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As the weather changes, winter bedding and blankets come and go. When winter gives way to spring, that heavy goose feather down comforter will almost certainly be replaced by a lighter quilt. But, in the meantime, where and how should you store extra winter bedding?
Some of us have large linen closets, while others have to be more resourceful in their storage. Here I’ll show you how to store comforters and blankets to keep them in good condition and save space in your home.
Declutter Your Winter Bedding
Bedding is not supposed to last forever, especially sheets and pillowcases. If some of your bedding has seen better days – and you’ll need to be honest with yourself here – it’s time for it to go. And while that bedding is unlikely to be suitable for thrift store donation, it can still do some good, as most animal shelters gladly accept donations of bedding. The Houston Humane Shelter, for example, asks for donations of fleece blankets all year.
Start with Clean Bedding
It’s important to store clean bedding. Use discretion on whether your comforters need a full launder before storage. For instance, if you are only storing a vintage quilt in your linen closet for a month or two, it might be best to fluff it up and shake out the fabric outdoors before storing to save it from the stress of the washing machine. You could also opt to get it dry-cleaned if it hasn’t been properly cleaned in a long time.
Any bedding that is dirty should absolutely be cleaned before putting it into storage. It’s even more important to make sure the fabric is completely dry prior to storing. Any dampness can promote mold and mildew growth.
Remember these tips when laundering bedding:
- Wash bedding in cold water on a delicate cycle. Excessive hot water can degrade the fabric. Use a small amount of gentle detergent because too much soap leaves sheets stiff.
- Dry bedding in a large enough dryer on low to medium heat. To make sure the comforters are evenly dried, use dryer balls, which keeps the fabric from bunching.
- Don’t overstuff the dryer. Give the bedding space for air to fluff up. Dry sheets separately and don’t fill the dryer more than halfway.
- Take bedding out of the dryer right away. This step makes sure that you don’t store bedding with wrinkles.
- Let certain bedding air dry. Some fabrics might require air drying or absolutely no heat. When in doubt, check the label.
Make Sure Stored Bedding Can Breathe
This tip is important for natural fibers like wool. The best place to store bedding is in open areas where adequate airflow gets to the fabric. Avoid standard plastic storage bags – and garbage bags – that trap moisture and are breeding grounds for mold and mildew.
Consider the following bedding storage options instead:
Vacuum Sealed Storage Bags
Yes, these bags are plastic, but they are heavy-duty plastic and when used properly – with all the air vacuumed out – mold will not be a problem. This kind of storage is great for stashing bulky comforters in small spaces.
You should not compress down comforters with goose down or feathers. The excess weight can damage the feathers and create bunches inside the comforter. And make sure all bedding is clean and completely dry before vacuum packing, otherwise you’ll seal in moisture and almost guarantee mold will form.
Cotton storage bags.
These bags protect against bugs and dust but allow airflow. If you don’t have bags, wrap comforters and other bedding in cotton sheets before storing.
These work well for hanging items like goose down comforters and heirloom quilts and allow air to pass through the fabric.
Acid-free box and tissue.
This option is ideal for long term storage. Wrap tissue between each layer to prevent creasing and fabric bleeding.
Assess Available Winter Bedding Storage Space
Once your winter bedding has been laundered or aired and is ready to be put away, take some time to assess the amount and kind of storage space available. Be sure the storage area is:
- Cool, dry, and impervious to mold
- Large enough to accommodate the kind of containers you wish to use
- Relatively easy to access
If you have that large, empty linen closet great, all the winter bedding can go right in there. However, most of us do not. If you have made use of vacuum bags you may be able to stash some of your bedding stock in a closet, and, because everything is sealed, under the bed is an option too.
Those fancy comforters and quilts should be hung where possible, or rolled and stored in a blanket box. Whatever you do, do not store bedding in the garage, basement or attic. Even in sealed bags these places are too prone to damp and humidity to ensure the safety of your stuff.
Need help with seasonal home organization? Or any other home, office or even life organization? The Just by Taya team can help. Book a free 15-minute Zoom consultation call here, so we can discuss your needs one on one.