How to store winter clothes and shoes

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- As soon as spring approaches I am ready to put all of my winter clothes away. Doing it the right way can save you from finding damage in the fall and make extra room in your closet for all those summer clothes and shoes.

Storage words to live by: Clean – Cool – Dark – Dry

Make sure clothes are clean, store in a cool, dark place where sun can’t damage clothes and make sure it is dry.

Deter bugs: Bugs can feast on your clothes all summer and by next winter your sweaters will be in holes. Moths love cashmere and wool, but they will also dine on your other fabrics, too, as will other types of bugs.

Moth balls can be an answer, but then you have the problem of removing the moth ball smell, plus moth balls contain dangerous chemicals. This is something you can easily make at home and it costs you nothing because you eat it first! Moths hate orange smells and tastes. When you peel an orange, peel it in strips. Store in the refrigerator until you have enough to prepare. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and put in the oranges peels on a cookie sheet. Shut off the oven and allow them to sit overnight or until dried.

You can tuck these peels into pockets and into locking plastic storage boxes with your winter clothes. No bugs and even better everything smells fresh and natural.

  • Always wash and be sure food spills are gone before storing clothes. Clothes with food on them are like a buffet to bugs.
  • Never store clothes in plastic dry cleaning bags. They can discolor and yellow clothes.

How to store: I like the plastic storage containers with locking lids. I label them and put them on the tops shelf of the closet. It keeps clothes clean and ready for next season and locks bugs out. Cardboard boxes can encourage pests and also discolor or stain clothes. When storing things like sweaters fold neatly and stack loosely in the storage box with white tissue paper between layers. Do not overcrowd. Allow air circulation. Sprinkle in the dried orange peels just in case you put away bugs or eggs that could hatch. Never store sweaters on hangers. By the time you are ready to wear them again they can have a distorted shape and shoulder marks from the hangers.

Shoes: In order to create more order in my closet and my shoe storage, when the flip flops come out I put away the fur-lined UGGS and winter shoes after making sure they are clean. I layer them in a plastic storage box with a locking lid and put while tissue between layers. I label the end of the box and put it on the top closet shelf until cool weather returns. I do the same thing with summer shoes when winter comes. It has helped me avoid shoe chaos and makes my shoes easy to locate. I hate looking all over for one shoe!

One last word ... maybe two: Don’t store clothes in attics or garages where it is so hot and don’t store in damp basements if you can avoid it. If you must store in the basement be sure to use the locking plastic storage containers and elevate the container a few inches off the floor.

For more information on the Queen of Clean Linda Cobb, to find products used and recommended by the Queen and FREE printouts go to Find the Queen’s books at national book stores, on Amazon and