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How to Store Summer Clothes for Next Year

A person holding a cardboard box with clothes.

As the seasons change and summer transitions into fall and winter, it’s time to start thinking about your summer clothes storage. Learning how to store summer clothes is key to keeping them from fading, getting nibbled on by pests, or falling prey to mold and mildew.

Making sure your clothes are properly stored keeps them in excellent condition for next year’s sunny days. From sorting and organizing to choosing the best storage containers, your clothing storage techniques can ensure those clothes are as good next year as they were this year.

Sorting Your Wardrobe

A person sorting through clothes in a laundry basket.

Before you start figuring out how to store summer clothes, take some time to sort through your collection of garments. This step is crucial for decluttering, staying organized, and deciding what’s worth keeping for next summer.

Begin by separating all the clothes that you want to keep in your closet for the cold season. This might be long-sleeved shirts, vests, or other items that can be easily layered for cold weather.

Next, figure out what of your summer clothes you haven’t worn all season. There’s no need to store summer clothes you don’t wear anymore, so put any items you don’t like in a pile to donate or discard.

If you have any summer clothes you’ve outgrown or worn out, you’ll want to remove these from your clothing storage as well.

In the end, you should have a summer clothes storage pile that you want to keep for next season. These are all your favorite pieces that you’ll love again next year.

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Clean and Freshen Up Your Clothes

A person putting clothes into a washing machine.

Once you’ve determined what clothes you want to keep for next year, it’s important to clean them well before putting them away. If you store dirty summer clothes, you can end up permanently damaging them.

Make sure you wash or dry clean your summer clothes, depending on their clothing care requirements. This removes any sweat, oils, or stains that might attract pests or mold, or lead to fabric damage during clothing storage. Properly cleaning your clothes helps keep them in shape while they wait in a bin for months.

Ulif U5 Over the Washer and Dryer Storage Shelf

Shelves above your washer and dryer can help you keep all your laundry items organized.

Folding vs. Hanging

A woman holds up a sweater while sorting through clothes.
Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com

Different types of clothing are best stored in different ways. Once your summer clothes are all clean, make sure you consider the type of clothing you’re storing and what method would be best for them. Mainly you want to organize between clothes that need to be folded and clothes that should be hung up.

Light and delicate fabrics, such as summer dresses and blouses, are usually best folded to prevent stretching and misshaping. If you have very delicate items, consider using acid-free tissue paper to wrap each item individually before storing them. This extra layer of protection helps preserve their fragile quality.

Heavier items like blazers or denim can be hung in garment bags. Anything that wrinkles easily may be better stored by hanging up as well.

Organize your clothes by how you intend to store them, then look at how much you have in each pile. This will help you determine how many storage bins or garment bags you need.

Walkpet 12 Gusseted All Clear Garment Bags for Hanging Clothes

Storing your summer clothes in clear bags can help you easily keep track of what's inside.

Use Airtight Containers for Moisture Control

A woman packs shoes up in airtight storage bins.
Kostikova Natalia/Shutterstock.com

The key to keeping your summer clothes safe from moisture, pests, dust, and dirt is to store them in airtight containers. Make sure your containers fully zip or close around your off-season clothes so they maintain their quality all year.

Clear plastic bins with tight-fitting lids work well, allowing you to see the contents without opening them. When you store summer clothes in clear containers, you can gently fold and layer them so you always know what’s inside.

If it helps, label your storage containers with a list of their contents. This makes it easier to find specific items when you’re ready to unpack your summer wardrobe next year.

Select a cool, dark location for storing your summer clothes, such as a rarely used closet, under the bed, or in the attic. Avoid areas that are prone to temperature fluctuations and direct sunlight.

If you live in an especially humid area, consider other ways to maintain moisture control. To prevent mold and mildew, place moisture-absorbing packets or silica gel packs inside the storage containers. These help maintain a dry environment for your clothes.

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These plastic bins have easy-grip handles to make storage easy.

Vacuum Seal for Extra Space

A person vacuum-sealing a bag full of clothes.

For those with limited storage space or if you need to store summer clothes in large quantities, vacuum-sealed bags can be a game-changer. These bags compress your clothing to help you maximize your storage while keeping your clothes protected.

You can fold your clothes or lay them flat in the bag before zipping them shut and using a vacuum nozzle to suck out all the air. This is a great solution for moisture control as well. Thanks to the lack of air, you won’t have to worry about mold or mildew growth.

Keep in mind that clothes that are highly prone to wrinkling won’t thrive being vacuum sealed. They may come out on the other side of storage with a lot of substantial wrinkles.

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Pack away more while taking up less space with these vacuum-seal storage bags.

Regularly Check, Refresh, and Rotate

A persons sorts through their stored off-season clothes.

Every few months, it’s a good idea to inspect your stored summer clothes. Check for any signs of moisture, pests, or damage. You can also refresh the moisture-absorbing packets or replace them if needed.

If you see any signs of pests, it’s important to act quickly. Some pests may like to use your stored clothes as nests. To discourage this, remove any sources of food, water, and warmth right away. Make your space as unappealing as you can to prevent a pest infestation.

When it’s time to unpack your summer clothes for the next season, make sure you take the opportunity to reassess your wardrobe. Donate clothes you don’t like anymore, don’t feel good in, or have gone out of style.

Cedar Space Cedar Blocks for Clothes Storage

Keep your clothes smelling fresh and pests deterred with these fragrant sachets.

Proper clothing storage means you get more wear out of your summer clothes since they will be ready to shine when the sun reemerges. A little extra work now means you can greet the warm weather with fresh, well-preserved outfits. It’ll be like meeting up with old friends again.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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