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How to Properly Store Winter Clothes

Moth Balls, Moths, Storing Winter Clothes

With spring’s recent arrival, you’ll soon find it necessary to pull out all your spring and summer clothes as you put away your winter clothes. Before you store your winter clothes, though, you may want to take some things into consideration. Improperly stored clothes can become damaged, increasing the need for you to replace them instead of wear them for the next winter. However, by following a few simple rules, you can ensure that your clothes will appear crisp and well-preserved, and look the same way they looked prior to storage.

First Things First

The first thing that you need to do prior to sorting out and storing your clothes is to thoroughly clean the area where you’ll place your stored clothes. This helps to eliminate dust, dirt, dead insects as well as mold and mildew, which could somehow get trapped inside your storage containers and ruin your clothes. Unless the area that you choose to store your clothes is especially dirty, it shouldn’t take long to thoroughly clean it and get it ready for storing your winter clothes.


When choosing an area in your home to store your clothes, it’s a good idea to consider temperature. Some fabrics are more vulnerable to extreme temperatures than others, which could seriously damage some of your best clothes. Opting to store your winter clothes in a area where it’s cool and dry a majority of the time is best. For most people, the best area for storing clothes is the garage, but not everyone has a garage. For you, the best area for storage may be a basement. Attics are not always a good choice, as heat goes up, meaning your attic may become extremely hot during the summer months. If you are lucky enough to have air conditioning in your attic, then you don’ t have anything to worry about, but just keep in mind that the power could go out at anytime, rendering your air conditioning useless until the power is restored.

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Preventing Insects/Moths

Insects and moths are attracted to the materials of your winter clothes, making this a perspective problem when it comes to storage. Any debris left on the clothes from skin, hair and food residue can attract the pesky insects. You don’t want these pests ruining your clothes by creating holes in them, so insuring that your clothes are freshly laundered prior to storage can help to minimize and possibly eliminate insects and moths. After you’ve thoroughly laundered and folded your clothes, placing them into an airtight container is important to prevent insects or moths from crawling inside the container. If you have a large amount of bugs or other pests, you may want to consider exterminating in order to a majority of them, if not all.

Storage Containers

Plastic airtight containers are the best types to use when it comes to storing clothes. Not only does storing your clothes in such containers prevent your clothes from becoming damaged by water in case of a flood, but these types of containers also make it difficult for insects and other pests to enter and possibly chew holes in your clothes. Large plastic containers that snap shut are good choices, and can be neatly stacked in your closet, basement or attic for convenient storage. Making sure that you use an acid free liner is essential, as it will prevent your clothes from coming into direct contact with the plastic. It’s important to make sure each container is cleaned prior to use, as you don’t want to introduce your clothes to mold, mildew or possible larvae of the exact insects your trying to protect your clothes from.

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Toss the Moth Balls

If you have children or grandchildren, you may want to steer clear of using moth balls to deter moths. Even though they work good for keeping pests at bay, children are naturally attracted to them, which could be fatal. Another thing about moth balls is that they have a distinct odor that isn’t always pleasant. According to an article on care2.com, a green living website, a natural, safe, and hopefully better smelling alternative to moth balls is to fill several satchels with dried rosemary, mint, cloves, thyme, and American ginseng. This concoction has been proven to be effective at keeping moths away, but without the risks of coming into contact with the chemicals that mothballs contain.

Everyone becomes excited when spring arrives, so make the arrival of next winter just as exciting by properly preserving your clothes in order to prevent yourself from having to replace part or all of your wardrobe due to becoming damaged over the summer. As long as you follow the tips, you’re almost guaranteed to open containers full of nicely folded clothes that are still intact and don’t reek of mothball chemicals.