Storing your winter clothes and boots - effectively and naturally
Step 1 - Declutter
Choose your storage location and then your containers
A note on vacuum bags
Preparing your winter clothes
Clean everything, even if it hasn’t been worn
Natural laundry tip (saves money too)
I’m going to be blunt and say I used to buy the expensive, environmentally-friendly brands of washing powder until I did some research and became a whole lot less impressed with their environmental credentials. After some digging, I came up with the following tip which works for me. Use one quarter of the recommended amount of detergent, add 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda to the wash (or washing soda if you can get it) and half a cup of white vinegar to the rinse. The chemical reactions get your clothes just as clean with much less detergent. In my experience, this will work on normal stains, basically anything you’d expect to get off with regular washing powder.
Let everything dry thoroughly, if possible naturally
Putting clothes away with any dampness still in them is just asking for problems. I personally prefer to air dry but if that’s not possible, then I suggest passing on dryer sheets and using a combination of dryer balls (bought or home-made) and scented wash cloths. To make dryer balls just scrunch up aluminium foil (tin foil) into a ball as big or small as you like (I aim for ones which sit snugly in my hand). This will deal with the static. Then get an ordinary wash cloth, soak it in water and add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil. Toss both of these in with your dying load and you’ll get static-free, beautifully-scented clothes without the expense or chemicals of dryer sheets.
Check your clothes and, if necessary, repair or discard them
I personally don’t bother ironing clothes which are going into storage (if I’m honest I very rarely iron anything), but I do check them carefully so that when I take them out of storage, they are ready to wear. That means dealing with minor repairs such as buttons and tears or organizing repairs for items I can’t mend myself (and should probably learn to mend myself), like zips. If you find yourself reluctant to deal with the repair then it’s probably a good sign that the item should be added to your discard pile. It’s probably a sign that it neither something which brings you joy or something which you need, otherwise you’d just deal with it (or would have dealt with it by now). It’s nicest to fix the repair before you pass it on (unless, of course, it’s going for recycling).
Prepare your protection
The best way to ensure that your clothes survive the winter without turning into an insect’s dinner is to make sure they are completely clean before you pack them away. There are, however, three plants, which can give some extra protection and add a pleasant fragrance too.