As temperatures continue to climb, the likelihood that you’ll wear your winter clothes in the next few months diminishes. And since these clothing items aren’t going to be used for quite a while, many people choose to store them out of the way.

Before you put your winter clothes in storage, you’ll want to wash every item. Stains and residue left on clothing will set into your clothes over time and become permanent. Freshly-cleaned clothes will also be less prone to becoming infested by insects, like moths or cockroaches, while they’re tucked away in storage (Those are the last things you want to unpack when winter comes around again!).

Also, be sure to clean whatever you choose to store your clothes in. One of the best choices is a plastic container because it can be cleaned easily and will provide excellent protection for your clothes. Just be sure it’s dry on the inside before storing winter clothes, otherwise mildew could become an issue.

Other than plastic storage containers, an unused suitcase is also a great place for storing winter clothes. Suitcases are convenient for storage because they easily fit under beds.

It’s important to store your winter clothes in a way that will prevent them from being damaged. Make sure that heavy coats and jackets are hung up on sturdy hangers. You don’t want to break a hanger and have them end up on the floor for long periods of time. Most items don’t need to be hung though—in fact, sweaters and other knitted clothing can actually be damaged after being hung too long.

When storing clothes, it’s important not to pack them in so tight that air can’t circulate. Placing a cedar block into boxes or near hanging clothes will help keep fabric-eating moths at bay, too. Another great item to pack away with your clothes is a fabric softener sheet. This will keep your clothes smelling fresh throughout their storage period.

Where you store your clothes matters as well. Make sure you clean the area thoroughly before storing. It’s also wise to find a storage space that’s cool, dark, and dry. Any warmth or wetness could attract mildew and insects. Also, going with the “out of sight, out of mind” attitude when it comes to the long-term storage of clothes is a bad idea. Checking up on your stored items will give you a chance to prevent excess damage if issues start to arise.

Once the cold weather rolls back around, wash all of your clothes before wearing them. If you made sure to store your clothes in an area that’s cool, dark, and dry, your clothes should be in perfect condition whenever they’re needed again.