How to get your stored winter clothes ready for wearing

With the winter solstice in our

rear view mirror and the outside temperatures feeling a little “Frosty,” you can’t put off the annual event of pulling those winter clothes out of storage any longer. Isn’t it strange that at least one or two articles of clothing seem almost brand new? They’re not. They were never worn, hardly worn or you need to practice a few more of those memory puzzles.

As you reach for those winter clothes in the back of your closet and begin pulling out the heavier clothes to replace the tropical shirts and shorts you are so fond of, you may begin to smell the mustiness of those racked clothes. It is then that you realized that you forgot to launder and disinfect them before rotating your clothing stock last spring. This smell is mold and mildew that have been building colonies in your secret chambers since the winter clothes were placed in storage. In your haste to put last winter behind you, a couple of packing chores were left undone. The smell is not only unpleasant but in some cases that mold and mildew can cause some allergic reactions.

It is amazing that we make hundreds and thousands of dollars of investments in our clothing but often forget the things that cost just a few dollars which enhance and protect that investment. So let’s rewind the DVR and go back to last spring when the winter clothes were put away for yet another season. This time, let’s do it right so we can actually enjoy wearing them next winter.

  • Please allow your winter coats to completely dry before cycling them out. You should launder those coats appropriately but don’t rush to hang them in the back of the closet until they are completely dry. If they are the slightest bit damp don’t just toss them on the back of a chair, but hang them separately in a dry environment before storing them.

  • Invest in an inexpensive hanging rack so that you are less likely to store those coats and suits prematurely. Let the coats breathe and dry out. Use hangers with clips to hang hats, gloves and mittens. If your hangers are curved it will create space between the back and front of your suits and coats to make it easier for drying.

  • Once dried and for long term storage, use the right hangers. Wood hangers among others will be curved across the top and also across the breadth of the coat. It will help to keep the form of the coat. Investment in cedar hangers will aid in drying and keep out the pests!

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  • After moving in our new home I’m the new owner of a huge dressing room that I can’t wait to plan and redecorate. Luckily, space won’t be an issue so I don’t have to cram clothes, I plan on using mostly hangers and barely any shelves except those for my bags and accessories. I never ever hang clothes if they’re not completely dry, I hate the smell they get afterwards.

  • Thanks for the tip, I didn’t know that cedar hangers are good for keeping the clothes pest free.

  • How could it have been that on the way to be effective you didn’t notice any.
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  • I have a separate closet only for winter clothes and while it might take up some space I know my coats are well kept, no moths and wrinkles.

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