on top of each other and take a picture before they’re folded. Print it out on regular or photo paper and, using the clear packing tape, tape it onto the top and/or side of the storage container. Line the bottom of the storage box with cedar pieces or cedar lining rolls to keep moths away.
- Thin Winter Sweaters & Long Sleeved Shirts – You can either separate these items by color or by type. After you’ve grouped the items, take a picture of the items that will be stored together. Next, either fold the items flat or if you have several items, roll them into a tight ball. By rolling the sweaters and shirts, you can usually fit more items into a smaller space and the clothes will not have a folding crease when you pull them out. Place them in storage boxes that will be placed in a spare closet, attic or basement or in an under bed storage chest that can slide right under your bed. If you’ve taken a picture, print it out and place it on the storage box and label what is inside just like you did with the bulky sweaters. Don’t forget to label the part that will be seen – i.e. either the top of the storage box or the side that will be facing out and to line the bottom of the storage box with cedar pieces or cedar lining rolls.
- Scarves, Hats & Gloves – If you can fit them all in 1 storage box, lay them out and photograph them all together and repeat the labeling process. If they won’t all fit into 1 storage box, then pair them off so all of the matching items are together and then repeat the labeling and cedar processes.
- Shoe Storage – After you’ve cleaned up your winter shoes and, if necessary, treated them with leather cleaner, it’s time to get them ready for storage. Get some plastic or cedar shoe trees and place them in your shoes so they will retain their shape while they are in storage. If you choose the plastic shoe shapers, then add a cedar shoe sachet into each shoe. You can either use a shoe storage bench or shoe storage boxes—you don’t want to store your winter shoes in a shoe cubby or on a shoe rack – you’ll want to make sure the shoes stay covered while in storage. If you choose shoe storage boxes, repeat the labeling process above.
Of course, your friends at De Mun Cleaners can do all this for you in an environmentally safe manner. Nobody cleans clothes like we do! And we have a special knowledge of the perils of poor clothing storage! We’ve seen it all.
It’s easy to prepare your winter wardrobe for summer with De Mun Cleaners. Just bring in your sweaters, long pants, coats, blankets and boots and we’ll have them clean, dry and properly packaged in our Green Garmento containers, ready and fresh for next fall.