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First, as long as you're already going through your closet, now would be a good time to get rid of garments that you really aren't wearing anymore.
Additionally, this may be a good time to clean the closet itself as well. Vacuum the floor, wipe down the shelves, and so on. Speaking of cleaning before they're stored, all of your winter wardrobe items should be thoroughly cleaned.
To begin our specific cleaning instructions then, footwear should first be wiped down with a damp cloth then a clean dry cloth and then finally, given a good pass with a shoe brush. Polishing with saddle soap or leather conditioner could also be a good idea at this time and for suede, you'll want to use cleaning tools that are specifically designed for that material. Make sure to wipe down the interiors of your footwear if you're able as well. Also, giving footwear a day to sit and deodorize with something like a sachet full of baking soda for at least a day before storing can also be beneficial.
Hats should also be wiped down and brushed but with a softer garment brush, a shoe brush would be too abrasive for that kind of material.
You can prevent insect damage to your clothes by using a natural repellent like lavender. Although something like mothballs may seem like the easy solution, they're actually bad for storage with your garments over time.
So after you've washed them, what's the best way to store your garments then?
You can start by placing heavier items like denim, other trousers, and coats at the bottom of a breathable cotton storage container. You can find both soft-bodied models and ones with reinforcement at the sides, whichever you would prefer.
Medium weight items like sweaters come next in the storage container and then lightweight items like shirts can be placed on top. Delicate items like sweaters, ties, or scarves made from materials like cashmere, can also be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper for an extra layer of protection.
Also, you can place your cashmere items in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for a day or two before storing them just to make sure that the extreme cold kills any moths or larvae that might be present.
It's important that items not to be worn for a long period of time be neatly folded instead of left on the hanger, this is especially true for sweaters. Left to hang, garments made from wool, cashmere, acrylic, or polyester will become misshapen over time.
Lighter weight trousers, as well as sweaters and shirts, can also be rolled instead of folded. This way, you can stack them horizontally instead of vertically which may mean more maximization of space in your storage containers.
You can store footwear on the floor or a shelf of your closet in the open air but to be even more safe, putting it back into its original box or another cotton storage container would be a better idea. Additionally, things like hanging boot racks are also available.
Don't try to be overly efficient with your storage containers and overfill them either. Remember that space and breathability are key to making sure that your garments have proper air circulation so that you don't get moisture buildup or excess wrinkling.
Here's one final tip for today, do remember to keep a couple of transitional pieces out of storage unless you've happened to wait until the middle of summer to put away all of your winter clothing. Having a few medium-weight pieces out of storage that you can wear for colder spring days is a good idea especially if you live in a part of the globe where spring can mean warmer days and cooler nights.
With these tips at your disposal then, you should head into spring with a closet that's neat and tidy and garments that are safely and tightly packed away until things get chilly again.