Winter Clothes Storage 101: How to Store Winter Clothes

As temperatures rise, it’s time to pack up bulky sweaters, coats, scarves and other cold weather gear. Properly storing winter clothes not only saves space, but preserves quality and ensures items are protected from damage.

In this article, we’ll cover tips for laundering, assessing for repairs, choosing storage containers and locations and common mistakes to avoid when putting away your winter wardrobe.

Cleaning, Repairing, and Recycling Your Winter Wardrobe

Before storage, it’s important to prep your winter wear correctly:

Launder Your Winter Items: 

Clean clothes prevent staining and minimize the musty smells that can occur when packed away dirty. Be sure to follow all clothing labels and wash with similar colors and fabrics.

Shoe Care: 

Disinfect insoles and wipe salt stains from leather boots. Stuff with paper to retain shape.

Repair or Recycle: 

Inspect clothes for needed mending, missing buttons, broken zippers etc. If an item is too worn to salvage, recycle rather than storing unnecessarily.

How to Store Winter Clothing

Choose proper storage materials and techniques to keep garments in optimal condition:

Plastic Bins for Non-Delicate Items: 

Clear sealable bins help protect from dust and pests while still allowing you to identify contents. Use for outerwear, gloves, hats and other durable fabrics.

Delicate Items Wrapped in Tissue Paper: 

Shield specialty fabrics like cashmere, silk and wool in acid-free, ink-free tissue paper to prevent snags and holes.

Choose the Right Storage Location: 

Store in clean, dry spots between 55-75°F if possible. Avoid attics, basements and garages which can experience temperature fluctuations and moisture.

Regularly Check Your Storage: 

Periodically inspect containers for pests, moisture or other issues needing attention. This ensures nothing is damaged long-term when packed away.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Winter Clothes

Mistake #1: Not Washing Clothing Before Storing It

Failing to launder winter garments allows odor-causing bacteria, pollen, soil and other contaminants to become deeply embedded in the fabric fibers. Storing soiled clothes leads to discoloration, permanent stains, and unpleasant musty smells that can be impossible to remove later. Always wash items according to care labels before packing up - the time investment is well worth preventing ruined garments down the line. For wool, cashmere and delicate fabrics, consider professional dry cleaning.

Mistake #2: Not Protecting Against Moths

Clothing moths feast on natural fibers and can devastate beloved wool coats, heirloom knits and cashmere pieces. To deter infestations, place cedar blocks in storage bins as a natural repellant along with dried lavender sachets. Mothballs also work but some dislike the strong smell. As an extra precaution, you can freeze clothing for 72 hours before storage to kill any eggs present - just allow items to fully thaw before refolding to prevent damage.

Mistake #3: Cramming Too Many Items into One Container

It’s tempting to cram as much winter wear as possible into a single bin. However overstuffing leads to irreparable stretching, misshaping, and rumpled wrinkling - causing garments to permanently lose their structure. Instead, be selective regarding what requires storage and invest in enough plastic bins, garment bags and archival boxes to give items room. Layer delicates between acid-free tissue paper as well. Proper winter clothes storage handles pieces gently to maintain integrity.

Mistake #4: Storing in the Wrong Spot

Avoid humid basements, hot attics or outbuildings with large temperature fluctuations and dampness issues. These accelerate deterioration and potentially introduce mold. The gold standard is storing winter clothes in a frequently accessed closet inside a climate-controlled living space kept between 55-75°F year-round. Consistent cool and dry conditions prevent moisture damage and discourage insects. If options are limited however, at minimum choose spaces with the most stable temperature and lowest humidity available.

Mistake #5: Not Checking on Storage Periodically

Out of sight out of mind doesn’t cut it for packed-away winter wear. Make it a habit to briefly inspect storage containers a few times during the off-season. Scan for early signs of moisture, mold, moth holes or other undesirable issues. Addressing problems early allows you to take corrective action, launder affected garments and prevent irreparable widespread damage before next winter. Being diligent about periodically checking lets you relax knowing belongings are protected.


In conclusion, storing your winter clothes properly is important to keep them in good condition for next season. Remember to wash your clothes before packing them away, use the right storage containers, and choose a clean, dry location. Avoid common mistakes like overstuffing containers and storing in damp areas. By taking these simple steps, you can ensure your winter wardrobe stays fresh and ready to wear when the cold weather returns.