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3 clever ideas for storing summer clothing all winter long

Once summer is at its end, the daunting task of storing your warm-weather clothes for winter starts to weigh on the back of your mind. Thankfully, it’s not too difficult to prepare your wardrobe for winter, and you can complete the entire process in a single afternoon.

Say goodbye to overstuffed closets and overflowing bins — here are the best ways to change your wardrobe along with the seasons.

Declutter before storing

Before you stash away your summer clothing, declutter first. Storage can be limited and packing takes up a lot of time, so save yourself time and energy by only keeping the items you enjoy and use. Sort your clothes into three piles labeled keep, toss, and donate. After an entire summer of fun, outdoor adventures, and heading to the pool or beach, there are likely several items that no longer need a spot in your closet.

Lightly worn or ill-fitting clothing should be the first to go. If the items are in good condition, you can donate them or sell them at a consignment shop. Then, throw away any pieces that are torn or overly worn, as well as old bathing suits you don’t plan to wear next season. Do the same with shoes, accessories, and other summertime items

As you declutter, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did I wear this during the summer?
  • Does it fit?
  • Does it suit my style?
  • Is it overly worn? Torn? Stained?

Answering these questions can help you decide whether you should keep, donate, or toss your clothing to prepare for the next season. Take your time with this step and be realistic about what you will and won’t use next summer.

Before you begin packing or rearranging anything, remove the donate and toss piles from your room so that you don’t accidentally pack them up. Then, once you’re left only with the items that made the cut, set them aside to fold and organize later.

person organizing clothing into piles
Damian Lugowski / Shutterstock

Make the most of storage bins

Before you begin storing your clothes, ensure everything is washed and dried. Bathing suits and workout gear need special attention and care as they can hold scents that, when packed tightly among your other things, can transfer to the rest of your clothing. A good rule of thumb is to roll bathing suits in towels or store them separately to prevent other clothing items from smelling like chlorine or saltwater.

If you have storage bins for your summer attire, be sure to label them. When packing up just your own items, consider sorting them according to function, like workout clothes, swimwear, casual outfits, dresses, etc. On the other hand, when the entire household is preparing for fall, label the bins based on who they belong to.

Shoes can take up a lot of space in your totes, so we recommend storing them separately. Keep summer sandals and sneakers on a hanging shoe rack in the attic, garage, or even in the back of your closet.

How to store clothing

To keep your items in good condition with as few wrinkles as possible, roll, don’t fold, your clothing to prevent deep creases from forming. These deep lines can be difficult to remove, even with an iron. Once rolled, place heavier and sturdier fabrics, like jeans and jackets, on the bottom of the bins, and cover them with lighter materials like t-shirts.

Additionally, ensure that all totes are stored a few inches off the ground in a dry and safe location. This keeps them protected from any possible leaks and puts them just out of range of small critters looking for a place to nest.

hanging closet storage bags
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Hang delicates and jackets

Use hanging storage bags to safely hold dresses, delicates, and jackets that could get ruined in storage or damaged by folding. Use sturdy hangers and wrap the clothing in the fabric storage bag, zipping or sealing it all the way up to best protect the clothing inside. Hang the storage bags on a clothing rack in your attic or other storage room, or place them in the back of the closet, out of the way of your winter attire.

Storing your clothing for winter is an easy task, but often it’s one many people avoid. While it can be a tedious process, storing your summer clothing properly can increase the longevity of your fabrics and open up some space in your room. While you may be tempted to, don’t put off storing your summer wardrobe! Your newly tidied and organized closet will thank you.

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Amelia Wilson
Amelia Wilson (author pen name Amelia J. Wilson) is a content writer in Greenwood, IN. She often enjoys topics on…
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