Weather Center

Store Winter Clothing the Right Way: DIY Ideas and More

By Kristy Alpert 3.8.17

With warmer weather just around the corner, it’s time to trade sweat pants and socks for shorts and flip-flops. Seasonal clothing storage saves space in your closet and gives all seasons’ worth of clothing room to breathe.

Did you know that an overstuffed closet can actually harm some fabrics? Lack of air circulation to the fibers can cause yellowing, and you may have to replace items when winter rolls back around. What’s more, a seasonal closet (aka a clutter-free closet) can also be good for your mental health: A University of California, Los Angeles study found clutter to cause spiked stress hormones during the day for study participants.

A consolidated closet may contribute to a healthy home, but you don’t have to invest in expensive storage systems or spend hours sorting sweaters every year. This guide for easy winter clothing storage tips and a few simple DIY techniques can save time and money — not to mention your wardrobe!

  • Think outside the (cardboard) box. Improperly stored clothes can fall victim to hungry insects, permanent stains, and un-ironable wrinkles. To store clothes properly, avoid hangers, which can stretch clothing at the shoulders, and cardboard boxes (the cardboard is acidic and contains an additive that actually attracts pests and insects). Stick with plastic storage containers that have lids or, better yet, suitcases you don’t plan to use. Label the containers to identify the contents and store them in climate-controlled storage (e.g., beneath the staircase, under the bed, etc.). Steer clear of using the basement or attic, where humidity can attract mold, mildew, and insects.
  • Go high tech. Use an app to keep your closet organized. For instance, Closet+ was created as an outfit tracker to monitor which outfits were worn last and calculate each item’s cost per wear, but the categories (and subcategories) make it an ideal app for keeping inventory of what you own and where each item currently resides — on a hanger or in a storage bin.
  • Get creative. Organization stores sell everything from boot trees that store your boots upright to shoe racks and scarf hangers, but you can use items around the house for the same purposes. Stuff tall boots with pool noodles to keep them from creasing, and use tissue paper for ankle booties, pumps, or loafers to help retain their shape.
  • Outsource it. Some dry cleaners offer garment storage for out-of-season items as a minimally priced or free service. Simply bring your items to be cleaned from all dirt, food particles, and stains that would attract insects, and let your dry cleaner take them from there. The garments are typically stored in a climate-controlled vault that protects against fires, burglary, floods, mildew, and insects.

Once you have your closet ready for spring, learn how to waterproof boots and canvas shoes to handle spring showers, along with other ways to help your home weather a rainy spring season. In the meantime, happy sorting!

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