Table of Contents
- How To Store Winter Clothing
- How To Store Winter Coats In Summer & Keep Them Safe Until It’s Cold Again
- A New Way To Shop
- 1. Cut the Excess
- 2. Stash the Sweaters
- 3. Store Your Heavy Coats
- 4. Keep Things Organized
- 5. Pack Boots Smartly
- 6. Lighten Up
- 12 Winter Clothes Storage Ideas That Are Super Easy To Implement
- Create A “Landing Zone”
- For Small Spaces
- For Wet Clothing, Boots, & Sporting Gear
- 2. Learn what to hang—and how to properly do it.
- 3. Say no to plastic or cardboard packaging.
- 4. Pretreat for moths.
- 5. Store in a dark, cool, dry spot.
- How To Properly Store Winter Clothes During The Spring & Summer Months
- MORE: How To Wash Jeans, Break Them in, and Fold Them Like a Pro
- MORE: 50 Spring Outfit Ideas to Copy Now
- MORE: 101 Fashion Tips and Tricks Every Girl Should Know
- You’re Storing Your Winter Clothes All Wrong—5 Mistakes to Avoid
- Mistake #1: Not Washing Clothing Before You Store It
- Mistake #2: Not Protecting Against Moths
- Mistake #3: Cramming Too Many Items into One Container
- Mistake #4: Storing in the Wrong Spot
- Mistake #5: Not Using Acid-Free Tissue for Delicates
- A Guide to Storing Winter Clothes During the Summer
- How do you prepare winter clothes for storage?
- Should I hang or fold winter clothing?
- What is the best way to store winter clothes?
- How do you store winter clothes in a small room?
- Can winter clothes be stored in a garage or attic?
- Time To Get Rid Of Unused Or Damaged Garments
- Clean Up!
- Best Ways To Store Your Garments
When the weather finally starts warming up, it’s tempting to shove sweaters into a corner of the closet, but taking time to think about how to store winter clothing can save you frustration when winter returns.
I usually make winter clothing storage part of my closet Spring Cleaning routine by sorting winter clothes into their own pile, but it’s just as easily done as a separate task. What’s most important: taking the time to do it properly, which is probably easier than you think.
How To Store Winter Clothing
1. Decide on a few transitional pieces to keep out of storage. Unless you’re waiting until the middle of summer to put your winter clothing away, it’s risky to stash all of your warmer clothing. I’ve learned this the hard way living in Kansas where it’s not unheard of for the temperatures to climb over 85°F during the day, only to plunge back into the 30’s when the sun sets. After shivering through one particularly wild Spring followed by a summer where we had more than a few chilly nights, I now keep a lightweight pullover sweater and a heavier cardigan in my closet year-round.
2. Clean everything, even if you don’t think it’s dirty. Left untreated, stains you can’t see now will set in your clothes while they’re in storage and it’s a sure bet you’ll see them when you pull them out next winter. Cleaning also deprives cloth-eating insects (moths, silverfish, etc.) of a reason to burrow into your duds. Take expensive or vintage clothing to the dry-cleaners (though other “dry clean” items might be washable at home) and wash everything else in the hottest setting allowed by to the manufacturer’s label. Skip the laundry additives for this load: the fabric softeners attract bugs.
3. Repair damaged items before storage. Many dry-cleaners will be happy to repair zippers and sew buttons back on, so be sure to point out any items that need extra care. Perform minor repairs yourself, or find a local tailor who can fix them at a reasonable cost so your clothes will be ready to wear next winter when you need them.
4. Choose the appropriate storage method. Never store clothing in the plastic bags from the dry-cleaner, which don’t allow fabrics to breathe and promote humid environments that contribute to mildew.
• Bulky coats and jackets should be hung on sturdy plastic or wood clothes hangers.
• Sweaters, shirts, pants and delicates should be folded carefully and can be stashed in plastic storage containers with tight-fitting lids to keep out pests. Add a lavender or cedar sachet to keep items smelling fresh; their scents deter bugs as well. If you live in a humid area, consider adding silicone dessicant packets (the kind you find in the box when you buy new shoes) to absorb moisture, too.
5. Pick the right place. Avoid storing clothes in the attic, garage or basement. These places tend to be more humid and less temperature-controlled than other areas in the home. As a result, they’re havens for the very cloth-gnawing bugs we’re trying to avoid. Under the bed, in the back of the closet, even behind the sofa are all better locations.
Giving how to store winter clothing a little effort now is a great way to say goodbye to the cold, dreary days of winter. You’ll make more room in your closet for your favorite Spring and Summer outfits, and you’ll also be protecting your favorite sweaters and coats from damage.
• How to Get Ink Stains out of Clothes
• How to Sort Laundry (Printable Chart)
• How to Clean your Clothes Dryer
How To Store Winter Coats In Summer & Keep Them Safe Until It’s Cold Again
True story: last year, I forked a fair bit of £££ out for a lovely, super soft Acne grey scarf. “This’ll last me years,” I thought to myself as I handed over the £100+ FOR A SCARF. Little did I know, it would only last me until the following winter, when I would discover it covered in moth holes, in all its beautifully expensive glory. The lesson learnt was that leaving it above the radiator, hanging on the coat rack out in the open and unprotected, was not the most sensible idea. Moths thrive in these places, as does the damp. But how can you store your winter coat and other precious clothing such as knitwear to keep it safe through summer?
Well, there are a few set rules for how to store your clothing both safely, neatly and to save space. You need to consider a number of things when putting away your winter clothing, most notably as mentioned above, that moths thrive when items are left alone for long periods of time undisturbed. Space may also be a big issue for you, as it certainly is for me living in London. With a small closet and only a few shelves to fold things on, I am limited so need to find clever space-saving solutions.
Keep reading to find out how to keep clothing safe and stored away this season.
1. Invest In An Anti-Moth Device
Once I experienced my not-so-fun encounter with the moths of SW London, you better believe I invested in all the preventative measures I could. This started with moth balls and the like. Moths notoriously do not like lavender, so chuck some of that around the coat hanger of your coat and/or in between your knitwear. You can also buy sprays to kill any bugs currently on your beloved clothing (gross). I got all this stuff over on Amazon, but you can buy it in a bunch of places, including your local dry cleaners, which leads me on nicely to my next point.
2. Dry Clean Your Favourite Pieces Before Storing Them
Now that the weather’s getting warmer, it’s a perfect time to send in your coat and other delicate knitwear in to be dry cleaned. This way, there’s no instant rush to go and pick it up, and come next winter, you’ll have a lovely clean coat. Oh, and having it cleaned also helps to kill off anything weird lurking on your clothing (again, gross). According to Good Housekeeping, any food stains left unwashed can attract moths, and any lingering oils such as deodorant stains or perfume can discolour your fabric.
3. Avoid The Damp
Much like many canned goods and other food items, your coat and knitwear are best stored in a cool, dry area. In short: avoid damp like the plague, unless you want your coat to come out next winter smelling stale and rocking some interesting stains on it. Hopefully in your home you won’t suffer from damp areas, but to be careful, keep coats and the like away from garages, or anywhere where moisture can seep into the air.
4. Vacuum Seal If You’re Short Of Space
If you live in London (or any big city for that matter), chances are you’re low on space. That means that keeping your coat and thick, chunky knitwear alongside your current summer clothes, can really be rather annoying. For this reason, invest in some vacuum seal bags (again, Amazon), in order to keep things stored safely and cleanly, and to save valuable space you could be using to display your Birkenstocks, skirts, and crop tops for the warmer months.
5. Keep Clothing Behind Closed Doors
Whether you vacuum seal away your clothing, or keep it hanging or in neat piles, you’ll want to store it behind a closet door (as opposed to, for example, an open hanging rail). This will serve as an extra defence against moths, and will also ensure your coat etc is in low lighting, which Good Housekeeping also hints is important.
Follow these tips and your favourite winter wear should stay safe, dry, and most importantly moth-free all summer long.
A New Way To Shop
Turn on some tunes & tackle this project with these 6 easy tips.
1. Cut the Excess
Use this summer prep session to take stock of pieces that don’t fit or simply aren’t getting worn. A good rule of thumb: If it’s been on the hanger for more than two months, toss it.
2. Stash the Sweaters
Cardigans taking up too much space? Prep them for hibernation by hand washing & folding them (never hang!). Store them in breathable garment boxes or vacuum-sealed bags. Worried about moths? Use natural repellents like cedar or lavender.
3. Store Your Heavy Coats
Those winter layers are best kept on sturdy hangers and—in a perfect world—neatly tucked away in separate garment bags. For those of you with limited storage space, the vacuum-sealed route works here, too. Dry clean your most-loved pieces and remember to remove everything from your pockets before storing.
4. Keep Things Organized
Closet cleaning can be daunting. The good news is, organizational tasks are highly addictive. Once on a path to a clutter-free closet, you’ll start getting creative! Finished packing your winter pieces? Store them in a space out of the way that’s clean, dry, cool & dark (like under your bed).
5. Pack Boots Smartly
Ready to say goodbye to your favorite winter boots? If they’re tall boots, stuff them with newspaper or invest in boot forms to help keep their shape. More of an ankle boots girl? Lay them flat in a plastic container and loosely place tissue paper around them. To give them some TLC, rub them down with a high quality leather lotion before you store them. Clean, well taken care of shoes are always a nice surprise come fall.
6. Lighten Up
Linen, cotton & rayon are a few summer-perfect fabrics that allow our bodies to breathe and move easier as temperatures rise. Another benefit to wearing these airy styles? Your summer vacation packing will be lighter, too! Replace the pieces you just packed away with these essential fabrics.
Is warm-weather wardrobe prep part of your spring cleaning routine? Share your tips in the comments below.
By: Margaret Murray
12 Winter Clothes Storage Ideas That Are Super Easy To Implement
Once the temperature drops and the snow starts to fall, out come the hats, boots, scarves, gloves, and of course, your collection ofwool and down coats. While all that outerwear keeps you warm this time of year (and gives you an excuse to have a separate holiday wardrobe), all those extra layers can create clutter in your entryway and coat closet — especially if you have a small space. That’s why having some tried-and-true storage hacks for your bulky winter apparel is key.
Then, there’s the matter of keeping the outdoors out of your home. After schlepping through snow and slush, it inevitably gets tracked inside. For parents with kids, the mess multiplies, and people with pets know that muddy paw prints (and dog-sized coats) are all part of the snowy season.
Luckily, there are some easy ways to help keep your place clean and your essentials close at hand. Ahead, find expert tips from the pros at IKEA, Functional Creative Design, and Havenly, which can work for any space and on any budget. From stylish storage ideas to sleek organizers, you’ll find plenty of clever solutions — and all of them are chic. With just a handful of simple hacks, you’ll be able to keep your home neat and tidy all winter long.
Create A “Landing Zone”
Janice Simonsen-Design, spokesperson for IKEA USA, says that the first step to containing winter messes is to make a designated “landing zone” near your front door. “If space allows, look for an item that provides a seating space to remove boots,” she advises. Plus, a piece that also has “space for shoe storage and hooks for hanging coats, scarves, and bags to keep damp clothing all in one place” is truly multi-functional.
Shelby Girard, head of design at Havenly, agrees that multi-use furniture is a great way to utilize space and keep clutter at bay. “Try using a bench with storage in your entry or mudroom,” she says, as it’s “a functional way to store things you’d like to keep by the door.”
Another design tip to add flair and functionality? “Use a beautiful dresser in your entryway instead of a bench or console for even more storage and for a cottage feel,” she says.
But for tight areas, you can easily store coats, hats, and scarves on a rack that’s secured to the wall. Girard suggests using a “cute vertical coat rack to save on space.”
Another hugely helpful hack is putting an absorbing mat near the door. Whether it’s a long runner or a rectangular doormat, this is an easy way to keep foot and paw prints off floors after trudging through puddles.
For Small Spaces
If your cozy abode doesn’t allow for a lot of extra furniture, there are plenty of creative ways to get the most out of your space — and your budget. “Awkward and unused corners can be filled by stacking interesting baskets,” says Sarah A. Abdallah, CEO and owner of Functional Creative Design. She adds that installing shelves above a coat rack and lining them with baskets is another easy way to stash cold-weather accessories.
Have a stunning collection of scarves or hats? (Maybe you even knit them yourself.) Abdallah suggests hanging them on display for unique and convenient wall decor. While you can purchase some chic hooks, the designer points out that really, “all you need is a nail.”
And for those extra pieces you don’t wear every day, Abdallah mentions that they can be hidden away around your home. “For extra storage around your living room area, why not use vintage suitcases that suit your style?” she says. “You can even use a vintage trunk for a coffee table, couple this as extra space for sweaters if you’re living in a small NYC apartment.” She adds, “There are also some great storage-ready pieces of furniture if you’re ready to commit to a bigger purchase, like a platform storage bed.”
For Wet Clothing, Boots, & Sporting Gear
“Tracking wet, dirty boots and shoes through the house adds a lot of extra clean up during winter months,” says Simonsen-Design. “To solve this problem, try placing a small rack near the entranceway to allow shoes and boots to dry.” She also mentions that waterproof boot trays will catch melting muck, whether placed under a shoe rack or used as a landing pad for boots.
When it comes to soggy knitwear, Simonsen-Design suggests a clever rack where items can be hung up to dry — perfect for parents with snow-loving kids. “A fun little drying rack, placed low enough in a laundry or mud room for children to reach, will encourage them to hang their drippy gloves and hats up after coming in from playing in the snow,” she says.
Those into winter sports know that drenched gear can make a clunky mess. For that, Simonsen-Design says a cute plastic container is in order. “Winter sporting equipment can be cumbersome and wet,” she points out. “A large waterproof bucket or basket in an attractive color can keep things contained in your mudroom or garage.” (Or, you can use it to line up soaked boots, among other things.)
As for pet parents with coat-wearing canines, Simonsen-Design says to account for their clothes when it comes to winter organization. “Even your furry friends have extra clothing to be stored during cold weather,” she notes. “A small hook by the door, specially for their use, keeps a nice warm coat close at hand.” These adorable hooks can also hang collars, harnesses, and leashes.
2. Learn what to hang—and how to properly do it.
It may have been fine to hang that cardigan on a hanger when you were reaching for it once a week, but when it comes time to stow it for the season, it’s best to fold it. In general, any item that can lose its shape—knits, synthetics, and silks—should be folded for long-term storage. Outerwear can be hung up; avoid wire hangers and go for wood or padded hangers, which offer more support. And it’s best to hang your pants using the kind of hangers that have two boards to lock in the hem or cuff so that you won’t crease them.
Above: Ikea’s Bumerang Hangers in white ($4.99 for eight) and the Container Store’s Basic Shirt Hangers in natural ($7.99 for six) are both good options for wood hangers, which help prevent misshapen clothes.
3. Say no to plastic or cardboard packaging.
Your clothing needs to breathe. Plastic bags from the dry cleaner, plastic bins, cardboard packaging—keep your clothes trapped in them, and you’ll risk mildew, insects, and yellowing. The best storage container for your seasonal clothing is made of either linen or cotton.
Above: Muji’s Cotton Linen Zip Box is no longer sold on the US website, but it’s still available on the UK site. The 23-by-9-inch version, shown, is on sale for £15.95, a larger version for £19.95.
4. Pretreat for moths.
For extra protection from moths, consider adding lavender sachets to your stack of seasonal clothes. Lavender smells pretty to us but is actively loathed by moths. But no matter how much you want to prevent holes in your sweaters, stay away from mothballs, which are toxic not just to moths but also humans and their pets.
5. Store in a dark, cool, dry spot.
That means the basement and attic are verboten as both areas tend to be humid and musty. Many closets have a high shelf that is perfect for stowing your out-of-season wardrobe.
Want more ideas on organizing your closet? Here’s some inspiration:
- How to Organize, Store, and Keep Track of Hand-Me-Downs
- $10 and a Day: Justine’s DIY Closet Makeover, Fabric-Wrapped Hangers Included
- Closet Clean Out: The Only 10 Pieces of Clothing You Need
Storing winter clothes isn’t something everyone has to do, but it’s a major lifestyle problem when you have limited space and no idea how to do it. If you live in Florida and your winter clothes consist of a lightweight sweater and dresses with sleeves, you’re not going to need winter clothes storage advice.
Here in Long Island, New York, winter is a real thing. You have heavy coats, boots, pants, and other gear that takes up valuable storage space in the closets of everyone in your family. When the weather changes and becomes warm enough to go outside without a coat, you find yourself asking people “How do you store clothes in the summer?”
If you want to know where to put your winter clothes, here are some great storage ideas that save space, time, and keep your clothes from becoming damaged.
Wash Your Clothes First
It might not sound much like storage advice, but it’s good advice. Before you store anything for an entire season, you must wash it. Even if it’s something you don’t believe you need to wash often such as a scarf or heavy coat, wash it.
Everything you store for the winter must be clean, fresh, and ready for the long haul in a box, closet, or storage container. Any lingering smells, stains, or other issues with a dirty item can cause issues. Smells from one little scarf can seep into everything it’s stored with. One little stain might set so well over the course of the rest of the year it won’t come clean when you finally unpack. If that’s not enough to convince you to wash it all before you store it, imagine taking it all out for the winter only to realize you have a lot of laundry to do. Is that what you need to hear to encourage you to wash your winter wear prior to storing it?
Do Not Use Mothballs
First of all, they smell terrible. You don’t want to walk around next winter smelling like a mothball, and the scent is very obvious. Don’t think you can get rid of that or mask it. People will know.
Secondly, mothballs are said to be made of questionable materials not good for your health or the health of the environment. This PDF indicates that 4000 children a year require medical attention due to mothball exposure.
If you want to store winter clothes and keep them free of bugs and you aren’t using vacuum bags, there are many natural remedies that you can use. Try soaking a cotton ball with thyme, lavender, cinnamon, cloves or peppermint essential oil and place it into a cloth sachet or muslin bag.
Essential oils are so much safer for your family, they’ll keep the bugs away and your clothes will smell better too! Bugs aren’t a problem with all storage options, but mothballs are a problem in general.
Vacuum Bags Save Space
They may go by many different names, such as: “vacuum pack bags”, “space bags”, “space savers”, “spacemakers”, “vacuum compression bags” and “vacuum sealed bags” but they all do the same thing. Save Space! They’re easy to use when you have very little room.
It’s not always easy to store big coats and other winter gear during the summer since it takes up so much space, but they take up virtually none when you place it in a storage bag that vacuum seals. You can make even the largest bag of coats small enough to fit into a drawer without worrying that anything bad will happen to it in the meantime. Just fold your clothes, put them in the vacuum bag, close the ziplock seal and suck all of the air out! It’s so easy. I absolutely love these things.
Use Storage Containers
If you don’t have much storage space but you don’t want to store your winter weather wear in the attic, storage containers that sit flat on the floor are always a great idea. Fill them with everyone’s jackets, boots, and heavy winter accessories and stack them in an empty storage closet, on a shelf in the garage or even under the bed. They take up far less room this way, but they’re also far less likely to become damaged by the elements.
Label The Containers Or Bags
The idea behind storing your clothes for the summer months is to save room in your house. Since you are going through all of your winter clothes and taking the time to put them in bags or containers, why not organize them? It will save you lots of agony when you need to unpack them again in the fall or winter. For the boxes, you can simply put a label on the outside of the box stating what’s inside. The bags are see through, so you can place a label on the inside of the bag before you seal it up… facing out of course!
Fold Clothes That You Shouldn’t Hang
If you have additional closet space, remember not to hang your sweaters. It’s nice to have an empty closet in a spare room or your home office, but don’t let that trick you into thinking you can store your sweaters in there by hanging them for the long spring and summer season. . The hanging position stretches the fabric, and it can ruin the fit of your beautiful winter sweaters. They can absolutely be placed in a spare closet around the house, but remember to fold them and place them neatly on shelves rather than hang them.
It’s not difficult to store your winter clothes, but these tips might make it a little less stressful. Every year you wonder if there is a better way to handle your winter storage issues, and this year you have more options than ever before.
How To Properly Store Winter Clothes During The Spring & Summer Months
Spring is officially here after a very long, exceptionally cold winter, which means you’ve probably got the itch to pack away those heavy winter coats, sweaters, and boots for a few months. Seriously, we’re right there with you! But before you aimlessly throw your winter clothes into a bin under your bed or in your basement, STOP.
If you want to preserve your nice winter coats and wardrobe so you’re able to wear them season after season, a proper storage method is critical. Many people don’t know how to correctly store their off-season clothing or just how important it is. When you spend your hard earned money on your wardrobe, you want to keep it in the best shape possible, especially if you own any pricey investment pieces.
Lucky for you, we have the scoop on how to store your winter clothing, coats, and footwear during the spring and summer months–and it’s actually pretty easy. Get the tips and tricks below.
1. Clean everything. You don’t want to pack away dirty clothing so make sure you give everything a good cleaning. Dry clean wool and cashmere coats, scarfs, and sweaters; machine wash other winter items and your puffy coats. You can dry puffy jackets in the dryer with tennis balls to preserve their look. Your winter outerwear is exposed to countless germs, oils, and fluids so you want to make sure those are all gone before storing. Be sure to check all winter jacket pockets for papers, money, gum, and other items both before and after cleaning them. Make sure you don’t neglect your winter shoes in the step. If you have a precious pair of UGG boots, give them a good cleaning before you put those away as well. We have a step by step guide for cleaning UGGs.
2. Store heavy sweaters properly. Wool and cashmere winter sweaters need to be placed in durable clothing boxes. If you hang your heavy winter sweaters, you risk stretching them out and ruining their shape. Plenty of stores make clothing boxes designed to fit under your bed or on storage shelves.
Our Boot Box ($9.99)
3. Pack away bulky items efficiently. Winter items like puffy coats, thick socks, and blanket scarves can take up a lot of space in storage. Especially if you live in a small apartment, you can’t risk using valuable space on these off-season items. Instead, store them in vacuum-sealed plastic bags. Fill the bags will as much clothing as they will fit and use a vacuum to suck out all of the air and you’ve got yourself a compact little bag of clothing. You can then put these air-tight bags in storage either in your basement or under your bed.
Lekors Vacuum Storage Bags for Clothes ($24.32)
4. Put winter clothing in the right place. The key to preserving your winter coats and clothing during the spring and summer months is making sure you keep them in the right place. It’s best to store clothing in a cool (around 65 degrees Fahrenheit), dry, dark place. Storage bins can be stacked anywhere they fit and other items can be hung up–if space allows. For some extra closet space, you can purchase collapsable cloth wardrobes that can be assembled anywhere. Put them together where ever you have the extra space to give yourself a second closet in your home instantly.
Grey Clothes Closet ($49.99)
5. Keep your shoes protected. You don’t want to toss your winter boots into a random bin and risk them getting squished, bent, and misshaped. If you don’t still have the original shoe boxes that your boots came in, buying new boxes will work just as well. There’s a large selection of boxes in a variety of sizes to fit your tall boots, ankle booties, and everything in between. Hanging boot racks are also available for storing tall or knee-high boots during the summer.
Hanging Boot Butler ($69)
6. Avoid plastic garment bags for certain fabrics. Most coats, but especially leather, suede, and down-filled coats, need to breathe. This means you should stay away from plastic garment bags for long-term storage methods. Instead, choose fabric storage bags.
Home Zone – Breathable Garment Bag Clothes Covers ($12.99)
For more home organization tips, check out these spring cleaning closet hacks on SHEfinds.
SheFinds receives commissions for purchases made through the links in this post.
It’s almost time to put that fur away.
There’s no better day than the one when you realize you won’t be needing your heavy sweaters, coats, and boots again this year. This particular winter has been—in a word—excruciating—so it’s a given that most of us are looking forward to hauling away our cold-weather gear and breaking out spring-ready jackets, skirts, and sandals.
MORE: How To Wash Jeans, Break Them in, and Fold Them Like a Pro
However, even though you’re probably cursing your winter clothes right about now, it’s a bad idea to just ball them up and chuck ’em in the back of your closet, where they’ll sit for months on end. After all, you probably put a lot of thought into your coat, boot and sweater selection this winter, and the last thing you want is for everything to look like a hot mess when the weather cools down again.
Here, we’ve outlined how to store winter clothes properly, and spotlighted 10 useful tips to try when transitioning your wardrobe.
1. Clean everything first.
The biggest and most effective tip is to machine wash or dry clean everything you plan to store before packing it up for the season. It’s icky, but moths and insects are naturally attracted to our everyday scents, such as perfume, food, deodorant, and smoke—even if the scents are fairly imperceptible to you.
MORE: 50 Spring Outfit Ideas to Copy Now
2. Remove all plastic from your garments.
Never store anything—we repeat, anything—in the dry cleaning plastic it came in. The plastic seriously traps moisture, which can cause fibers to dry out and can cause yellowing of fabric
3. Invest in plastic bins.
Those as-seen-on-TV plastic vacuum bags might be hot right now, but most experts warn against them since you use a vacuum to suck out all the air—again, drying out garments. Clothes need to breathe, so plastic bins are fine for non-delicate items like t-shirts, jeans, wool sweaters, or polyester. Just be sure you pack things loosely to maximize air flow.
4. Pack delicates differently.
For delicate items like silk, organza, or cashmere, or anything that’s special to you, remove them from protective plastic immediately, wrap them in acid-free tissue paper and place in 100% cotton-canvas storage bags.
5. Don’t hang sweaters …
If you have a spare storage closet (lucky!) resist the urge to hang sweaters, as they can became grossly misshapen beyond repair. Instead, fold them and place them in your plastic bins or your fabric storage bags, with the heaviest garments at the bottom. One thing to remember: Don’t shove every sweater in one bin—air needs to circulate, otherwise mold and mildew could form. You also may want to add cedar-scented panels to keep pests away.
6. …Or most coats.
Believe it or not, coat storage is actually much more effective when each piece is gently folded, as opposed to hung if the coats are wool, leather, faux fur or down. First, remove everything from pockets and fasten all snaps, buttons or zippers and gently fold the coat. From there, loosely stack them into boxes, storage bags, or plastic bins. This will help retain the shape of your coats.
7. Keep real fur hung, though.
If your coat is real fur, however, you might want to think about getting it professionally stored during the summer months, since real fur needs to be kept in climate-controlled spaces. According to Wiki How, fur needs constant 50˚F temperatures and 50% humidity to maintain the proper moisture levels.
MORE: 101 Fashion Tips and Tricks Every Girl Should Know
8. Commit “CCDD” to memory.
This means cool, clean, dry and dark. The last thing you want is your storage environment to be is too damp , too hot, too bright, or too dusty.
9. Invest in boot trees.
The last thing you want is to break out your favorite leather or suede boots in the fall only to find them slouchy, misshapen, and creased from being shoved in the back of your closet all summer. Buying a few boot forms can do wonders when it comes to maintaining the shape of taller styles. While it’s always better to keep your boot standing upright, space is often at a premium, so you can lay them flat on their sides in your plastic bins—just make sure to condition them first, and lay some cotton (an old shirt, a pillowcase, a muslin shoe bag) over each pair.
10. Pack shoes with tissue paper.
If your cold-weather shoes aren’t tall boots, but rather things like ankle booties, pumps, or loafers, loosely packing them with clean tissue paper before storing will help maintain their shape whole they sit in storage. Just make sure to wipe them down first.
Clean everything before you get started. Lingering oils (deodorants, perfumes) can discolor fabric over time — and food stains will attract moths. 70°F (or below) is the target storage temp to avoid damaging fibers or setting stains, and low light and low humidity are ideal. Don’t plan on storing in dry-cleaning bags (they can yellow fabrics and trap moisture), and don’t iron with starch — bugs love it!
Do up buttons, zip up zippers, and empty out pockets; then hang structured or down coats on thick wooden hangers ($17 for two, honeycando.com) inside a breathable canvas garment bag ($15, casa.com). Polyfill-stuffed coats can go in vacuum-seal bags, compressed halfway for space.
Place gloves and rolled-up scarves loosely together in a plastic bin. Stuff shaped hats with tissue paper before placing in a hatbox ($25 for two, containerstore.com) or another breathable container.
RELATED: Declutter Your Closet in 15 Minutes
BOOTS AND SHOES
Remove dirt from rubber and lug soles with a wire brush, then clean the rest with a shoe brush ($9, footfitter.com). Sprinkle in baking soda, tuck in shoe trees, and stuff legs with white tissue paper ($1 for 15 sheets, dollargeneral.com). Store boots upright.
Fold into thirds, then in half, and stack in a plastic bin ($78 for eight, wayfair.com) with heaviest knits on the bottom. Place white tissue paper between layers if color transfer is a concern or to keep any embellishments from snagging.
TELL US: What’s your clever trick for storing bulky winter clothes?
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As I’m slowly transitioning to spring and summer wear, I’m going to start my process of storing my big winter coats. If you’ve invested the money in classic wardrobe staples, take the time to care for them right, and they will last so much longer. The average lifespan of a good winter coat? About three to six years. Get the bang for your buck with this lasting tips:
Cleaning: You want to dry clean your pieces at the beginning and end of each season. That’s right, twice! This way it’s fresh for the season after being stored for so long. Then dry clean again at the end of winter before it gets stored. It helps get rid of perfumes, dirt, and anything that would attract moths.
Storage: Always hang your coats on a sturdy wooden hanger with the buttons done up. This helps to maintain its shape throughout the other seasons while it’s in the closet.
Oversized Coat // Silk Pants // Suede Pumps
Breathe: Best way to store your fave pieces is in a breathable garment bag. Storing anything in plastic for a long time is not a good idea, especially investment pieces.
Space: It’s ideal not to store your awesome coats in a cramped closet. All fabric needs to breathe, so finding a closet or small space where you can hang heavy pieces is key.
Empty: While it’s easy to forget what you might have left in your pocket when storing coats for an extended period of time, Always empty the pockets to keep them from sagging or losing shape.
Photographed by Jennifer Wu
Since Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer season in my mind, I thought it was an appropriate time to address a task that I’ve been putting off for several weeks – putting away my winter clothes. I desperately needed to pack away my sweaters and boots to make room for shorts and sandals! But rather than just taking stacks of sweaters out to the shelf in the garage, I thought I’d do a little research to make sure I’m storing my clothes properly.
There are several threats that clothing face in storage, including light, moisture, and insects that like to snack on your clothes! Light can quickly cause discoloration, while moisture and insects can cause irreparable damage (not to mention unpleasant smells!) But with just a little extra time and effort, you can ensure that your winter clothes will still be clean and fresh when you unpack them in the fall.
Here are my 10 simple tips for properly storing your winter wardrobe:
- Wash (or dry clean) everything BEFORE you pack them away. Lingering oils from deodorants and perfumes can discolor your clothing over time, and no one likes pulling musty-smelling clothes out of storage.
- Store your winter wardrobe in a cool, dark place, avoiding direct sunlight and stuffy air. A clean shelf in a closet or garage works perfectly.
- If you’re using a storage container, choose an opaque one rather than a clear one. An opaque container will keep light out, which will keep your clothes from getting discolored. (Just make sure to label your containers so you know what’s inside.)
- Help keep the shape of your shoes and accessories by stuffing them with tissue paper, toilet paper, or paper towels. If you’re using tissue paper, use white tissue paper to avoid any color transfer or staining.
- Before packing boots and shoes away, sprinkle a bit of baking soda into each one. Baking soda will help absorb any odors, and keep them from spreading to your other clothes. When it comes time to pull out your winter wardrobe again, simply dump the baking soda out before wearing.
- To ensure that colors don’t rub off or transfer between your sweaters or pants, place a sheet of white tissue paper between each article of clothing.
- Clothing made from natural fibers should be folded for storage, rather than hung up on a hanger. Hangers will stretch items over time, especially items made from natural fibers.
- If you’re using garment bags to store winter items, use garment bags that are made of muslin or cotton (like this one), rather than plastic. Plastic garment bags don’t allow for air flow, so humidity build-up could become an issue. Muslin and cotton garment bags will allow your clothes to “breathe” while in storage.
- Traditional mothballs contain insecticides designed to deter moths, but they can actually be quite harmful to children and pets, too. A safer, but still effective, alternative to mothballs is a lavender sachet.
Fill a small muslin bag or even a coffee filter with dried lavender (or cotton balls treated with a few drops of lavender essential oil). Tie off the bag or filter and place in your storage container or garment bags.
- If you have suitcases or travel bags you don’t use very often, you can save on storage space by storing your winter clothes in them. (But if you travel a lot, this may be more trouble than it’s worth!)
By using these tips and taking the time to properly pack away your winter wardrobe, you will not only cut down on the amount of items that go missing between seasons, but you’ll also lengthen the lifespan of your clothes. Since many winter items like coats and boots are quite expensive, you’ll be saving yourself quite a bit of money if you can use each item longer!
And lastly, taking the time to properly pack away your winter clothes will ensure that when winter comes around again, you’ll be ready to face it with fresh, clean clothes, rather than wrinkled, musty ones.
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Hi, I’m Jillee!
I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!
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You’re Storing Your Winter Clothes All Wrong—5 Mistakes to Avoid
As the weather begins to warm up, it’s time to start thinking about storing winter clothes in the attic, basement, or upper shelves of our closets to make room for spring and summer essentials. While it’s tempting to toss every winter sweater and wool coat into a big plastic bin and shove it in the attic for the next six months, taking the time to store your winter clothes the right way will pay off by helping your clothing last for longer. Avoid these common mistakes when storing winter clothes now—and you’ll thank yourself in six months when you go to unpack your sweaters and find them fresh and free of moth holes.
RELATED: 20 Tips to Make Your Wardrobe Last
Mistake #1: Not Washing Clothing Before You Store It
You’re not going to be wearing this clothing for a while, so there’s no need to wash it, right? Wrong! Storing clothing with food stains and odors on them not only makes it much harder to remove the stains later, but it can also attract bugs and pests. Instead, wash or dry-clean clothing and treat any stains before storing away your winter clothing. Plus, future you will be thankful when you open bins full of clothing that’s ready to wear in the winter.
Mistake #2: Not Protecting Against Moths
If you’ve ever had a favorite sweater munched on by a hungry moth, than you know how disappointing it is to find moth holes in a beloved piece of clothing. Skip the smelly moth balls and tuck a sprig of lavender or some fragrant pieces of cedar into the storage bin—both scents will deter moths. Follow these care tips to keep the clothing stashed in your closet safe from moths, too.
Mistake #3: Cramming Too Many Items into One Container
While some items, like a puffer jacket, may be fine in a space-saving vacuum-sealed bag, other items will lose their shape if stuffed into a small space. Winter boots and shoes tend to be bulky, but resist the temptation to overfill your bin of shoes, or your boots may come out misshapen in six months. One trick is to use boot shapers ($5, containerstore.com) to make sure tall leather boots hold their shape and stash them in sturdy plastic bins so they won’t get crushed.
Mistake #4: Storing in the Wrong Spot
When choosing a place to store your winter clothing, select a spot that’s cool, dry, and away from sunlight. The attic or basement is a popular choice, but make sure that this area doesn’t experience extreme temperature variations, which can be damaging to clothing. Also avoid spots that are humid, as moisture can cause mold and mildew. Finally, be sure to pick a spot that’s away from sunlight, which can fade clothing and cause temperature variations between day and night.
If you don’t have a temperature-controlled attic or basement, consider storing off-season clothing under the bed, on high shelves in your closet, or in a spare closet in your home.
Mistake #5: Not Using Acid-Free Tissue for Delicates
For those special pieces, like a vintage dresses or delicate hand-knit sweater, you’ll want to invest in acid-free paper to wrap it in. Don’t try to store natural-fiber delicate or vintage items in plastic—they prefer to breathe. And don’t try to use regular old tissue paper—the acid in the paper can actually break down fibers over time. Instead, invest in acid-free tissue paper and an archival box ($45, containerstore.com) to help your most cherished clothing items survive the winter in storage.
A Guide to Storing Winter Clothes During the Summer
Anyone short on closet space knows the struggle of the rotating wardrobe. Winter ends and then it’s time to pull out your shorts and t-shirts and store your winter clothes elsewhere.
But where to store winter clothes? Are they safe in the garage or attic? Properly storing winter clothes requires some prep work. Make sure your clothes look (and smell) pristine next winter by following our winter clothing storage advice.
We’re answering some of your questions and giving you some bright ideas to make the most of your space as you learn the best way to store your clothes when you’re not wearing them.
How do you prepare winter clothes for storage?
How do you prepare winter clothes for storage?
Step 1: Launder everything!
Even if they don’t look dirty, make it a point to clean your winter clothes before you store them. It can mean everything when it comes to the condition of your clothes in storage.
What about clothing that needs to be hand washed or dry cleaned?
- You may have never gotten that cashmere sweater dry cleaned in the past. But it’s essential to do so before you store it.
- Dirty clothes can deteriorate while they’re in storage because even subtle body oils on clothing can attract moths and also create an odor that can be nearly impossible to remove once months have passed.
Step 2: Use deodorizers.
No matter where you store your clothes, there’s a chance that things can start smelling a little musty over the warm summer months. Include a few drops of lavender essential oil or dryer sheets inside of each container or garment rack.
Should I hang or fold winter clothing?
Should I hang or fold winter clothing?
As a general rule, natural fiber fabrics should be folded. Fold synthetic fabrics with acid-free tissue in between the folded areas. More specifically, consider the following:
- Sweaters – Fold and place in plastic bins or fabric storage bags. Don’t cram lots of sweaters in one container or mold and mildew could form.
- Winter coats – Zip up zippers, button the buttons, and gently fold coats made of leather, wool, or faux fur so they keep their shape. If you have a coat of real animal fur, hang it up.
- Delicates – Remove from plastic dry-cleaning bags, wrap in acid-free tissue paper, and store in cotton garment bags.
- Shoes – Pack with tissue paper to help them hold their shape and store them in plastic bins.
- Boots – Put a boot form in each boot to help it hold its shape; store boots on their sides in plastic bins with a pillowcase or an old shirt in between each pair.
- Casual shirts and jeans – Fold or roll and store in a plastic storage bin.
What is the best way to store winter clothes?
What is the best way to store winter clothes?
It’s tempting to use cardboard boxes to store your winter clothes. They’re cheap (or even free), and they fold up flat when you’re not using them.
But cardboard is acidic and is susceptible to water damage. It also contains glue and crevices that can attract insects and pests.
Use clear plastic totes.
- Store winter clothing inside sealed plastic totes that will prevent water damage and other mishaps.
- Consider purchasing clear bins instead of opaque ones. This way you can see what you’re storing.
- Pack like clothes together and use a label maker to organize each bin by type. Categories for individual bins might include sweaters, coats, or accessories.
Clothing storage hack:
Utilize plastic zipper comforter bags to store winter clothing underneath your bed.
How do you store winter clothes in a small room?
How do you store winter clothes in a small room?
If you don’t have any offsite storage space or closet space available for winter clothes, get creative with storage in a small room. For clothes that need to be hung, consider an open or enclosed rolling garment rack.
Utilize empty wall space.
- Hang your clothes on the rack and store it on an empty wall.
If your rack doesn’t include an enclosure, cover it with a cotton sheet so that the clothes won’t become dusty.
- Make sure you’re deliberate about how you pack up your winter clothes on the rack. Hang like items together and coordinate each item by color or family member.
- Make hanging labels using thick ribbon and a sharpie. Tie the ribbon label directly to the rack or on hangers to separate categories.
Read Also: How to Store Clothes When You Don’t Have a Closet
Can winter clothes be stored in a garage or attic?
Can winter clothes be stored in a garage or attic?
When deciding where to store winter clothes, keep the acronym CCDD in mind. Always store your winter clothing in a cool, clean, dry and dark location.
Store in a cool, clean, dry, dark location.
Cool and dry are the two more important factors for clothing storage, and ignoring any of these factors could damage clothing. Look storage locations outside a garage or attic because the temperature changes in those areas can be too extreme.
However, there are many options for storing your winter clothes, even when you don’t have an extra closet. Carve out extra space under a bed or stack old suitcases to create a makeshift table.
If your clothing collection is valuable (perhaps you’re storing a large vintage coat collection), consider renting a climate controlled storage unit in the offseason.
Use these tips and be confident that your winter clothes will be protected during the offseason. But before you store everything away, remember to keep a few winter outfits in a spot where you can quickly access them in case Mother Nature throws you a curveball.
Pin for later:
This post originally appeared on the Life Storage blog on 5/31/17 and was revised on 4/16/19 to provide new information.
While some men may not necessarily need to rotate how their closet space is used as the seasons change, doing so will not only give you the peace of mind that comes with having an uncrowded closet but it might also be beneficial for the wearable life of your garments in the long run.
Before we begin with the techniques of proper storage, here are a few things you may want to consider:
Time To Get Rid Of Unused Or Damaged Garments
First, as long as you’re already going through your closet, now would be a good time to get rid of garments that you really aren’t wearing anymore. Heavily worn or damaged items should be discarded, items needing minor repairs should be fixed up, and things that are in good shape but you don’t really see yourself wearing anymore should be donated. As a very general rule of thumb, if you find that an item has stayed on its hanger for more than a year unworn, it’s probably a good sign that you can get rid of it. Some people are more strict with this and say that you should part with things if you haven’t worn them in two months but you can decide what timetable is right for you.
Additionally, this may be a good time to clean the closet itself as well. Vacuum the floor, wipe down the shelves, and so on. Speaking of cleaning before they’re stored, all of your winter wardrobe items should be thoroughly cleaned. After all, you don’t want dirt, dust, and other debris settling into your garments while they’re in storage for multiple months. Additionally, insects like moths and silverfish are naturally attracted to lingering scents on clothing, even scents that are imperceptible to humans.
To begin our specific cleaning instructions then, footwear should first be wiped down with a damp cloth then a clean dry cloth and then finally, given a good pass with a shoe brush. Polishing with saddle soap or leather conditioner could also be a good idea at this time and for suede, you’ll want to use cleaning tools that are specifically designed for that material. Make sure to wipe down the interiors of your footwear if you’re able as well. Also, giving footwear a day to sit and deodorize with something like a sachet full of baking soda for at least a day before storing can also be beneficial and while we, here at the Gentleman’s Gazette, advocate for keeping your footwear in tip-top shape on a day to day basis with high-quality shoe trees, natural cedar models may actually wick out too much of footwear’s natural oils if they’re left in for months at a time. With that said, the best way to keep your footwear in shape while storing it for months is to fill it with acid-free tissue paper scrunched up tightly.
Hats should also be wiped down and brushed but with a softer garment brush, a shoe brush would be too abrasive for that kind of material.
Most other items should be laundered as normal which means either hand washing or machine washing in mesh garment bags and then left to dry on a drying rack.
You can prevent insect damage to your clothes by using a natural repellent like lavender. Although something like mothballs may seem like the easy solution, they’re actually bad for storage with your garments over time. Not only do mothballs carry an unpleasant odor but the compounds that are used to make them aren’t exactly healthy after all. Think of it this way, if moths naturally know to keep away from them then humans probably should too. Cedar repels moths well but as we mentioned before, leaving clothing in direct contact with cedar for months at a time can dry it out or wick out some of the natural oils. Also, if you want to use something like a cedar chest, the gaps in the construction of those types of containers will sometimes still let insects in.
Best Ways To Store Your Garments
You can start by placing heavier items like denim, other trousers, and coats at the bottom of a breathable cotton storage container. You can find both soft-bodied models and ones with reinforcement at the sides, whichever you would prefer.
Medium weight items like sweaters come next in the storage container and then lightweight items like shirts can be placed on top. Delicate items like sweaters, ties, or scarves made from materials like cashmere, can also be wrapped in acid-free tissue paper for an extra layer of protection.
Also, you can place your cashmere items in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for a day or two before storing them just to make sure that the extreme cold kills any moths or larvae that might be present.
Why not just use plastic storage containers for the long term then? Simply stated, when any garment is left in a plastic bin or garment bag and exposed to light, yellowing of the garment can occur. Further, the lack of air circulation inside most plastic containers can lead to moisture accumulation or even mold if the containers are stored improperly.
It’s important that items not to be worn for a long period of time be neatly folded instead of left on the hanger, this is especially true for sweaters. Left to hang, garments made from wool, cashmere, acrylic, or polyester will become misshapen over time as gravity pulls them in different directions across the hanger. Cotton garments are more resilient than these other types but still, folding is always preferable to hanging for long-term storage.
If you do have a genuine fur coat, you can consider keeping it hung up but at the same time, you might want to consider getting it professionally stored. Real fur needs to be kept in climate-controlled spaces at temperatures of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius and roughly 50% humidity to be kept in good condition over the long term. If you are leaving anything hung up, opt for a shaped or padded hanger over a standard plastic hanger and it goes without saying, no wire hangers ever. Before storing coats, remember also to remove any items from the pockets, meaning both the interior and exterior pockets.
Lighter weight trousers, as well as sweaters and shirts, can also be rolled instead of folded. This way, you can stack them horizontally instead of vertically which may mean more maximization of space in your storage containers.
You can store footwear on the floor or a shelf of your closet in the open air but to be even more safe, putting it back into its original box or another cotton storage container would be a better idea. Additionally, things like hanging boot racks are also available.
Your cotton containers and any other loose garments that you may have should be stored in an environment that is dark, dry, clean, and cool. What we mean by cool here is about sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit or eighteen degrees Celsius. Bright environments will cause your clothing to fade. Hot or damp environments are just going to lead to mildew and of course, a dusty environment will just get your recently cleaned clothes dirty again.
Closet with lots of natural daylight
Don’t try to be overly efficient with your storage containers and overfill them either. Remember that space and breathability are key to making sure that your garments have proper air circulation so that you don’t get moisture buildup or excess wrinkling. If you need to buy a few more cotton storage containers to make sure that everything is stored properly, it’s an investment that will give you a great return in the long run.
If you do need to be especially mindful of maximizing your storage space, keep in mind that some garments can be stored inside of others. For example, you could take gloves and nest them inside of boots. Vacuum sealable storage bags can also come in handy but keep in mind that the wrinkles created from this process will be much harder to get out when you excavate your garments again in the fall and when it does come time to get your garments out of storage again, steaming them with a garment steamer should be able to get out any wrinkling or scents that have accumulated in the passing months.
Here’s one final tip for today, do remember to keep a couple of transitional pieces out of storage unless you’ve happened to wait until the middle of summer to put away all of your winter clothing. Having a few medium-weight pieces out of storage that you can wear for colder spring days is a good idea especially if you live in a part of the globe where spring can mean warmer days and cooler nights. For example, here in Minnesota where Gentleman’s Gazette headquarters is located, having a few of these transitional pieces will be smart over time.
With these tips at your disposal then, you should head into spring with a closet that’s neat and tidy and garments that are safely and tightly packed away until things get chilly again.
We’d like to know which of the tips we outlined today did you find most surprising or innovative. Let us know in the comments section below.
Summary Article Name How to Store Your Winter Wardrobe Description Learn proper techniques for putting your winter clothing into storage so that you can step into spring with an uncrowded closet. Author Preston Schlueter Publisher Gentleman’s Gazette LLC Publisher Logo