October means we are now well into spring, the obligatory seasonal clean is underway, and the weather has warmed up… slightly. It’s time to pack away those cuddly winter blankets, jumpers and clothes and pull out some more spring-appropriate attire.
However, winter clothing tends to be made from wool, a delicate fabric that, while robust, requires a specific method of storage so as to preserve the integrity of the fabric, keep the clothing or blanket in good shape and ensure it lives to see another winter next year.
Here’s your guide to storing your winter woollies.
1. Take stock
Take some time to really examine all your winter clothing. Put all the clothing you wore tis winter in one pile, and the winter clothing you didn’t touch in another pile. If you made it through an entire winter without touching particular items of clothing, odds are you won’t next winter either. Get rid of them now so you’re only storing clothing you actually value and wear. The only exception to this rule is speciality gear such as that for snow activities, etc.
Ensure all woollen clothing and blankets are freshly washed before you pack them away. A mild wool wash in the machine, or by hand, should do the trick, and try to do it on a warm, sunny day and hang them outside so the fresh air and UV rays can get rid of any lingering nasties or odours. Ensure you clean all coats and jackets, too.
Take blankets and bedding to a professional launderer to have them washed or dry cleaned before you pack them away. That means duvets, winter sheets, blankets and liners.
3. Pick your weapons
Woollen clothing and blankets should be folded with acid-free tissue paper and stored in air-tight containers or vacuum bags. Wool coats should be thoroughly cleaned, dried, brushed and aired out before storing them in breathable, natural-cotton coat bags to avoid a moth getting into them during summer. In a pinch, zip-lock or resealable plastic bags will do the trick. If you lie in a particularly humid climate, wrapping clothing or fabric in lengths of clean cotton will protect your items from condensation.
4. Repel moths
However you store your winter woollies, ensure you’ve done everything in your power to reduce the risk of a moth infestation while your winter essentials go into hibernation for summer. A small plank, stick or ball of cedar, or bags of lavender placed in bags, drawers, containers or on clothing hooks can help repel moths. Keep in mind that any item of clothing or fabric that has human odours, skin or oils on it can attract moths, and one items of unclean clothing can contaminate an entire wardrobe of clean items if you aren’t careful.
5. Stack, store and organise
If you plan on removing all your winter clothing from your wardrobe, now is the time to start folding or rolling your clothes into airtight containers or bags with acid-free tissue paper, and top them off with a cedar ball or lavender to ensure no moths take a bite out of your items.
For those who prefer moving winter clothing to the back, top, or bottom of their wardrobe, try putting scarves, hats and gloves in a basket and popping them on a clean, top shelf that’s out of the way. Jackets and coats can be stored in coat bags and hung towards the back of your cupboard or wardrobe, while jumpers, cardigans and blankets can be popped on a bottom or top shelf that’s out of reach and doesn’t see much action. Then move all your spring and summer clothing, such as shirts, dresses and light-weight clothing to the front of your hanging space or the easily accessibly drawers or shelves. Nestle cedar sticks among the items to keep the moth-free.
6. Last but not least
Store away your winter boots and wellies correctly. Ensure all boots have been cleaned of all dirt and debris, suede brushed, and all shoes thoroughly aired out and dried before polishing them up, stuffing them with paper to preserve their shape, and tucking them away for summer.
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