DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel so bad. Somehow moths got into my family’s winter clothes when they were stored away. We have just pulled out our sweaters and almost all of them have moth holes in them. I feel terrible that my children have to wear sweaters with holes, but I cannot afford to replace them. I am afraid my children are going to be ridiculed from wearing holey sweaters, but I don’t know what to do. How can I suggest that they spin this situation so it doesn’t seem so bad? -- Full of Holes, Boston
DEAR FULL OF HOLES: Sadly, many families are opening their winter clothes along with you to discover that moths have invaded. The first thing you should do is invest in mothballs. Even though some damage has already been done, you need to exterminate the moths that are in your home to prevent further damage in the coming days and weeks.
For the damaged clothing, you may be able to sew some of the holes. Invest in colored thread and carefully sew or darn -- if you know how to do that -- as many of the holes as possible. Some clothing may fare better with patches. Get creative.
To prevent moths from taking over your valuables in the future, be sure to keep all of your clothing clean, especially wool and cashmere items. Handwash immediately after you soil such clothing items, and keep them stored in airtight containers.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)