How To Store Off-Season Clothes

Within the next few months, most of us begin the semi-annual change of clothing.  Spring is rolling around, and that means you’ll be wanting to dress lighter. Living in Florida, I don’t have a big change in attire.  I put my heavier clothes and coats in the back of the closet or in my suitcases.  When I lived up north, I had a much bigger winter wardrobe and had a complete process for my changes. I even changed some home accessories like curtains. You’re putting away the heavy drapes and rolling back the rugs to go back into  storage. Preparing the house to get back into warm weather mode takes some time, just like it takes time to get your home into winter mode. Those winter clothes and boots you got out of storage six months ago need to be put away once again, and that means that you start getting the spring and summer clothes out.


Modern shirts of different pink color shades on plastic hangers with metal hooks hanging on wooden beam in wardrobe near white concrete wall in apartment



While you are digging out your dresses and flowing skirts, you need to consider the best way to repack your winter wear back into storage.  Tossing all your cold weather clothing in a bin or space bag might be a quick fix, but you won’t be doing your future self any favors when those cozy winter dates arrive again next year.  From the sticky clothes moth traps to keeping the clothes preserved well over the spring and summer, let’s take a look at some of the best tips for your winter wardrobe.



Black Red and Blue England Flag Print Rain Boots




  • First, review your clothes and eliminate what you didn’t wear this year. It is a waste of time and space to clean and store what you are not going to wear next year.  Donate those items and free your closet space.
  • Clean and thoroughly dry your clothing before storage. Washing clothes before you get them into storage and making sure that they are fully dry prevents them from growing moldy and smelling musty by the time the next season rolls around. If you have clothing that’s dry clean only, get that cleaned properly first. Moths and other pests are more attracted to food stains and perspiration than the material. Another note about pests: They’re also attracted to fabric softener, bleach, and and starch, so stick to basic laundry detergent. 
  • Baking soda is a miracle material for clothing. Bacteria can still be present even at the end of the winter season, but baking soda can be the best thing that you do for your winter wardrobe. If there are odors that are still hanging around, you should wash them with half a cup of baking soda to get rid of any smells in the clothing you are packing. You can bet that with half a cup of baking soda in the wash, there won’t be any smells in the end.
  • In addition to making sure your clothing is clean, you can also de-pill your sweaters and clean and polish your boots. (Give them ample time to dry before you pack them away.)
  • Check over all of your clothes for holes, loose threads and any other issues that a little maintenance could fix. Fixing on buttons, ironing out any wrinkles and airing the clothing out outside can all make a big difference to the way your clothes come back out of the wardrobe in the winter.
  • I would avoid storing clothing in basements and attics.  The right temperature absolutely matters when it comes to clothing storage. Extreme temperatures are not good for your clothes, and a climate controlled storage space is going tobe the best option. However, if this isn’t feasible, try to keep the clothing inside the house and away from the less protected areas. If you have a spare wardrobe in the house, use this and keep it away from heaters and windows.
  • Fold anything that could stretch or lose its shape when hung and hang anything that would wrinkle when folded. Specifically as it applies to winter clothing, if closet space allows, hang things like down coats and cold weather pleated skirts. Vacuum sealed bags  and plastic containers are a good option for many items like a poly-filled coat.  This is a great way to store bulky items.  I also like to use suitcases and store them under my 4 poster bed.
  • When folding, use acid-free tissue paper to add an extra layer of protection to vintage, delicate, or special items. Tissue paper also prevents color transfer and snagging if some of your clothing has embellishments.
  • Store clean boots and shoes with shoe and boot shapers in plastic bins.  Inflatable shapers are easy to store when not in use.



Modern wardrobe with white drawers full of different casual wear with brown leather bag




I hope these suggestions help you in your storing of your winter wardrobe this spring.  Stay well.









This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

7 thoughts to “How To Store Off-Season Clothes”

  1. Here in Amherstburg, Ontario Canada, we enjoy ( I’m not sure if it is ) the 4 seasons. We have different clothes for each season. I enjoy Summer because there isn’t much to wear, shorts, shirt and white socks. When we use to go to Sarasota for a vacation, I really enjoyed the pool and the sand or when we would go on our cruise. Here, there isn’t much around here. Oh well, my life is OK. Have a wonderful day Carol.

    Cruisin Paul

    1. I used to live in Michigan which gets pretty cold in winter. I had lots more clothes then. Happy Saturday Paul!

  2. These are pretty interesting and helpful tips, Carol. I need to go through the next level of “donate” clothes. I laughed when I read this: “digging out your dresses and flowing skirts” — I don’t think I’ve had a dress or flowing skirt for a decade or more!

    1. I don’t have dresses or flowering skirts anymore either. I used to have quite a few for hot summers in Miami (think 1980’s) My present retirement wardrobe is simple most of the time. I live in shorts, tees, and sandals. When cold weather comes in, I trade shorts for slacks and add a sweatshirt jacket. Voila! It’s a simple closet of mostly cotton clothes which I wash and dry to death before I pitch them.

  3. These are really great tips. I never would have thought to layer the clothes with tissue paper. Also, washing them with baking soda before putting them away is another great tip I didn’t think of! I’ll be keeping that in mind when I switch out my clothes for spring and summer.

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