A woman putting clothing into a cardboard box for storage

My Real-World Steps to Storing Winter Clothing

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Many people pack away their winter clothes as part of their Spring Cleaning. I live in the Midwest, so I’ve been caught off guard by snow in late May. When it’s time, though, I don’t go for a lot of fuss: so here are my real-world steps to store winter clothing without a lot of fuss.

Everyone has a different way of doing things, of course. My goal is to protect my clothes from mold, pests, and stains—and to make room in my closet for clothes I’ll actually wear for the next several months. But special tissues? Cedar-lined boxes? Sorry, that’s not how I live.

Storing Winter Clothes Step-by-Step

Step 1: Set aside some transitional pieces.

Spring can be fickle. So, rather than having to dig out clothes I just stuck in storage, I hold back a couple of transition items that are light enough I might even need them on cool summer nights, too. Oh, and one warm pair of pajamas.

Step 2: Wash All the Things.

Stains can be sneaky. Some of them, like sweat stains, don’t show up right away. Others, like untreated food stains, body oils and lotion residue attract silverfish and moths. So, I wash everything possible and dry-clean the rest. (Although sometimes I wash dry-clean only clothes, too.)

Step 3: Fix the Damage.

Repairing clothes off-season costs less money. Who knew, right? So, since I’m not handy, I take clothes with busted zippers or which need new buttons to the dry-cleaner for mending. If you don’t have one who does those kind of small fixes, try a local tailor.

Step 4: Pack it up.

Bulky Coats and Jackets: Hang them on sturdy hangers, using garment bags if space allows. Otherwise, vacuum seal and store in another closet, adding a dryer sheet for freshness.

Sweaters and Scarves: Fold and store in a plastic bin with a tight lid, along with silicone desiccant packets to prevent odors and mildew.

Boots and Shoes: Clean off salt stains from boots, insert pool noodles to maintain shape, and deodorize shoes before storing in an old suitcase.

Hoodies and Casual Wear: Store in cardboard boxes with lids. These items are more casual and don’t require special treatment.

Step 5: Store Them in a Cool, Dry Place.

One thing I am picky about, though, is where I actually store my winter stuff. Any place that gets hot and humid in the summer can cause damage, so that rules out the attic and garage. I schlep them down to the basement and put the waterproof plastic containers on the bottom then the cardboard boxes on top of those.

So, how do you store your winter clothing? I’d love to hear your suggestions and tips in the comments!

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