How I Store Off-Season Clothes

This is kind of a random topic but I get asked about it every time I swap out my clothing for the season.

It brings me far too much joy to bring out a whole new slew of outfits twice a year. It feels like Christmas just when I’m starting to get sick of everything I own.

When I swap my clothes:
It’s usually pretty warm in Connecticut until the end of September so the first week in October is when I generally bring back fall/winter clothes. Then my spring/summer wardrobe comes back at the end of April.

The swapping process:
Because I store things already hung and folded (thank you for that tip, Jonesie!), it doesn’t usually take more than an hour or two. First I pull all of my hanging clothes from the previous season out of the closet and lay them on the bed. Then I go through each piece one by one and do Marie Kondo’s trick of holding it in my hand and seeing if it still sparks joy. And if I didn’t wear it once over the last 6 months I ask myself why. Last week when I swapped out my summer stuff, I donated about 6 dresses and 3 pairs of shorts.

Then I do the same thing for folded items in my dresser. And refold everything perfectly so that when I pull it out of storage again in 6 months, it’s good to go!

Once that’s done, I take the boxes of my new season of clothing and unpack it box by box. I hang what needs to be hung and put what needs to be put in drawers into drawers. Because I already went through it all when I put it away there usually isn’t anything that goes into my donation pile during this step.

How I store my off-season clothes:
Every type of clothing/accessory gets its own clear storage bin… labeled of course! One side is labeled for the fall/winter component and one side is labeled for the spring/summer component… another tip from my friend Stef, a professional organizer.

One example is a box where one side says “sweatshirts” and the other side says “bathing suits” which makes it easy for me to figure out where things go season after season.

Dresses/Blouses: I keep dresses and blouses on their hangers (all facing the same way! And fold them in half in large clear storage bins. I’m careful to keep them as smooth as possible so I don’t have to do much or any steaming/ironing on the other end.

Sweaters: My sweaters also live on hangers in my closet so the same goes for them.

Tees/Lounge: I store these folded in order of how they go into my drawers.

Shoes: Shoes are the trickiest part for me because they don’t fit perfectly into bins the way I want them to. Luckily I’ve pared down my shoe collection so for fall/winter I have one bin for boots and booties and one for flats. For spring/summer, I have one for sandals and one for everything else (Wedges, beach sneakers, etc).

I always put boot shapers into my boots so that they don’t get messed up in the box. And I put a layer of tissue paper between each layer of shoes just to keep them as clean as possible.

Accessories: Small items like jewelry and headbands I keep out year-round but I swap out some bags and scarves so I have one bin dedicated to accessories with a label that just says “off-season accessories” on both sides.

Outerwear: We actually keep our fall/winter coats on hanging racks in our storage space because I find that there isn’t one particular day when we want to put them away. It’s easier to grab and put them back this way.

Where I store off season clothes:
We have a section of our basement that is unfinished that we use as a little storage room. We use it like most people would use an attic space but it’s easier to get to. We keep Christmas decorations, off season clothing, luggage, and other random storage stuff down there.

There you have it! My little storage system that works really well for me and makes swapping out clothes a breeze.

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  1. Miriam said:

    I live in a tiny apartment with a roommate so didn’t expect this to apply to me as I store everything under my bed, but I absolutely love the idea of having labels you flip for each season! That is brilliant, thank you!

    10.6.20 · Reply
  2. Libby said:

    This brought me more joy than it probably should lol, and gave me some inspo for a reorganization project- Under the bed clothing storage situation first, then on to my desk- i have an office supplies/cute stationary problem ahahah! Thank you for this, Julia!

    10.6.20 · Reply
  3. Jess said:

    Love reading organization tips – less is more! The one about labeling both sides of a box so you can reuse bins is genius.

    10.6.20 · Reply