Ready to put away your winter clothes? Follow our guide to make sure your winter clothes are stored safely until the winter snow rolls in again.
Before you get to storing your winter clothes, your first step needs to be making sure everything is clean. Dirty clothes (even if they don’t look dirty) can deteriorate while in storage because even subtle body oils on clothes can attract moths and create an odor that can be nearly impossible to remove once months have passed. Cleaning them before storage will keep them in good shape and help you preserve your clothes over the years.
Cleaning your cold-weather clothing will probably include lots of coats and delicate materials. We recommend checking the care instructions on your items before cleaning, but here are some basic guidelines you can follow in a pinch:
- Nylon coats – nylon coats and puffy jackets filled with down can be placed in your washing machine. Use a gentle cycle and cold water with regular laundry detergent.
- Wool coats – Your best bet to cleaning your wool coat is taking it to the dry cleaners. But if needed, you can also wash them by hand at home. Remember to use wool-specific detergent and cold water. Lay the coat flat to dry.
- Cashmere and wool – For sweaters in these delicate fabrics, you can take them to the dry cleaners, hand-wash, or if necessary, wash them in your washing machine. If you choose the washing machine route, put your sweaters in a garment bag, wash on a gentle or hand wash cycle, and use fabric-specific detergent. Lay flat to dry after.
- Fleece – Turn your fleece items inside-out, and wash in your washing machine on a gentle cycle with cold water. Avoid putting it in the dryer and opt to air dry it instead.
If you plan on storing your winter clothes long-term, consider storing everything with deodorizers. No matter where you choose to store your clothes, there’s a chance they can start smelling a little musty over a few months. You can include scented sachets, dryer sheets, or wool dryer balls with a few drops of essential oil inside each container.
Use Plastic Bins
Many people use cardboard boxes or plastic bags when they store items, and that’s fine, but not for clothes. These methods can leave your clothes vulnerable to damage. Plastic bags can trap moisture, which can lead to mold or mildew growing on your clothes, and pre-used boxes are vulnerable to humidity and water damage.
Plastic bins are great options because they snap shut to keep your clothes safe from all threats. These bins will keep out pests, water, humidity, and dust. Remember to avoid overpacking bins as you want a little air inside each bin so your winter clothes can breathe.
Create an Inventory System
By creating an inventory system, you’ll keep everything organized, and it will allow you to easily access items of clothing at any point. Consider these options for your inventory system:
- Labels – This is probably the easiest system to implement. You just have to label each box with what’s inside (for example “Cathy’s Winer Coats.”). This will help you find the bin with the group of items you are looking for. Just be sure to be specific while packing to help when you need to unpack.
- Color-coordinated – For this system, you’ll color-code each box you pack. You can divide each color by family member, season, or item type (for example, red is for Mom’s winter clothing items.) Keep a sheet so you know which color coordinates with what items.
- Inventory list – This is the most extensive option, but can be helpful when looking for a specific item you need. When packing, make a list and write down every item in the bin. You can also include a description of each item to help you identify the items easier. Then you tape the list onto the bin or type it up into an excel spreadsheet.
Rethink Vacuum Packing
Vacuum packing can save a lot of space, but it can also be very damaging to your clothing. If you’re storing your winter clothing long-term, rethink using this method, as it can lead to permanent creasing and wrinkles. Clothes, especially those made of natural fibers, need to breathe. To avoid suffocating your items, pack them into bins with some air space instead.
Store in a Dry, Dark Place
Last but not least, you should store your clothing in a dry and dark environment. If there’s too much light, it can cause fading in your fabrics. You can choose to store your items in your garage or basement, but they might take up space that could be used for something better. A great option instead is to store your items in a self-storage unit. Storage units offer the perfect environment for clothing storage, they come in various sizes, so you can rent one based on your needs, and you can save more space at home!
Store Your Winter Clothes at All Secure Storage
Let us help you store your winter clothes this year! We have a variety of storage unit sizes available, so no matter how much you need to store, we have the space. We are the go-to storage provider for the Western Slopes. With a convenient location in Montrose, we’ve got your storage needs covered.