How To Store Your Winter Clothes

It's spring time.


by Zing Tsjeng |
Published on

If you live in a small flat and don't have that much storage space, it's likely you'll have a summer and a winter wardrobe. By which I mean: once the sun comes out, you joyously toss all your winter woollens into the darkest and most godforsaken part of your wardrobe and forget about them until autumn.

No biggie: I did the exact same thing, until I wound up with a moth infestation, crying on the phone and asking for my mum for the kind of boring, grown-up housekeeping advice I’d ignored for years. Storing your winter knits isn't just for anal-retentive neat freaks; it'll guarantee your treasured pink fluffy angora jumper lives to see winter. Unlike mine – RIP.

Why store a jumper in the first place? It's not to, as I initially assumed, to "protect it from dust" (yes, I'm dumb). Moths, carpet beetles and silverfish can all take up residence in your jumpers, laying eggs and hatching larvae that will, if left to their own devices, chomp holes in your Uniqlo cashmere all summer.

The first step is to check the label of your jumper and figuring out what it's made of. Bugs tend to ignore cotton and synthetic fabrics like acrylic, but they love animal fibres like silk, wool, cashmere, fur and angora and occasionally synthetic fabrics that are blended with wool. They'll also be drawn to sweat and stains left by food and drink. Basically, they love human filth. And this is why – and yes, it is a total pain – you should clean your jumpers before storing them.

It's usually safe to handwash wool, but check the care label. Don't wring it out or hang-dry, as wet wool has a nasty habit of stretching; squeeze water out by laying it out on a towel and rolling it up. Then allow to dry flat on a new towel.

If you can't be arsed with handwashing, put your jumpers on the gentlest spin cycle on the coldest setting of your laundry machine and pray for the best. Laundry washing jumpers isn't strictly advisable, but it is doable. And if you hate how wet wool makes your flat smell like a sheep wandered in and died, just get it dry cleaned - a cheap local dry cleaner can do the job for you.

Store your clothes with cedar blocks or lavender sachets (I like these ones, or you can even make your own): they're less toxic than mothballs and will help to ward off moths and other insects. Finally, store in a cool and dry place. Now

Once your garments are dry, fold and place them in a suitable container, like an unused suitcase or a plastic storage box. If you get desperate, you can even use bin bags. Basically, anything airtight that keeps out moisture or insects. These bugs thrive in damp, warm and dark environments – so, for the love of god, don’t put a box of jumpers under your radiator. Store in a cool, dry place and you’re done. Your mother would be proud.

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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