Those silver white winters have finally melted into spring, and now is the time for us to deal with all the things we have accrued from the chilly season. Unless you’re gifted with gloriously unlimited closet space, storing winter items during the warmer months is a must. Jackets, snow gear, boots, and sports equipment all need a safe and cozy home for their summer hibernation. 

Proper storage of winter items takes a bit of prep work. But when done correctly, it allows for an easier start to the next winter season. Using the following tips, the items you’ve suitably stored will be ready to go without any additional work. 

Tip #1: Wash everything first. 

With or without visible dirt and wear, all winter items need to be laundered. Check labels first; wash whatever you’re able to at home, and send the rest to be dry-cleaned. Unwashed clothing can trap body oils, which can then lead to attracting moths (not to mention- increasing odor as it’s stored).  

Tip #2: Make smart storage selections. 

Storing clothing in clear, plastic bins is a good idea for two reasons; the garments inside will be safe from potential water damage, and the contents of each bin are easily recognizable. Skip the cardboard as it’s not only susceptible to water but includes glue that can be attractive to pests. 

Fold sweaters and coats, placing acid-free tissue between each item. Clean your footwear and apply some wax to leather shoes; allow it to soak in for a few days before storing. To help your shoes retain shape, stuff tissue inside or use boot forms. 

Tip #3: Say adieu to odors. 

Even when everything is laundered, stored clothing items still have the potential to end up smelling musty. Dispel the stink by applying a couple of drops of essential oil to a paper towel and placing it in the storage container. Lavender essential oil can work double-time as a natural moth repellent. A dryer sheet can also help to keep odor away. 

Tip #4: Location matters. 

Choose a cool and dark spot to store your winter stuff. Temperature changes in a garage or attic can sometimes be too extreme, and can potentially cause issues. If you’re short on space, consider using the precious real estate that is under the bed (in an appropriate container, of course.)  

Tip #5: Follow the rules for sports equipment. 

Similar to your other winter gear, you will want to begin by cleaning everything. This process includes removing boot liners to allow them to dry and washing the shells with warm water and gentle detergent. For skis and show boards, wash the surfaces with mild soap and a sponge. Remember to rinse thoroughly and allow them to air dry. Sharpen or sand edges, apply wax, and then store them upright in their bags.  

When your winter gear is properly cleaned and stored, you can relax and get excited for the next season’s fun in the sun.  

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