Storing Winter GearTomorrow is officially the first day of spring. This may come as a surprise to those of us (like the hubster and me) who live in climates where spring weather sometimes waits to arrive until May or June, but ’tis true that spring starts tomorrow. Whenever your local weather forecast makes it possible for you to exchange mittens for flip flops, you may wish to consider these five tips for storing your winter gear:

1. Clean your winter clothing items before you store them. That goes for hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, coats, wool socks and sweaters, flannel pajamas, long underwear, and any other cold weather gear.

2. Then audit all of that gear. Items that you don’t use or are in good condition but are too small should be given to other family members, friends, neighbors, local schools, daycare facilities, or social service agencies – including homeless shelters, women’s shelters, Goodwill, or Salvation Army. Discard any gear that’s ripped or otherwise in poor condition.

3. Identify drawers, cabinet space, or bins in which to store your family’s winter items. These storage areas should be dry and, whenever possible, relatively cool throughout the summer months.

4. Provide each member of your household with plastic storage bags in which to store their like items. They should be labeled with each person’s name, and each bag should be designated for specific items (i.e. mittens and gloves in one bag, wool sweaters in another bag, and scarves in a third bag). Next fall this will make handing out the cold weather gear super easy.

5. Store like things together. Resist the urge to pile scarves, sweaters, and mismatched mittens in a storage bin by keeping your eye on the goal: an easy wardrobe transition late next fall. Place all “mittens and gloves” bags (mentioned above) in one storage bin, all “wool sweaters” storage bags in another bin, etc. This takes a little bit of organization now and will save you hours next fall.

* Photo by Jonathan Eggers

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