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Our favorite foolproof winter clothing storage hacks

Unless you have a mega closet at home, chances are you change out your clothes as the seasons change. Now as the final remnants of the winter seasons have drifted away, it’s time to bring our spring and summer clothes to the forefront. Winter clothing and accessories are bulky and somewhat difficult to neatly organize, so we’re here to help with our favorite clothing storage ideas.

Whether you have plenty of extra storage space or are in a tight space, you’ll be able to store away everything from your favorite sweaters to your ski gear in just six simple steps:

  1. Organization
  2. Washing
  3. Hanging and folding
  4. Storage
  5. Pest control
  6. Shoe time

Let’s get into it!

Donation time

First things first, sift through all of your items and decide if anything can be donated. If you haven’t worn a piece all season, it’s probably better off going into your donation pile. For the next season, turn your hangers and folded clothes backwards once worn. This is a direct way to figure out which pieces you never wear. If you have any quality or designer clothing pieces, barely worn boots, or other winter gear, you can even try to sell them online. Sites like Poshmark and Facebook Marketplace make it easy to do so.

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Prep your clothes

We’re going to tell you what you probably don’t want to hear, and that’s that you need to make sure all of your clothes are clean before they head into storage. First, send your winter coats, and other dry clean items, off to the dry cleaners. From there, ensure that your clothing items and accessories are free of stains before packing them away (you don’t want these stains to set). If you are washing any hats, scarves, or other clothes make sure you use basic detergent. Pests are attracted to fabric softener and bleach, so avoid using these products in your load of winter laundry.

Hanging vs. folding

Generally, you’ll be able to determine which pieces remain hanging and which can venture into clothing storage bins. Anything that will stretch out on a hanger should be folded while wrinkle prone clothes, pleated items, and beaded pieces should remain hung. Your dry-cleaned coats and other hanging items should be protected with a garment bag.

When it comes to your delicate pieces, make sure to use acid-free tissue paper to protect your them. While it may be tempting, take care not to place them in vacuum sealed bags because that could ruin your pieces. Reserve the vacuum bags for winter comforters and cumbersome snow gear. Once you’ve hung your clothes and wrapped the others, it’s time to tuck them away.

Storage time

Try to avoid the garage when it comes to storage and opt for a more temperature controlled location. In the back of a closet or under your bed are perfect locations for your winter clothes. In order to keep pests and moisture away, plastic bins work best and luckily, they come in a variety of sizes. Transparent storage containers are ideal because you can clearly see which pieces are inside. If you’re worried about color fading, opt to place your clothing in dark or tinted bins. Thanks to their breathable design, fabric bins or organizers are a great option for your delicate clothing items.

While you can use cardboard boxes, a general rule of thumb is to avoid them because they don’t block out moisture and can attract bugs. Your delicates and wool sweaters definitely should not be stored in cardboard boxes. If your only storage location option is the garage, make sure to avoid cardboard here as well and opt for sturdy plastic bins.

Pest and water control

In addition to only using detergent when washing your clothes, there are a few other ways to keep your clothes secure. You can opt to use a moth repellent or use cedar and lavender sachets for a sweeter and fresher scent. This step is especially important if you have any wool pieces, so don’t skip it! Toss a few moisture absorbers into any bins as well to prevent water damage. Just make sure you never pack your clothing items too tightly – that’s how mold and mildew forms.

What do with your shoes

When it comes to your boots and other winter shoes, give them a good wipe down before putting them away for the season – the last thing you want is mud caked boots next year. Once your shoes have dried off, store them in a dry place, whether it’s in a plastic bin, their original shoe box, or your designated shelf space. If needed, you can also fill the boots with any sort of paper, so they maintain their shape through the year. For a final touch, add some deodorizer packets so you open the boxes to fresh smelling shoes.

While all of these steps seem daunting and time consuming, you’ll thank yourself the following winter season. You don’t want to open up storage bins and garment bags to unkempt clothes a year from now! Clothing and accessory storage doesn’t have to be complicated – some pieces need extra love, but as long as you properly fold and cover the others, you can’t go wrong. When the temperature drops for the first time next year, you’ll love being able to pull out your freshly kept gloves and jackets.

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Antonia Maric
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Antonia Maric originally hails from Westchester, New York. Aside from writing, Antonia takes pride in exploring national…
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