How to Store Your Clothes

Properly storing your clothes is an important part of keeping them looking their best and making them last longer. Following some simple storage techniques can help you get the most out of your wardrobe.

Evaluate Your Storage Space

Before deciding how to store your clothes, take stock of the storage space you have available. Consider the following:

Closet Space

  • Measure the dimensions of your closet to determine the amount of hanging space and shelf space available. This will help you maximize your storage capabilities.
  • Look for wasted space in corners or above doors that can be utilized with organizational tools like shelves or hanging rods.
  • Assess if your closet has adequate lighting so you can easily see contents. Add battery operated lights if needed.

Dressers and Drawers

  • Evaluate drawer dimensions and organize clothes accordingly. Folded shirts fit better in wide shallow drawers while folded pants and undergarments can go in deeper drawers.
  • Use drawer organizers or dividers if needed to neatly separate and arrange items.
  • Make sure drawers slide smoothly. Lubricate tracks with a bar soap rub if sticky.

Storage Furniture

  • Consider purchasing additional furniture like a wardrobe, armoire, chest of drawers or clothing rack if closet space is lacking.
  • Look for dual purpose furniture like storage ottomans, bench seats with storage inside or beds with storage drawers underneath.
  • Evaluate space available in existing non-bedroom furniture like kitchen pantry cabinets, under guest beds or media center shelving.

Prep Clothes For Storage

Preparing your clothes properly before putting them away will help them maintain quality.

Wash and Dry

  • Always make sure clothes are clean before storing to avoid stains setting in fabrics or odors building up.
  • Check care labels and launder items using recommended methods.
  • Line dry delicates and silks to avoid potential heat damage from dryers.
  • Once dry, remove clothes promptly to avoid wrinkling.

Mend and Repair

  • Inspect garments closely and mend any loose buttons, torn hems or holes before storing.
  • Treat stains by spot cleaning with recommended methods for that fabric type.
  • Use an electric fabric shaver to gently remove pills or surface fuzz.

Fold and Hang

  • Fold knits and casual t-shirts to reduce creasing versus hanging them.
  • Hang lightweight silks, dresses and formal shirts on padded hangers to maintain shape.
  • Fold pants over hangers at the waist to reduce fold impressions. Use clips for extra hold.
  • Stuff shoulder pads with tissue to retain shape then hang shirts and jackets normally.

Choose Proper Storage Locations

Storing clothes in the right places will help keep them looking their best over time. Consider these tips:


  • Hang delicate fabrics like silks and lace garments in closets since they offer more protection from sunlight fading.
  • Reserve upper shelves for out of season clothes or infrequently worn items. Store heavier sweaters and jeans in lower areas.
  • Use cedar blocks or sachets for a pleasant aroma that deters moths.


  • Keep socks and undergarments in top drawers near your bed for easy access when dressing.
  • Use middle drawers for folded shirts, blouses and casual tops within easy reach.
  • Reserve bottom drawers for bulky folded items like jeans, sweaters and sweatshirts.

Basements and Attics

  • These spaces work well for storing off-season clothes but ensure areas are cool and dry first.
  • Use wardrobe boxes with cedar chips or lavender sachets to store delicate out of season clothes safe from bugs and dampness.
  • Seal boxes tightly and elevate off concrete floors for protection. Label clearly.

Garages and Sheds

  • Only use for sturdy outdoor wear like winter coats. Avoid storing delicate fabrics due to pest and moisture risks.
  • Clean storage units thoroughly first and seal any openings mice or insects could enter.
  • Keep stored clothes in sealed plastic bins and elevate above floor.

Use Proper Hangers

Investing in quality hangers can make a big difference in preventing damage.


  • Padded hangers help maintain garment shape and prevent imprints on shoulders.
  • Wooden hangers allow clothes to slip off easily without tugging delicate fabrics.
  • Non-slip velvet lined hangers keep silky fabrics firmly in place.
  • Avoid wire hangers which can imprint rust lines on clothes and stretch out garment shoulders.


  • Contoured shoulders offer an exact fit to keep garment shape.
  • Straight broad shoulder hangers work well for heavy coats and suits.
  • Slim profile hangers conserve closet space for delicate tops and dresses.
  • Multi-garment hangers can hold several shirts or skirts but add weight.

Specialty Hangers

  • Skirt and pants hangers either fold over or have clamps to prevent waistline creases.
  • Lingerie hangers have several adjustable metal hooks for bras and delicate underwear items.
  • Shirt/blouse hangers have a second side bar to hold an additional folded shirt.
  • Suit hangers have an extra wide shoulder bar and side hooks for suit pants.

Use Proper Folding Methods

Folding clothes neatly before storage eliminates wrinkles and creases.

Shirts and Blouses

  • Button shirts and blouses before folding to maintain shape.
  • Lay shirt face down and fold sleeves in toward center.
  • Fold shirt in half then into thirds keeping edges aligned.

Pants and Skirts

  • Lay items face down and fold in half lengthwise matching inner seams.
  • Fold in half again width-wise keeping waistline edge smooth.

Sweaters and Knits

  • Lay flat face down and fold sleeves into center.
  • Fold bottom up to align with shoulders then fold in half.
  • Store heavy knits like sweaters in breathable canvas or cloth bins, not plastic.

Socks and Underwear

  • Pair socks then roll together placing in organizer compartments or shallow drawers.
  • Fold bras and underwear in half width-wise before placing in drawers.
  • Keep bras fastened when stored to retain shape and prevent stretching.

Use Proper Storage Containers

Choosing archival quality storage containers helps protect clothing.

Features to Look For

  • Acid-free, lignin-free materials won’t discolor fabric over time.
  • Clear plastic allows you to see contents easily without opening.
  • Tight sealing lids prevent dust, bugs and moisture from entering.
  • Strong handles make lifting and moving bins easier.

Storage Uses

  • Underbed boxes hold bulky out of season clothing efficiently.
  • Wardrobe boxes with wood hangers built-in are ideal for delicate garments.
  • Small clear bins work well for undergarments, socks and accessories.
  • Large plastic tubs store bulky items like sweaters or blankets safely.

Control Closet Clutter

An organized closet has designated spots for everything allowing clothes to hang properly.

Purge Unneeded Items

  • Remove any clothes you don’t wear regularly and donate to charity.
  • Toss old holey socks and undergarments that are past their prime.
  • Place items you want to sell in an alternate spot to deal with later.

Categorize Clothing

  • Group shirts together, pants together and so forth for easy outfit assembly.
  • Organize by sleeve length, season or color grouping.
  • Store clothing in categories needed most often at eye level.

Maximize Space

  • Install a double hanging rod to double hanging capacity.
  • Use over the door hooks on back of door to hang robes or purses.
  • Mount mesh shelves above hanging rods for folded items, shoes or accessories.
  • Hang ties, belts and scarves from pants/skirt hangers using clips.

Store Clothes By Season

Storing off-season clothing properly helps keep them usable longer.

Off-Season Tips

  • Clean clothes thoroughly before long term storage to prevent odor issues.
  • Seal clothing in airtight plastic bins or wardrobe boxes to protect from dust and bugs.
  • Place fragile fabrics in breathable cotton garment bags first for added protection.
  • Use cedar blocks, dried lavender or natural pest deterrents to repel moths safely.

End of Season Swap Out

  • Rotate clothing seasonally – move summer wear into storage as fall/winter items come out.
  • Check stored clothes for pest damage, mold or stains before placing back into circulation.
  • Repair, mend, wash or dry clean items as needed to return them to wearable condition.
  • Donate anything you didn’t wear in past year to make space for new season apparel.

Frequently Asked Questions About Storing Clothes

Storing clothes properly can seem complicated. Here are answers to some common questions people have:

Should you store clothes in plastic bins or cardboard?

Plastic bins are preferred because they keep out dust, bugs and moisture better than cardboard. Look for acid-free plastics to avoid potential fabric damage over time.

Where is the best place to store winter coats in the summer?

The optimal storage place for winter coats during summer is an airtight plastic bin in a closet, basement or garage. Elevate bin off concrete floors and use cedar chips or sachets inside to deter moths.

How often should you rotate seasonal clothing?

Plan to rotate seasonal clothing twice per year – once when transitioning into each new season. So swap winter and summer clothes in spring and fall. Check for damage and launder or repair items before returning to circulation.

Should you store clothes in attics and basements?

Attics and basements can work for storing off-season clothing if the areas are cool, dry and pest-free. Use wardrobe boxes and plastic bins to protect clothes from moisture, rodents and insects. Avoid storing delicate fabrics due to extreme temperature fluctuations.

How should you store dress clothes to prevent wrinkling?

Button shirts and blouses before folding smoothly along seams to avoid creases. Use hard plastic shirt folders or place folded shirts in acid-free tissue paper inside bins. Hang dress pants on special skirt/pant hangers using clamps to prevent waist imprints.

What’s the best way to store sweaters long term?

Fold sweaters neatly in breathable cotton or linen storage bins, not plastic. This allows airflow to prevent mildew and moths. Store cashmere and delicate knits flat in archival tissue paper away from other fabrics to avoid snagging.


Storing your clothes properly is easy when you follow some simple guidelines. Evaluate your current storage space and options. Prep clothes for storage by washing, mending and folding using recommended techniques. Select appropriate storage furniture, containers and hangers. Categorize clothing by season and type. With some strategic planning, you can keep your clothes organized and in optimal condition regardless of the time of year! Proper storage helps protect your clothing investment by keeping garments clean, unwrinkled and ready to wear whenever needed.