How To Organise And Store Winter Clothes

Are you looking for smart, easy tips for storing winter clothes? This article explores how to organise winter clothes to keep them safe and fresh for the next season. 

 Tips For Storing Winter Clothes: How To Organise Winter Clothes For Storage

Storing Winter Clothes Tip #1: Clean All Clothing Before Packing

Left untreated, stains you can’t see now will set in your winter clothing while they’re in storage and it’s a sure bet you’ll see them when you pull them out next winter. 

Washing your winter clothes before storing them is a crucial step to maintain their longevity. Why? 

  1. Unwashed clothing can produce mould, mildew and begin to smell if left in long-term storage.
  2. Lingering perfumes, lotions, oils, deodorant or sweat can turn the fabric yellow. 
  3. Storing winter clothes with food stains — even invisible ones — may attract pests such as moths and ultimately ruin your clothing. 

We recommend cleaning all of your winter clothing before storage. Of course, different clothing items will require different types of washing. 

Here are some simple guidelines (though it’s best to check the instructions on your garment’s tag) – 

  • Wool and cashmere coats: Dry clean.
  • Hand-knitted or delicate jumpers and cashmere scarves: Hand wash. Fill a bucket with cold water, add gentle soap, and swish the garments. Empty the bucket, refill with cold water, and swish again until they are rinsed clean. Repeat until all the soap is removed.
  • Down jackets: Soak in cold water with a little detergent for half an hour. Wash gently on a delicate wool cycle and gently squeeze out any excess water. Dry the jacket in a tumble dryer on low heat. Cut two tennis balls in half and add them to the tumble dryer with your down jacket to help your down jacket return to its full loft.
  • Non-delicate winter clothing: Machine wash with cold water.
  • Long underwear and fleece jackets: Wash on a gentle cycle. Avoid fabric softener when drying as this can damage the garment’s wicking properties. 

Thoroughly treat any stains before you store them. And avoid ironing with starch — bugs love it! 

Storing Winter Clothes Tip #2: Loosely Fold Winter Jumpers

Fold your wool and cashmere coats and jumpers loosely into thirds, then in half. While it’s tempting to hang your bulky winter coats and jumpers on hangers, we recommend folding them neatly inside a durable plastic container or cotton garment bag instead. Do up buttons, zip up zippers, and empty the pockets before folding. 

A durable plastic container with a clip-on lid will project your jumpers from moisture, dust and mildew, without distorting the garment’s shape like a hanger. Due to its natural fibres, a cotton garment bag is also a safe choice to safeguard your winter garments during long term storage. 

If you decide to use plastic containers, give them a good clean and dry them thoroughly before storing clothing inside. For extra protection for your winter jackets, we recommend lining your plastic containers with clean, cotton sheets or acid-free tissue paper. Place your heaviest sweaters at the bottom with lightweight jumpers laying on top of heavier jumpers and coats. 

Avoid the temptation to cram lots of winter clothing inside your plastic container. Taking the time to pack your winter jumpers and coats loosely will help them breathe throughout their stay in storage, so they can emerge fresh and crease-free. We strongly recommend against using cardboard boxes to store clothing, as these are easily infiltrated by pests like silverfish, who love to eat wool. 

Storing Winter Clothes Tip #3: Look For Cotton Garment Bags

Leather, suede and down-filled winter clothing are best stored in fabric storage bags where they can breathe. Avoid plastic garment bags at all costs, as these can trap moisture and will not allow natural fibres to breathe, creating the perfect environment for mould. 

Storing Winter Clothes Tip #4: Protect Your Winter Shoes With Shoe Boxes

Before storing shoes, remove dirt from rubber soles with a wire brush and clean the rest with a shoe brush. Sprinkle in baking soda, tuck in shoe trees or boot shapers, and stuff the legs with white tissue paper. Ideally, store your winter shoes in their original shoe boxes or find similar cardboard boxes. This will stop them from getting squashed, bent or misshapen in storage. 

Storing Winter Clothes Tip #5: Choose Delicate Storage For Delicate Winter Clothing

If you have delicate items such as undershirts or long johns to store, carefully fold each item before wrapping them in acid-free tissue paper. Avoid regular tissue paper because the acid in the paper can break down your delicate fabric’s fibres over time. Once they’re wrapped, slip your delicate clothing items inside a sealed cotton storage container or cotton garment bag.

Storing Winter Clothes Tip #6: Avoid Vacuum-Sealed Bags

While vacuum-sealed bags may help you save space, they do not allow your winter clothing to breathe and may even permanently crease them. 

Storing Winter Clothes Tip #7: Protect Against Moths

If you’ve ever ventured into your cupboard, only to discover your favourite jumper has been nibbled on by a stealthy moth, you’ll know how disappointing it is to discover moth holes in your winter clothing. To protect your winter clothing, we recommend skipping the mothballs. Instead, tuck a sachet of lavender or a fragrant cedar wood ball into your storage. Both scents will keep moths, mildew and musty odours at bay without leaking stains or toxic chemicals. 

Storing Winter Clothes Tip #8: Choose A Self-Storage Unit

Once you have packed up all of your winter clothing, you’ll need to find a place to store them to keep them in excellent condition. The best way to store off-season clothes is to place them in a cool, clean, dark, and dry environment, such as a self-storage unit. Your selected storage unit should be clean and free from dust and vermin. Regularly visit your storage unit to check on your winter clothing. 

If you’re looking for more advice on how to organise winter clothes, get in touch with More Space Storage on 07 5594 9739 (Molendinar) or (07) 5598 3355 (Currumbin). We can provide helpful and friendly advice on selecting the right storage unit to store your winter clothes.