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How to store away your winter clothes?

Written by Bianca du Preez


Posted on October 06 2021

How to store away your winter clothes and open-up more closet space?

Unless you are one of those lucky people with a beautiful and spacious walk-in closet the size of a retail store, storing your clothes is a non-negotiable for an organized peaceful closet and for your closet to be functional. It is no secret that here in the rainbow nation we have distinct seasons and the difference between summer and winter is quite big. Figuring out a system to store away your bulkier winter pieces will make your daily outfit picking routine so much easier.

We no longer need bulky jackets to clutter up our closes and steal precious space from our day-to-day wardrobe. Get to organising your closet with some of our clothing storage tips & tricks and save time that’s usually wasted searching for a new outfit. It’s also best to avoid squeezing in items when putting laundry away.

Tip 1: Marie Kondo your wardrobe

When looking at every single item of clothing in your wardrobe, ask yourself the famous question from Marie Kondo: “Does it Spark Joy?” If the answer is not an immediate yes, do yourself a favour, donate the items and open-up some space for new fashion pieces that will spark joy.

Every seasonal change, it is a great idea to review your wardrobe and donate what you no longer wear or want. Let’s be honest, we all have a few items in our closet that we know we won’t be wearing again anytime soon. Easiest way to determine what to throw out is to ask yourself “Did I wear this item during the season?” if no … you know what to do with it.

A recent survey has shown that 82% of the clothes in your closet has not been worn in the past year, makes you think. Image the space that you will have available when cleaning out those items. Donate the clothes that are still in a good condition, if you are working on a tight budget, you can even sell your previously loved items on different second-hand Facebook groups or at thrifting markets that are making a big comeback at the moment.

Once you have sorted through everything, you’ll be in the right mindset to organise and store the off-season clothes.

Tip 2: Organise and clean your clothes before storing them

The first step is out of the way and your wardrobe is slimmed down to only the essentials that actually have the privilege to see the light of day, now it is easier to sort out your clothes by season. Think about the items that you have and what you usually wear them for and group them together based on both season and activity. Pair all winter pieces together, like puffer jackets, heavy-duty down jackets, thick knitwear, winter scarfs, boots, hats & beanies.

While sorting your clothes make sure to empty the pockets and check for misplaced items. Before storing away the clothing of months on end, it is very important to make sure the clothes are clean to avoid odours spreading between the clothes. Remove all stains you can find on your clothes, and if it cannot be removed, consider adding the specific item to the donation pile.

Even though you clean your clothes thoroughly before storing them, there is still a chance that it might smell musty over time. A good tip would be to include a few drops of lavender essential oil or dryer sheets with every single container.

Here is a guide to how to store different kind of items:

  • Boots: Put a form in each boot to keep its shape, store the boots lying on their sides, try and add a piece of material between each pair (i.e. an old t-shirt).
  • Shoes: Pack tissue paper / newspaper in the shoes to help them keep their shape and store in a plastic container.
  • Sweaters: Fold and place in a container only containing sweaters. Avoid cramming too many sweaters into one container as this could easily form mold.
  • Coats: Button the coat up or zip the coat up. Gentle fold the coats made of faux fur, wool and leather to enable the coat to keep their shape. Real animal fur coats should not be packed up and only hanged up.
  • Delicates: The best way to store delicate items is by wrapping the item in tissue paper and packing them in to cotton garment bags.
  • Shirts & Jeans: These items you can fold or roll and store them in the containers.

Tip 3: Use Containers based on the contents & location

The best container to store your clothes in is dependent on what you will be storing in it. Plastic containers are the best option because they are easy to handle, light weighted, stack well on top of each other and they are great at keeping moisture and bugs out. Moisture and bugs are the biggest enemies when storing away clothes. Make sure all your clothes are completely dry before packing them to avoid mold and mildew. It is a great idea to add a few moisture absorbers just in-case.

Clear containers are the best to use when the containers will not be in direct sunlight, this allows you to see what is stored inside. If the containers will be stored in direct sunlight, then rather go with a darker coloured container to avoid the clothes from staining. Avoid using cardboard if you will be storing your clothes in a garage, because it is easier for bugs to get in and destroy your clothes.

For silk or cashmere items the best material to store them in would be fabric or canvas containers because the material is breathable. It is also important to take an extra measure for these materials and use moth-repellent, try cedar or lavender sachets.

Tip 4: Use vacuum-sealed bags to save space.

If you have limited space or want to store away bulky clothing pieces, it is a great idea to try vacuum-sealed storage bags. Simply fold up each item of clothing, put them in the bag & close it, then use the small pump and suction all the air out. This gives you a much more compact bag and allows you to store away a lot more items. Vacuum-sealed bags also help with keeping mold and bugs away from your clothes.

Tip 5: Find the right storage spot

The best spots would be cool, dark, and dry conditions. Since you will be using the clothes again for the next winter season, you want to keep them in a spot that is not too far away and easily accessible. Another favourite spot for storage-challenged homes is under a bed. You can create more space by purchasing bed risers. Don’t forget to label everything, just a simple strip of masking tape and a permanent market will do.

Storage tip summary:

  1. Stuff your shoes with newspaper to help them keep their shape while in storage.
  2. Store the winter clothes in luggage. Luggage is not used frequently and storing you out-of-season clothes in luggage is basically a 2-in-1.
  3. Consider using vacuum sealed bags.
  4. Add lavender sachets to your bag, refresh them every so often by placing the the bags in the sun.
  5. Store your clothes underneath your bed if possible. This area is often underutilized.
  6. Use clear containers to be able to see what is stored inside.
  7. Label your bins with masking tape and a permanent marker. Then you know exactly what is inside the container.
  8. Add lavender essential oils in your winter shoes before putting them away.
  9. Put your sweaters in a zip lock bag and freeze the bags and keep them in the freezer for a few days and this will kill all unhatched pests before storing it away for a while.


Here are a few mistakes to avoid when packing away your clothes for a season:

  1. Not washing clothing before storing it.
  2. Not protecting the clothes from moths and mold.
  3. Cramming too many items into one container.
  4. Storing the clothes in the wrong spot.
  5. Not using tissue paper for delicate items that you are storing.

 Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. On the third Friday of October, we celebrate National Mammography Day as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In the last couple of years there has been a decrease in screening and early detection.

The hard reality is that 1 in every 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, with statistics like that it is a possibility that almost everyone knows someone affected by this disease. Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) was launched in 1985 by the American Cancer Society with the intention to encourage women to get regular mammograms.

Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers among woman in South Africa and is the most common cancer amongst white and Asian woman and it is the second most common cancer among black and coloured woman. The scary reality is that men can also develop breast cancer, although it is uncommon.

Early detection of breast cancer will most likely lead to effective treatment and a positive prognosis. About 90% survive for many years after breast cancer has been diagnosed, as long as the breast cancer is detected in the early stages.

Regular self-breast examination is easy to do in the shower, and regular mammograms are a vital key to early detection of any problems.

Do your part and get yourself tested this October and motivate all the ladies in your life to do the same.




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