Put winter clothes away the right way

04/18/2014 1:00 PM

04/19/2014 8:32 PM

•  Coats and jackets:

Empty the pockets. Wool coats should be dry-cleaned. Snow pants, down and synthetic jackets, as well as fleece, can be washed and dried at home.

Store clean items in breathable garment or storage bags, and use a mothball substitute or cedar to keep insects away.

• 

Gloves, hats and scarves:

Match mittens and gloves with their partners. If you didn’t wear one of your hats or scarves this winter, chances are you never will, so give it away. And even if you washed your favorite hat before the last snowfall, wash it again, along with all your other winter accessories.

Check that everything is dry before you put it in a large, labeled, breathable bag. Store it all in one place if possible, either a spare closet or the basement, if moisture isn’t an issue.

• 

Boots:

Snow boots should be wiped clean and stored, but those that are heavily worn should be assessed for damage to determine whether repairs are needed. Leather boots should be cleaned with leather cleaner and suede boots should be professionally cleaned.

To help the boots retain their shape, fill them with scrunched-up plastic bags, tissue paper or boot shapers. Store them in their original boxes or a plastic boot bin.

• 

Sweaters:

Make sure your sweaters are properly cleaned and then store in them in breathable bags with either cedar blocks or a moth deterrent. If you’re tight on space, consider using a storage ottoman or bench or under-the-bed bins.

• 

Bedding:

Down comforters should be professionally laundered and stored in a large, breathable cotton bag, unless you have space to cover and hang them. Compressing the down in a storage bag is fine, but hanging it helps to maintain its loft.

Clean flannel sheets and blankets should be put in bins labeled with their size. And while you’re at it, this is a good time to wash pillows, pillow protectors and mattress pads.

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