published Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Consumer Watch: Tips for storing away winter items this spring

by Ellen Phillips

Even though our spring has been erratic, it's still time to think about seasonal storage and, as promised, it's also time to continue hints as to the best and less expensive ways to store different winter items.

• Winter clothes: After dry cleaning woolens, remove the plastic bags and wrap items individually in a sheet or pillowcase. Store in a cedar-lined chest or bin. (If you don't have enough sheets, buy cotton storage bags.) Another option is to use a jumbo plastic tub that you'll use to store beach towels after the summer.

• Boots: The best bet is to buy boot forms that really maintain the

shape. However, an almost effective and certainly much cheaper method is to use a rolled-up magazine and stuff it into the boot or use even balled up gym socks.

• Bulky coats and bedding: Space bags (those heavy duty plastic bags that can be sucked up of all air with a vacuum cleaner) are great for any type of seasonal clothing, as well as bedding and coats, and saves storage space. Store in a linen closet or other out-of-the-way area. Hanging space bags are also good to conserve closet space by compressing the bulk of puffy coats and jackets and preventing insects. And if you're short on closet space but have room in an attic or basement, use a rolling garment rack. Place cedar blocks at the bottom of each front-zippered closing to prevent bugs.

Email Ellen Phillips at consumer watch@timesfree

about Ellen Phillips...

Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears on Saturdays in the Business section of the paper. An expanded version is at under Local Business.

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