Sort and Declutter Winter Clothing Before You Store It

Winter clothing tends to accumulate over the years. If your closet needs a thorough #decluttering, says organization guru Ashley Joy Orfe, start by taking everything out of it. Sort it into “keep,” “donate” and “maybe” piles quickly, she says, “without second-guessing yourself.” Ask yourself a few hard questions such as “Do these even fit?” to eliminate all of the maybes, reorganize the keepers and put them back in your (now-spacious) closet. Anything that winds up in the “donate” pile can go into boxes and bags — and be picked up from your doorstep as part of a #donation to ClothingDonations.org.

Store Your Winter Clothing Sensibly

Instead of stuffing your winter clothes in the back of the closet, pack them away thoughtfully so they can serve their purpose for another year. Folded clothing can go in baskets or bins and placed on a high shelf or under the bed if you’re short on space, Apartment Therapy suggests. Use rolling racks for hanging garments, along with quality hangers that won’t cause items to lose their shape. Blankets and sheets can go in vacuum-sealed storage bags to save on space, while shoes and boots can go into a trunk or clear plastic bins. When you’re done, break out the shorts and flip-flops and get ready for summer.

Transition Your Clothing from Winter to Spring

With spring just a few weeks away, you should be transitioning out of winter wear and into breezier clothing. Start by storing the bulkiest stuff such as parkas, heavy sweaters, down jackets and clunky winter boots first, advises Livible. Keep a few versatile items handy for the transition to warmer temps — lighter-weight blazers, jackets and cotton sweaters that can be layered year-round. Look at the change in seasons as an opportunity to shed some stuff, the blog adds, “so give yourself a break and think about the transition from winter to spring as an opportunity to #declutter your closet.”

It’s Time to Start Putting Away Winter Wear

It’s been a relatively mild winter and with March just around the corner, temperatures are sure to get milder fast. That means that you can start putting away all of that seasonal clothing you’ve been layering on for the last few months! Begin by washing or dry cleaning your winter woolens for storage, The Spruce says, and protect them with an ecofriendly moth repellent such as cedar, lavender or cinnamon. While you’re at it, “edit” any sweaters and coats that you haven’t worn lately from your collection — there’s no reason to store them. If they are still in wearable condition, #donate them to ClothingDonations.org.

Winter Came Early. Are You Ready?

Many areas across the country are experiencing a fast end to the manageably crisp fall temperatures they usually enjoy, going from jacket weather to parka-and-longjohns overnight. Many areas that could expect highs to hover in the 50s are experiencing record-breaking lows; some already have a blanket of snow on the ground and below-zero wind chills.

The abrupt transition from seasonably cool to fantastically frigid likely took many readers (and this author) by surprise. Their best winter garments are probably still in storage or at the cleaners, leaving them to cobble together layered outfits to brave the cold or simply huddle indoors until the sudden cold snap passes.

If you haven’t yet bundled up, now’s a good time to start. Many retailers have announced Black Friday deals well ahead of the actual day, so you can buy yourself that new coat, sweater or blanket at a discount. Better still, you can find lightly used garments at area thrift stores supplied by ClothingDonations.org a fraction of their original retail prices.

Once you’ve got yourself covered, you’ll want to prepare for the worst. Winter storms could trap you inside for days, so make sure you have a good snow shovel and plenty of food and drinking water on hand, Simple Family Preparedness says. Stock up on wood for the fireplace and salt or sand for the sidewalks.

If an extended deep freeze is on the way, fill your gas tank to prevent fuel line freezes. Charge cell phones and fuel backup generators. Weather-strip drafty windows and doors. And refamiliarize yourself with the location of your home’s main water valve in case the pipes freeze and burst.

Most home winterization tasks are a matter of keeping snow, ice and prolonged below-zero temperatures from ruining the equipment that keeps your home climate-controlled in the first place. “Proper winterization involves a systematic review of your home’s HVAC equipment, as well as the critical structural and mechanical systems,” The Spruce says.

Check the furnace and replace filters. Cover your central air conditioning unit to prevent debris from getting in it. Inspect and clean the chimney and insulate exposed pipes against freezes. It’s a lot to get done — but once you do, you can ride out the cold winter months in calm and comfort. Get started before it’s too late!