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How To Store Winter Clothes in Only 7 Steps

Posted by Public Storage on March 26, 2024


As the last of the winter chill fades and the vibrant skies of spring start to return to Ireland, we’re all ready to embrace the warmer days. But before we can soak in the spring weather jumper-free, there’s that arduous task we all wish we could ignore: sorting and storing winter clothes. 


Fortunately for you, it doesn’t have to be bursting wardrobes and chaotic shoe closets. Seeking advice from our in-house packing and storage pros, we’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to store winter clothes. It’s packed with practical, easy-to-follow steps that make storing your winter wardrobe less of a chore and more of a “well, that wasn’t too bad” exercise. 


So, let’s get started and make room for a new season, without the storage stress!


Step 1: Sorting & Selecting

A homeowner prepares to pack and store winter clothes by sorting them into groups to keep, donate, and throw away


This step is all about dividing your winter wardrobe into three clear categories: the frequently worn gems, the seldom worn “just-in-cases”, and the “it’s time to say goodbye” items for donation.


Start by laying out all your winter clothes. Now, take a moment to think about each item. That cosy sweater you wore nearly every cold day? That goes into the “frequently worn” pile. And the scarf you got as a gift but never really liked? It might just be the perfect find for someone else, so let’s add it to the “donate” pile.


The beauty of this step is two-fold. First, it’s a great way to declutter. Secondly, this sorting exercise helps you focus on what actually needs storing. No more wasting valuable space on things you’re not even using.


Step 2: Cleaning & Preparing

 A homeowner repairs damaged winter clothes to store


It’s essential that your winter wear is not just stored away, but clean and ready for next year. Because let’s face it, nobody wants to greet the first frost with a jacket that still smells like last year’s coffee spill.


Tackle the “frequently worn” pile first. These are your winter workhorses — the coats, sweaters, and scarves that braved the elements with you. They deserve a good clean. Remember, the goal here is to remove any dirt, stains, or body oils that could damage the fabric over time.


Next, tackle the “seldom worn” items. Even if they look clean, a quick refresh can do wonders. Airing them out or giving them a light clean can prevent any unnoticed stains from setting in and keep them fresh. This step is crucial because storing clothes without cleaning them first can lead to unpleasant surprises like mould, mildew, or permanent stains.


And don’t forget about your shoes and boots! Wipe them down, remove any salt or dirt, and consider conditioning leather items to keep them in tip-top shape.


Step 3: Organising for Storage

A homeowner organisers winter coats and jackets for long-term storage


This is where the magic of organisation meets practicality. You might think storing winter clothes is just about putting things away. Sure it is, but it’s also about doing it smartly, so you’re not playing a game of “find the missing glove” come next winter.


First, group similar items together. Keep all your heavy winter coats in one area, your sweaters in another, and so on. This way, you know exactly where to go for what you need. It’s like creating mini sections within your storage space.


Consider the space you have available and how best to use it. If you’re tight on space, vacuum-sealed storage bags can be a lifesaver, especially for bulky items like down jackets. For items that need to retain their shape, like structured coats or blazers, use sturdy hangers and garment bags.


A handy tip is to use clear storage bins for items that don’t need to be hung. This way, you can see what’s inside without having to rummage through each bin. 


Labelling each winter clothes storage box or bag with a quick description of its contents (like “Heavy Sweaters” or “Snow Gear”) is also a great time-saver.


Step 4: Protecting Against Pests and Odours

A homeowner protects their winter clothes against pests and odours before putting it into storage


There’s nothing worse than unpacking your winter clothes only to find them musty or, worse, damaged by pests. Use natural repellents like cedar blocks or lavender sachets. These natural alternatives to mothballs not only keep pests away but also leave a pleasant scent. 


Place lavender sachets and cedar blocks inside the storage containers or amongst the folded clothes. They’re especially useful in storage bags and bins where they can maintain their aroma and protective properties for an extended period.


Avoid chemical mothballs if possible, as they can leave a strong odour and are toxic. For extra protection, ensure all containers are tightly sealed and free of holes.


Step 5: Pack Properly

A homeowner packs their winter clothes in boxes, bags, and containers for storing


Knowing how to pack winter clothes for storage seems straightforward, but there’s a reason why we have professional packers. If your go-to method is to toss everything in a box and call it a day, you can almost guarantee sad, frumpy, and musky winter clothes come December. We’ve chatted to the experts, and here’s how to do it right:


Use Acid-Free Tissue Paper 

When folding your clothes, particularly delicate items like cashmere sweaters or silk scarves, layer them with acid-free tissue paper. This prevents yellowing and helps maintain the fabric’s softness.

Smart Folding & Rolling 

For bulkier items like sweaters, jumpers, and jeans, a combination of folding and rolling works best. Fold them neatly, but for items that are prone to creasing, gently roll them to save space and avoid deep fold lines.

Garment Bags for Delicate Items 

For more structured or delicate pieces such as winter coats or dresses, use garment bags. You can pick these up from most home stores for a few pounds, and they provide an additional layer of protection against dust and pests.

Vacuum-Sealed Bags for Bulky Items 

Heavy winter coats and puffy jackets can take up a lot of space. Consider using vacuum-sealed bags for these items. They reduce the volume significantly, making storage easier and more efficient.

Layering in Storage Containers 

The best winter clothes storage containers are plastic boxes as they are tough, weatherproof, and transparent for quick spotting of your favourite fleece. When packing your gear into these storage boxes, start with the heaviest items at the bottom and work your way up to the lighter ones. This prevents delicate items from getting crushed.

Avoid Overpacking 

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, make sure your winter storage containers and bags aren’t too stuffed. Clothes need some air circulation to prevent moisture build-up and mould growth.


Step 6: Choose the Right Storage Space

A homeowner selects a storage unit for winter clothes storage


Choosing the best storage solution for your winter clothes is crucial. You want a cool, dry, and dark place to prevent any damage from heat, moisture, or light. Avoid areas like attics or basements unless they are climate-controlled or well-insulated, as extreme temperatures and humidity can ruin fabrics. 


Under-bed storage can be a great option for small spaces. Just make sure wherever you choose, it’s accessible yet out of the way of daily life.


If you don’t have the extra room at home, the best storage space for winter clothes is always a professional self storage facility. These facilities typically come with a variety of units, with smaller ones perfect for storing jumpers, boots, and any other winter gear. Make sure that you choose the right unit for your needs and take cost into consideration.


Also Read: Your Ultimate Guide to Renting Self Storage Units in Cork


Step 7: Rotate Seasonally & Reassess

A homeowner unpacks their winter clothes


When the chill starts to creep back in, it’s time to reverse the process. As you unpack your winter clothes, reassess them. Did you miss any items this year? Do some need repairing or replacing? 


Once your winter clothes are out, repeat the process with your summer clothes, keeping your wardrobe fresh all year round. 


Keep Your Wardrobe Clutter-Free this Winter 


By following this simple 7-step guide,  you’ll know how to store winter clothes to keep them in the best condition possible, retaining their quality and freshness for when the colder weather rolls back around. 


If you need somewhere safe, dry, and clean to store your winter wear in Cork, come down to Wm. O’Brien Storage — Ireland’s No. 1 Self Storage Provider. 


Get an instant quote online, or give the local Cork team a ring on 1800 74 74 75 to learn more.