How To Store Your Winter Wardrobe

How to Store Your Winter Wardrobe


Prepare and store your winter wardrobe so that it can be worn well into the future.

Warmer weather is right around the corner (at least, that is what I keep telling myself), which means lighter layers, lighter fabrics, and fun colors. It’s time to start thinking about rotating your closet – aka moving off-season clothing out of your closet. Keep only items that you will wear in the upcoming months in your “working” closet.  And, if space is limited, move these items to a separate area of your closet.

Here are a few steps you will want to take before you store your winter wardrobe:

Edit Your Winter Wardrobe

Now is the time to evaluate your winter clothes, boots, and shoes before you move them off to another room or container. Don’t forget about your winter “accessories” – hats, scarves, and gloves/mittens. Remove anything that has holes or past its prime. And, if you find pieces that no longer are serving you – set them free and donate or consign them.

Ask yourself these 5 Questions to Assess Your Wardrobe.

How to Store Your Winter Wardrobe - Edit Your Wardrobe

Clean Everything

Machine wash and dry-clean your winter clothes and accessories before you pack them up. Why? Nasty little creatures (moths and insects) love to find sweat, grease, deodorant, perfume, and food stains.  Yuck!

As soon as you get your clothes back from the dry-cleaner, remove the plastic bag. The plastic traps the chemicals in the bag and doesn’t allow your clothing to breathe.  It also can cause yellowing on your clothes.

How to Store Your Winter Wardrobe - Clean Everything

Sort and Pack

Sort and pack like with like (sweaters with sweaters, gloves with gloves, etc.).  This will make your life much easier when you unpack everything after summer.

If you have hanging space, make sure you remove any metal hangers and use slim-line or wooden hangers for your dresses, coats, jackets, silk, and leather items. Put them in breathable garment bags (no dry-cleaning bags).

Storage Items:

  • Plastic containers
  • Canvas Bags
  • Cotton Garment Bag
  • Extra Luggage
  • Slim-Line Hangers
  • Acid-free Paper
  • Boot forms

Packing Tips:
Wrap your silk, organza, or cashmere in acid-free tissue paper in canvas storage bags. Loosely pack any t-shirts, wool, sweaters, or polyester in plastic bins for maximum air flow. Use vacuum storage bags only for puffy coats and ski pants.

*Avoid plastic containers for long-term storage because it can cause yellowing on your clothes, instead choose cotton or canvas. *Avoid boxes made from cardboard, since the glue attracts pests and insects.

Boot & Shoe Care Tips:
Wipe down and clean your boots and shoes before you store them. Make sure you remove any salt, chemical ice melt, and dirt. Clean them with polish and have your suede professionally cleaned. Wrap your shoes with acid-free paper or use duster bags for protection. Store your shoes in an under bed shoe organizer, plastic shoe box, or the store box.

Invest in boot forms to help maintain the shape of your boot(s). Condition them first and then insert the boots in cotton(duster boot bag, pillow case, or wrap a t-shirt around).  Lay them flat in plastic bins (or the box that they came in).

*Cost Effective Tip: Use a foam pool noodle (cut into pieces), empty water bottles, or rolled magazines and place in your boots.  These are great alternatives to using boot forms.

Cedar blocks are aromatic and a healthier alternative to mothballs.  My personal favorite – sachets filled with lavender.  They have a great scent and they are also good for repelling insects. Toss these in your containers or hang them in your closet/garment bag.  Just make sure they are not touching your clothes.

How to Store Your Winter Wardrobe - Sort and Pack

Choose a Location to Store

The key when picking a place to store your off-season items is that it’s cool, dry, away from sunlight, and well-ventilated. Avoid storing your clothes in an attic or a damp basement.

Where to Store:
Closet – Make use of hanging space and store these items up high or in bins.
Under your bed
Guest Bedroom – In a closet or be creative with storage places in the room.
Rolling Rack with Canvas/Cotton Cover
Basement – If damp, use a dehumidifier to absorb the moisture.

How to Store Your Winter Wardrobe - location for storage

For more closet tips, click here.

Get ready for spring/summer with  – 10 Tips to Tune-up Your Wardrobe.

Do you need help sorting through your winter wear and getting ready for spring/summer?  Contact me today at 414.841.5096 or!


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