How to store winter clothes correctly – 5 tricks to save space and protect fabric

These five ways to store winter clothes over summer will keep your cozy clothes in top condition

(Image credit: Loaf)

As the weather warms up, one of the most important home organizing tasks is swapping around the seasonal garments in our closets. Not only does it make it easier to get dressed, but it helps to alleviate stress in the mornings when everything is neat and organized.

While your lighter, thinner summer clothing might fit easily into a bag over the colder months, your winter clothing might be a little more difficult to stow away – especially if you love a chunky knit sweater.

So, how do you store winter clothing correctly? Here, professional home organizers share their best long-term clothes storage secrets.

How to store winter clothes correctly

Trying to find space in your home for additional seasonal clothes storage is not easy, but these five tricks will ensure your garments come out of hibernation as fresh as you put them in.

File folded clothes organized in a dresser drawer

(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Store in vacuum bags

There is arguably no better way to keep clothes in storage than vacuum bags. Not only do they minimize how much space your bulky winter items take up in your storage ideas, but they keep clothes protected from pests and humidity too.

‘Be sure that the seal is tight on the storage bags,’ warns Barbara Brock, founder and CEO of Barbara Brock Inc., a professional organizing and staging company,’ or else the bag might not be as protective as you think it is.

‘I love this option as the storage bags can be stacked on top of each other and be put into an out-of-the-way cabinet, under the bed, or on a shelf.'

2. Keep clothes in air-tight totes

If your winter collection will not fit into vacuum bags, air-tight totes are your next best bet, continues Tina Priestly, professional home organizer and owner of Ready, Set, REFRESH:

Another great way to store winter clothes is to use stackable storage bins or containers, keeping items easily accessible yet out of the way. Plus, you can label the bins for quick identification when you need to grab something in a hurry. It’s a simple yet effective way to expand your existing closet space and minimize clutter.’

3. Keep clothes hanging

If you have more delicate wintery clothing pieces that you don't want to fold or smooch into boxes and bags, you can always leave them hanging, but protect and cover them with garment bags to keep them out of the way, suggests Barbara Brock, professional organizer. ‘Hanging bags come in different materials and styles and are good because they are free from moths, mites, and other tiny spores which can destroy fabric,’ she explains.

Placing garments in bags can also help to reduce visual clutter so your winter items do not make your summer closet overwhelming.

4. Rotate your closet layout

‘If you are blessed with enough closet space to hold all your clothes, or need to organize a closet if you don't have seasonal storage, summer is the time for rotation and a little reorganization,’ says Amanda Scott, professional organizer and founder of Amanda Scott Home.

‘I suggest moving heavy winter sweaters up to higher shelves, and coats and other winter clothes (wool pants, heavy long-sleeve dresses, and shirts) to the back of the closet.

‘Then, consider storing winter shoes and boots in under-bed bins, available at Amazon that roll to free up closet space and make access easy. Make sure to clean and thoroughly dry shoes before storing them. Stuff nicer shoes and boots with tissue paper or shoe shapers help keep their shape,’ she recommends.

5. Keep storage out of sight

Where you can, it is a good idea to keep your winter clothing out of sight when storing it for summer. This reduces clutter and makes your dressing spaces more relaxing, says Tina Priestly, professional home organizer:

‘Don’t overlook the space under your bed for winter clothes storage. Under-bed storage boxes or rolling bins are perfect for stowing away bulky items like blankets and winter coats. They’re out of sight yet easily accessible, making them a practical solution for keeping your bedroom clutter-free. Plus, it’s like adding extra square footage to your closet without any construction needed.’

‘If you don't have room in your closet or under your bed, and you have extra suitcases that won’t be used for summer travel, you could store your vacuumed sealed garments in your luggage for the summer season,’ adds Amanda Scott, expert organizer.

Before you store any winter items away for the next few months, it is a good idea to do laundry and ensure any pieces you are storing are clean, fresh, and dry. Not only will this help to prevent musty odors from permeating your clothes in storage, but will also prevent hard set-in stains and can help prevent pests.

Make sure each garment is thoroughly dry before storing it to avoid mold.

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.