The snow is melting up and just in time, as the heavy winter gear was starting to get more than a little tiring. But before you shove that expensive coat into a garment bag and squeeze it to the far corner of the closet, make sure you have taken proper care of your winter items first to be sure it will be in wearable form next season.
In the wildly popular book the The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, a key principle is to keep only the things you truly need and that you truly love - and then treat them as if they are important to you. Take the time to treat your finer items well, and their quality will stand the test of time. All it takes is a little tender loving care from you to make this happen. Especially those higher-end expensive items.
Most important for anything you are storing, is to first have it professionally cleaned and tailored as needed. There is no point to storing an item all summer and fall, just to bring it out with last year’s dirt and tears. They don’t go away on their own, and it certainly does not get better untouched. For all of your cherished items, you will want them in a cool, dark, dry space away from excessive heat, light or humidity.
Here’s a handy breakdown:
Leather can fade, dry and lose its shape over time so it is important to store your expensive leather items carefully. Suedes and some leathers will not take kindly to home DIY cleaning methods so be sure to trust this cleaning to the pros. Be sure to store well away from a heater and wrap with a breathable fabric (never plastic) and hang on sturdy, shaped wooden hangers. [the wire hangers we return your dry cleaning on are not ideal for prolonged use. Feel free to return your wire hangers for reuse!] If you have the space for a chest, leather is ideally folded and loosely stacked in boxes, not hung to store. Consider again that plastic bins are not breathable for your leather items.
Consider proper cold storage with a fur storing company. For best results, fur needs constant 50˚F temperatures and 50% humidity to maintain the proper moisture levels.
Boots and shoes
Our footwear takes a beating in our snowy, slushy winter months. Before putting them away, you want to remove all the salt and dirt from your boots. Sounds like too big a task? Shoe and boot cleaning is another job that Exclusive Dry Cleaners can take care of for you. Once your footwear is cleaned, store with boot trees to keep their shape (a worthwhile investment, especially for your tall boots). If you are storing boots and shoes in bin, be sure to lie them flat and use tissue paper or old T-shirts to keep them separate.
Additional winter clothing items you may be putting away are things like silk scarves, stoles, gloves, hoods, hats, sweaters. These more delicate items can be stored in separate cotton garment sacks and loosely packed into a storage bin. Never hang sweaters as they will lose shape. Be sure to pack some cedar balls and lavender sachets with your items and keep a lid on the bin to keep out moths.
FUN BONUS: Want to make your future self love you all over again? Slip a couple of bills in the pockets of your winter jackets and be thrilled with your “found money” next winter!