With temperatures in NYC fluctuating between icy cold and comfortably warm, our closets are overflowing with both our winter and spring styles. But, it won’t be long before we’ll need to store our winter gear for good. So, we rounded up the very best tips for ensuring that our cold-weather duds will survive the warmer months:

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1. Clean, cool, dark, and dry. These are the must-have qualities of a storage space. Avoid heaters and make sure that the area is free of any possible bug infestations. Also, stay away from light exposure, as it can fade colors, and moisture, as it can lead to mold and mildew.

2. It’s not just your storage space that should be thoroughly cleaned. Be sure toproperly clean each item you’re planning on putting into storage before you store it. You’ll thank yourself come winter when your clothes are still fresh.

3. Consider an alternative to mothballs. They have a strong odor, they’re not 100% effective, and their fumes are hazardous. Cedar blocks, shavings, or oil will do the job and leave behind a sweet scent. If you do choose mothballs, though, make sure they’re far out of reach from children and pets.

4. Although cardboard and plastic containers are both viable options for storing clothes, perhaps the best balance of air circulation and protection is an unused suitcase. Try lining it with acid free tissues and cedar blocks for some extra protection against moisture and insects.

5. Try to avoid hanging your clothes in storage, especially your sweaters and other knitwear. They could be stretched beyond repair. If you must hang your clothes, utilize all extra hanging loops and try cedar hangers. Then, protect your clothes by wrapping them in something breathable, like fabric.

6. If you’re folding your clothes into containers, follow this simple rule: the lightest goes on top, heaviest on bottom. The bottom-heavy weight will allow for circulation and help to prevent irreversible damage in shape and fit.

7. Don’t abandon your stored duds completely! The best way to prevent anything from happening to your beloved winter wear is by checking on it occasionally. This way, you’ll spot any mildew, stains, or other damage before it’s too late.

What are your favorite tips for storing your winter clothes? Share in the comments!

Written by Annie Wazer, Marketing Manager for real-time trend insights company Stylitics. Annie can often be found wearing leather leggings and has never met a cup of coffee she didn’t like.

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