Winterizing Your Closet- Cashmeres and Wools

Posted on 22 April 2021

Pre Covid, I had my seasonal favorites and I knew by May 1st every year I would be putting away the wools and cashmeres before the moths had a chance to take hold.  If you grew up or live in the South that was a ritual you followed religiously.  My mom was the master of knowing just how to prevent a moth infestation.  Nothing is more frustrating when you spent a lot of money on a cashmere sweater or scarf only to find it ruined with moth holes. Because of Covid my rhythm was off this year and I didn’t even put on some of my favorite winter clothes.  But the ones I did wear, need to be tucked away as always.  I divide my winter clothes into 3 piles.

  1. The wool sweaters, hats, coats etc. that I wore and need to be cleaned.
  2. The articles of clothing I wore one or 2 times.
  3. The articles I never wore.

Tools you will need:

  1. Long hanging bags for coats, scarves, dresses, skirts
  2. Packets of lavender and cedar blocks
  3. Dryel packages (home dry cleaning option)
  4. Jumbo ziplock bags and plastic sheets from the cleaners.
  5. A big plastic bin with a tight top.


Pile #1-  I take my very best sweaters and coats to the cleaners.  I know they will be properly cleaned.  Once cleaned, if a coat, scarf, dress, pant, skirt I place in a hanging bag in my closet.  I place lavender sachets and or cedar blocks on the bottom.  Make sure the cedar and lavender do not directly touch the clothing as they can stain it.


Pile#2-  If I wore the scarf or sweater a couple of times and it is not one of my better ones, I use the Dryel system.  Directions on the box are easy to follow and most stores like Target or Walmart carry them.  I am sure you can get it online at Amazon.  This system is a great cheap way to clean wool or cashmere and I even use it during the season if needed.  I try not to clean my wools or cashmere much as it strips the fabrics of their natural oils.  After I use the home dry cleaning system, I fold the sweaters and or scarves and place into the jumbo ziplock bags and layer into the plastic bin.  I place cedar blocks and lavender in the bin making sure once again they don’t rest directly on the clothing.  Often times I wrap the sachets and blocks in tissue paper. After the bin is full, I take one plastic bag from the cleaners and layer it on top.  Shut the bin, place it on the floor of my closet and voila you are ready for next winter.


Pile #3.  The wool and cashmere clothing I never wore, I air out and then place into a ziplock bag or in a hanging bag if I know they are clean. 


CLEAN is the key because if the sweater etc. is not clean or had food on it even you can’t see it, I can almost guarantee it will draw moths and be ruined.  So, if in doubt, clean it.

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but if you have invested money in your clothes, taking the time to put your winter clothes away properly will be worth it.  I have 30 year old sweaters in my wardrobe that I treasure and look forward to wearing every year.



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