The New York City area experienced a brutal 2015 winter season. Now that it’s March, most New Yorkers are more than ready to welcome in the warmer weather and the lighter weight clothing that comes with it. If your closets and drawers are currently being taken over by a winter wardrobe of bulky coats, sweaters, hats, gloves, and scarves, now is an optimal time to make the spring clothes changeover.
If you have limited space, it can be difficult to accommodate your winter clothes and your spring and summer clothes in the same closets and drawers at the same time. Overstuffed closets and drawers make finding and accessing the clothing you need you difficult, plus your clothes can get wrinkled or stretched. The solution is to make room for your warmer weather wardrobe by moving out the old season clothes into storage bins and clothing racks. But before you do, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Evaluate your inventory – Look through all your clothes and decide what you want to keep for next year. Chances are there might be a sweater or scarf you never wore. Take this opportunity to give away or discard any clothes you have not worn or that don’t fit.
Inspect for wear and tear – Examine each piece of clothing for lost buttons, rips, or tears. Repair your clothes as needed.
Clean your clothes – Launder all items unless you are absolutely certain they are clean. Dirt, perspiration, and other particles can set in the fabric over time and cause stains. Clean clothes are also less likely to attract bugs. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning.
Bring out the bins – For most seasonal clothing, such as sweaters, pants, and accessories, it is perfectly acceptable to use clear plastic bins as storage as long as they are airtight. You can also store clothes in unused suitcases or in vacuum seal bags. Avoid using cardboard boxes as they do not provide protection against humidity and insects.
Hang coats and jackets properly – Hang coats and jackets in a garment bag. Button all buttons, zip all zippers, and make sure all the pockets are empty. Use strong wooden hangers, not the flimsy wire hangers that are used by the dry cleaners.
Care for your winter boots – After a harsh winter, your boots need a good spring cleaning too. A mix of water and vinegar can remove salt stains. If you have nylon boots, all you have to do is wipe them down. Leather boots should also be conditioned so they don’t dry out. Just like with your clothes, you should inspect your boots for damage such as worn out heels, broken laces, and other wear and tear, and have them fixed prior to storage. And don’t forget to deodorize your winter footwear – if your boots have an odor now, imagine what they will smell like four months from now! Boots can be kept in storage bins (put the heaviest boots at the bottom of the bin) and cover each of the boots with an old shirt or pillow case. You can also store boots in cotton or muslin boot bags.
Choose a good location – Avoid keeping your bins and garment bags in a basement, attic, or garage. These locations are often humid and experience wide temperature variations. A cool, dry, and well-ventilated area is the best type of storage environment for clothes.
With proper care and storage, your winter clothes will look as fabulous in the fall as they do now. In the meantime, make room for your shorts, t-shirts, and sandals and get ready for spring!