When it's time to pack away winter clothes such as sweaters, coats, gloves, hats, and thermals, it's important to do it right – to preserve the clothing and to avoid nasty surprises, such as moths, when you pull them out in the fall. Here are tips from the home service professionals at MOLLY MAID.

Trim your wardrobe. Give clothes that don't fit or you don't wear to a shelter, Goodwill, or even a friend who would wear it well.

Clean clothes. If you don't clean any stains, they'll set even more. Also, insects are less likely to harbour in clean clothes. Wash clothing normally or dry clean according to manufacturers' instructions. Skip fabric softeners and starch as they can attract moths and other insects.

Storage. Plastic storage containers are better than cardboard, and the more airtight the better. Re-sealable vacuum bags cut down on space and seal out moisture and bugs.

Fragrance. Forget smelly moth balls. Instead, pack clothing with cedar blocks or lavender sachets. If you've got a cedar storage chest, even better.

Folding Up. Fold and pack clothing with the heaviest items on the bottom. Tightly roll items you would normally hang.

Hangers? If you do hang some of the clothes, do not use metal hangers (they will distort the shape of clothes). Use plastic or wooden hangers. Garment bags are great protection.

Storage area. Store in a cool, dark and dry place. Choose a place that is not likely to be exposed to heat. A dark place will prevent fading and keep the area and clothing cool. Make sure the storage area is dry because wetness will attract mildew and insects.