Ad. Winter may be the coldest season of the year, but it is arguably the hottest time for fashion. You can get creative with layers, experiment with oversized clothing, and play with different accessories, colours, thicker fabrics, and textures. And now that wintertime is fast approaching, you’re probably excited to retrieve your chunky knitwear, puffer jackets, thick scarves, and other winter staples from storage. Perhaps you’re even planning how you can mix and match your winter clothes to create fun and stylish outfits for the many upcoming holiday parties you wish to attend.
However, before you get too excited, you may want to ensure that your winter clothes still look great even after being tucked away in the attic, basement, or similar seldom-used spaces for almost a year. To help prepare your winter wardrobe, here are four things you need to do after taking your clothes out of storage.
Examine If Your Clothes Are Still in Good Condition
Because it is practically impossible to feel and look your best when wearing winter outfits that are damaged, faded, or have lost their shape, you need to assess your clothes carefully as you unpack them. Check for unsightly creases caused by stuffing too many garments into a small space, color fading, holes, and other issues resulting from improper storage.
Pay attention to the condition of the fabrics as well, especially elasticity. Garments made of elastic materials can lose their elasticity when stored for a long time or in poor conditions. So, you may need to buy leggings and similar stretchy pieces if you find that they have become overstretched or loose.
Perhaps you can use this exercise as an opportunity to declutter and refresh your winter wardrobe. Get rid of all damaged and unwearable clothing items and invest in versatile and high-quality winter staples.
Get Rid of Storage Odors
Chances are, you’ll smell an unpleasant musty odour when you unpack your stored winter clothing. There are several possible reasons for the smell. Maybe you kept them in a damp and warm area where mildew thrives. Or you put them away in storage bins or spaces that smell.
To get rid of the musty scent, hang your clothes outside after taking them out of storage and let them bask in the sun. Aside from being natural and free, sunlight has ultraviolet rays that effectively eliminate odour-causing germs and bacteria. Don’t have a yard or any sunlit area? Hang your clothes near an open window to air them out. Here are other ways to remove the offensive odour from your stored clothes without washing them:
- Use vodka. Vodka is a strong deodorizer. Just fill a spray bottle with pure vodka, spritz it on your musty-smelling winter clothing, and let the alcohol do its deodorizing action.
- Sprinkle baking soda. Baking soda can do more than merely absorb foul smell from your refrigerator. This powerful kitchen staple can also remove the stink from your stored clothes. All you have to do is sprinkle the baking soda over the garments and allow the powder to sit until the smell is gone.
- Consider a fabric refresher product. You can also use a commercial fabric spray if you have one at home to eliminate the often musty smell of stored clothes.
Wash Your Clothes Well
It’s not enough that you eliminate the unpleasant smell from your winter clothes after unpacking. You should also wash them well before putting them into your closet or wearing them to remove stains, dust, and dirt that may have developed or accumulated during storage.
Besides cleaning and freshening your clothes, a good wash can significantly reduce, if not eliminate, deep fold marks or stubborn fabric wrinkles caused by cramming your garments into a limited space for months. Remember to read and follow the care or laundry instructions on the clothing tags to maintain the fabric’s integrity, colour, and shape and prevent other issues.
Clean and Prepare Your Closet
Taking your clothes from storage and exerting effort to make them clean, fresh, and wearable is not the end of the line. It is also necessary to prep your closet to keep your winter staples organized, accessible, and in good condition. Creating stylish winter outfits and dressing up can be a lot more exciting and fun when all your clothing pieces are neatly arranged in a clean, odour-free, and insect-free closet. To help you get started, follow these steps:
- Remove everything from your wardrobe, including hangers, organizers, and drawers.
- Wipe and disinfect the cabinet walls, doors, and baseboard with a damp rug lightly soaked in a water and vinegar solution. If you use plastic organizers and containers, clean them as well.
- Keep the closet door open to let the air circulate and dry out the space.
- Arrange and organize your freshly-washed winter clothes inside your freshly-cleaned closet.
By following the tips mentioned above, you can ensure that your jackets, knits, and other winter staples look great and are ready to literally see the light after being kept in a secluded and dark storage space for months. Keep these tips in mind as you unpack your clothes, and make sure to give them the same level of care and attention when it’s time to store them again once the cold season ends.