2021 is here, and spring is a couple of months away. Soon it’ll be time to transition your closet from winter to spring, and that means storing away off-season clothing. To keep them in the best shape for the next winter season, follow these best practices:

Before you begin, clean all the clothing to be stored

Before you pack away your winter clothes, they should be washed and dried. All stains should be deep cleaned and treated as best you can. Once your clothes are stored, all the time spent sitting will harden stains. If you have piles of winter clothes to store, you can save time by having residential laundry services complete this initial step. You’ll especially benefit from having laundry services take care of your thicker clothes, such as coats and jackets.

Once your clothes are washed and dried, you can store them according to their fabric type.

Clothing that stretches when hung should be folded 

Fabric that stretches under its own weight shouldn’t be stored on a hanger. This includes thick sweaters that can pull down on hangers and imprint the hanger shape into its shoulders and activewear that stretches to accommodate your body shape. Unsure if the fabric is stretching? If the clothing appears to sag around the hanger, it should be folded.


Use containers made of cotton or natural linen to store your folded clothing. Plastic containers are okay for storage, but make sure they’re not too tight because too little air circulation will encourage mold and mildew growth. Don’t use cardboard boxes because they can break down over the long-term and attract pests. If your closet doesn’t have much shelf space, you can nab the space under your bed with under-bed garment bags or wheeled plastic containers.

Clothing that wrinkles when folded should be hung 

Leave delicate clothing on hangers. Your chiffon, silk, linen, and other lightweight fabrics that are dry cleaned shouldn’t be folded or they can easily attain deep wrinkles. Also, hang all blouses and non-jeans pants, but you can fold them over the hanger bar. Most dresses should be hung but should be folded if they’re made of heavy fabric (e.g. sweater dresses).


Avoid using wire hangers, which are prone to bending out of shape, snapping, and snagging on fabric. Hangers should mimic the shape of shoulders to keep the clothing in shape. Store your clothes on wooden, velvet, or chrome hangers.

Store all clothing with natural pest-repellants

Washing your clothes pre-storage will prevent stains from settling over time, but that’s not enough to prevent pests from working their way into your storage. However, you store your clothes, keep them in a space with natural pest-repellents such as cedar blocks, balls, or chips that are no older than three years.


Mothballs might seem ideal, but they contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, chemicals that are toxic to children and pets. They work by releasing fumes that kill fiber pests and if inhaled by humans, respiratory problems. If you’ve had moths, silverfish, or other fiber pests attack your stored clothes before, and you’re set on using mothballs, follow the instructions closely. They should only be used in tightly-sealed containers.


Are you looking for residential laundry services to clean your winter clothing before you store them for next winter? Laundry Care Express offers laundry and dry cleaning services to residents in the Santa Cruz and San Jose areas. Schedule a laundry pick up to get started today. 


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