Summer time! Out with the wool skirt, in with the linen capris. Out with the down coat, in with the denim jacket.

When you’re taking care of spring cleaning tasks, take the time to go through your closets and wash, repair and store items from your winter wardrobe. They’ll last longer protected in storage, and you’ll enjoy the spaciousness in your closet and drawers. It’s also a great time to evaluate what you have and get rid of the overflow.

You don’t need to go through all your clothes in one marathon session. Break it up in categories: perhaps one drawer or one type of item, like blouses, in a short evening session. Put on some music or a good podcast and follow these steps:
1. Review
2. Repair
3. Clean
4. Pack
5. Store

REVIEW

Gather your target category together and review what you’ve got. If they don’t fit or they don’t really work for you, get rid of them! Donate, take to a consignment store, or plan a clothing swap with friends.

Now that you know what you love and want to keep, make sure everything’s in good condition to wear. Separate any items which need repair.

Assess what you’ll keep wearing for the summer season and put it back where it belongs, all nice and tidy!

REPAIR

Check out any damage–stains, tears, missing buttons–and decide how you’ll address the problem. If you’re handy with a needle, make a pile for your DIY problems, and tackle that pile soon! Bag the rest and get them to Best Cleaners.

While you’re at it–does anything need to be altered? Now is a great time to alter items for any season, so you can either wear them for the next few months, or enjoy them ready-to-go after storing them for the summer.

CLEAN

It’s important to make sure everything is clean when it goes into storage. Dirty items can attract insects, and are more prone to mold and mildew. Stains will grow more stubborn over time. Also, some chemicals like perfumes, lotions and oils will yellow over time and stain clothes, as will perspiration. Make sure everything is properly laundered or dry cleaned before storage.

Check all pockets, especially on your coats.

PACK

Proper storage depends on the weight and structure of the item and the fabric. The more you treasure an item, the more careful you should be about storage.

Fur coats and some dresses should remain on hangers for the season, because they depend on hangers to maintain their structure. Ideally, have your furs professionally stored in a climate-controlled facility: they’ll crack and deteriorate in hot conditions.

The rest of your wardrobe should be folded for storage, especially sweaters. (You weren’t hanging them, were you? Sweaters become misshapen when hung, and should always be stored folded.)

Natural fibers like cashmere, silk and wool need to breathe. Don’t suffocate them in a plastic garment bag, or worse yet, a vacuum bag. The best way to store them is in a cotton garment bag or cotton garment box. Try not to store them in a plastic bin for more than a season at a time, and make sure the bin isn’t too crowded.

When selecting bins, you’ll do better with shallow bins rather than deep ones, so the items on the bottom don’t get crushed and wrinkled. Fold your non-delicates and place them in bins, with the heaviest items on the bottom.

Store delicates together in one bin, with each item folded separately and wrapped in acid-free tissue paper.

Add cedar or lavender sachets to discourage pests

STORE

The best environment is clean, cool, dry and dark. Artificial and natural light will cause fading. Hot or damp conditions promote mildew. And naturally, if you can store them in a clean, dust-free place, they’ll stay cleaner and it’ll be a lot more fun to unpack them in the fall.

Storing your Winter Wardrobe

Storing your Winter Wardrobe