Image of sweaters rolled on chair and woman holding large raffia bag with deco pillows

HOW TO PROPERLY STORE SWEATERS

There’s no doubting it, summer is looming on the horizon; if you haven’t squirreled away your sweaters for the next few months, don’t feel like you’ve procrastinated. We’ve got some great tips here for properly storing your winter mainstays so they look as fresh when you unearth them as the day you swap them for True Fashionista summer attire.

Gotta go KonMari here for a moment, and do…yes…a purge! You know the drill, lay everything out and make some decisions. Start with a simple pass of “absolutely yes” sweaters, followed by the one-year rule: If you haven’t worn it in over a year, toss it. Think of it as making room for new acquisitions!

Next, clean them all, which more than likely is a sizable trip to the dry cleaners, but a worthy one, for everything except your cashmere (more on that in a bit). You’ll have peace of mind over the warmer months knowing that when it’s time to revisit your collection in the fall, they’ll be fresh and good to go. Also, most sweaters will get ruined in the washer so know in advance that dry cleaning is really the safest way to take care of your investments.

Cashmere care is simple and finite, says Closet Factory: wash your items in cold water in a large bin or tub with Woolite or a mild shampoo. Avoid wringing or twisting your sweater; just squish it together until the soap is completely rinsed out. Lay your semi-wet sweater onto a towel and roll it up, pressing any excess water out through the towel. Then re-shape and lay the sweater out to air-dry- completely.

Once your sweaters are clean its time to organize! NYC-based professional organizer Tova Weinstock of Tidy Tova recommends organizing your sweaters by type, i.e. sheep wool, cashmere and cotton. “Wool sweaters can be stored in airtight bins, but try not to stuff them too tightly so they can properly breathe,” she explains courtesy of Whowhatwear. “Store cashmere sweaters in canvas storage bags so they have extra breathing room and airflow.” As an extra precaution to keep moths away from the wool sweaters, Weinstock suggests a lavender sachet or cedar block for total peace of mind. When you think of how much you probably spent on each True Fashionista sweater, typically starting at $50 and upwards of $1,250, these simple steps will be well worth your time.

While in organizing mode, keep in mind to never, EVER hang your sweaters. Hanging them could cause lumps and the most-dreaded of all hanger-related injuries, shoulder bumps.

After a season of solid, enjoyable wear, you may encounter a snag or two in your beautiful sweater collection. Fix ‘em before you store ‘em with a crochet hook, say the peeps at Apartment Therapy:  Turn the sweater inside out. Insert your tool into the same stitch as the snag and gently pull the snag through. To keep the stitch in place, tie it in a knot a few times. Turn the sweater right side out. The snag now lives on the inside of the sweater which no one can see. Done and True Fashionista done!

Let’s say there’s no way around it. As much as the experts say to not hang your sweaters, its really the only choice given available storage space and living arrangements. There’s a hack for that! Home Stratosphere offers step-by-step directions to get away with the unthinkable. If you are able to ideally fold up your sweaters, they have instructions for that too, because you might as well confirm that the way you’ve been folding your stuff all these years is the correct way.

Once everything has been cleaned and folded, plastic under-bed bins are actually not the best option, who knew? Opt instead for cotton bins, placing the heaviest sweaters at the bottom, and store the bins in a cool, dark area.

Before you know it, the cooler weather will be upon us once again, and you’ll be ready to go in your good-as-new True Fashionista  sweater collection.

 

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