Storing Winter Clothes (for the tiny house dweller)

We talk at great length about how to conserve space and organize better so as to make use of every inch of our tiny house. What do you do though when winter is over and it is time to put away the bulky winter clothes? Where do those wool sweaters, down jackets, and crocheted scarves go? And furthermore, how do we care for them before putting away in storage?

CLEANING YOUR CLOTHES

Even if you haven’t spilled burrito on your Cashmere turtleneck it is still a bit soiled from a season of wearing. Before storing your winter clothing you should adhere to the tag and launder or dry-clean the item(s) before storing them. Even if you can’t see a sweat stain today, it will surface in five or six months. That amount of time allows the stain to set. Body oils and scents also attract moths and can deep-set a particular smell if not removed properly before storing.

ALLOW FOR VENTILATION

Oftentimes we will have our garments dry-cleaned and then we will hang them in the plastic from the cleaners. Remove them though. Allow air to circulate around the garment. Choose a storage location that is cool, dry, and well-ventilated. If the temperature is too hot the fibers can suffer. You also don’t want to choose a location in direct sun as that can fade clothing.

HANG IT. DON’T BALL IT.

If you are fortunate enough to have hanging space for your seasonal clothes, be sure to select the right hangers. Don’t use thin, wire hangers. Don’t use hangers that have strap cutouts. Select a full-bodied, padded hanger that allows the garment to hang naturally. You can even spend a few extra coins and purchase wooden hangers.

FABRIC -VS- PLASTIC

If you are going to box clothes for storage be sure to choose a box other than cardboard. Cardboard is acidic and the adhesive used in their construction are attractive to insects and rodents. If you use a fabric box or a Rubbermaid box, your clothes will be housed safely without damaging the garments or attracting pests. If you want to be super-organized, label the box so you can clearly see what is in the box come spring time.

BOOTS AS BOXES

Once you have prepared your clothing for winter storage, you can now begin to optimize your storage space. One easy way is to use your rubber or furry boots as “boxes.” In other words, pair up your wool socks, roll up your thermal underwear, and fold your synthetic scarves, and place them down into the boots from the toe to the tops.

ALWAYS BE READY TO TRAVEL

This doesn’t mean keep your passport next to your bed or a cache of cash in your wallet. Always be ready to travel means to not forget your luggage as potential storage space. Much like a carry-on case nests inside a larger suitcase, you can also use the space to store winter clothes. Fold them well, toss in lavender cache bags or cedar blocks, and roll your luggage under your bed. It isn’t the most sophisticated way of storing those bulky winter items, but it certainly is an effective one.

What do you do? How do you store those bulky winter items? Do you prefer to hang them or box them? Share your tips with us in the comment section below. You can also find us on Facebook and respond there.

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