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How to clear away your summer clothes and toys for the winter



Summer is almost over – but do not break out Pumpkin Squash Lattes and Pullover . It is time to clean and store your items from the warm weather to make room for your cold weather equipment.

While you're putting things away, you should take these steps to keep your swimsuits, life jackets, and flip-flops in good shape when summer returns.

Swimsuits

If you are one of those people who never swim by on Labor Day, it's time to pack your bathing suit. Clean it immediately before storage and your suit will serve you well next summer.

First, wash it on the gentle cycle with warm water and ¼ cup baking soda. This will be the suit of chlorine from the pool or salt from the sea, as well as sweat or sunscreen that can break the fibers.

It is important to use baking soda because your typical laundry soap may damage the stretchy fabric of your bathing suit. Also make sure the spin cycle is set to a low speed to avoid stretching or tangling.

When the washing machine is done, hang your suit in the air to let it dry in the air. Make sure it is 1

00% dry before putting it away. Moisture can cause mold, mold or discoloration.

Most suits are made of material that needs to breathe during storage. Place it on a high shelf in your closet or in a cardboard box. Avoid airtight plastic storage containers or you might end up with a musty suit next year.


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Floating Pools

My daughters worship Lifejackets . Their current favorite is a 5 foot long, 4 foot tall yellow duck. Over the years, I've learned how to store these blow-up beasts for use over several summers.

While still filled with air, the floats are sprayed with a hose and allowed to air dry. I do that before I drain it, because moisture tends to hide in the folds of a drained toy, no matter how dry you think they are. This can lead to mold and mildew. Trust me, this is not a surprise you want to uncover on the first day of the summer of next year.

After the floats are dry, completely drain them. To get all the air fast, get your kids to sit on the float and roll around. They'll think it's fun, so we're all winners.

Finally, if you keep them in the garage, you will get a plastic container with a lockable top. For some reason, rodents love to chew on the soft plastic that makes up our floating friends. Without protection, you must go to the store when the warm weather returns.

Flip Flops

OK, I know some of you wear flip-flops all year round. If you do not, I have some tips on keeping them.

First, make them clean. Put them in the washing machine on the hand wash or soft cycle and no spin. When finished, spray with an antibacterial spray such as Lysol and place in the sun to dry.

This should eliminate all the funky smells left over from summer fun and prevent bacterial growth.

Once clean and dry, store your flip-flops in an organizer with plastic or mesh pockets. Hang it on the back of your closet to keep it out of the way.

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