Sweater weather is finally over and it’s almost time for shorts and flip flops. However, you’ll want to wear all of your lovely sweaters next year so it’s important to store them correctly. Several months of being draped over a hanger can cause them to become misshapen and unwearable next year. These sweater storage ideas and organization tips will help you store them in the best way and free up some space at the same time.
Sweater Organization Tips
Sweater storage could be as easy as tossing them all in a trash bag and sticking them into a closet somewhere but that wouldn’t keep you organized and it could lead to sweater damage. Therefore, let me begin by offering you some basic tips to organize and store sweaters. These storage systems will keep you organized and protect your sweaters.
Is it better to hang sweaters or fold them?
Most often it is better to fold sweaters than to hang them, with one exception. There are two reasons for this. Sweaters can often have a delicate knit and hanging them can expose them to more probability of the yarn being caught on a hanger which can cause them to become undone. (As Weezer says in his song, “If you want to destroy my sweater, hold this thread as I walk away.”)
The second reason that it is better to fold sweaters rather than hang them is that many sweaters are thick and heavy. Hanging this type of sweater for a long period of time will cause the sweater to stretch out and become misshapen especially at the shoulder where the imprint of the hanger can be very visible.
The one exception to this is if the sweater is both light weight and tight knit. In this case, it is safe to hang sweaters if you so desire. Just be sure to use a high quality, wide shoulder hanger or padded clothes hanger that supports their shape.
How do you store sweaters so they don’t wrinkle?
Some sweaters can be prone to wrinkles. In this case, it is important to take extra care to store those sweaters so they won’t wrinkle. If you already have wrinkles and you want to get them out before you store them, here are a few ways to remove wrinkles.
If your sweaters are both light weight and tight knit, hanging them is a good solution to keep the wrinkles out. With most sweaters the best way to store them so they don’t wrinkle is to use tissue paper when folding them. I suggest tissue paper for wrinkle prone sweaters that will be stored for a long period. Most sweaters can avoid wrinkles by just being folded neatly. Just lay the sweater face down and then lay a couple of sheets of tissue paper onto the back of the sweater before folding. Which brings us to the next question!
How do you fold sweaters for storage?
There are a several different ways to fold sweaters for storage. They all involve using symmetry to keep the wrinkles out and keep the folds looking neat. If your sweaters will be stored in drawers or in flat, under bed storage bins, you may want to try the Mari Kondo folding method, so that you get a triple fold that is shorter and fits well in drawers. If the sweaters will be stored on shelves, you may want to try the method I used as as manager for Express clothing stores to get a pretty chunky fold that looks nice and stores well. I made a little video below to show you how.
How do you store thick sweaters?
Given the reasons covered above, thick sweaters are best stored folded. You can use any one of the folded methods covered below.
What is the best way to store sweaters?
There is no absolute best way to store sweaters. It really depends on the type of sweater and on the space you are working with. I have provided several storage ideas below and I point out the pros and cons of each. The only requirement when it comes to the best way to store sweaters is that it be a dry place so they won’t be subject to mold.
5 Sweater Storage Ideas
Here are a several sweater storage ideas that will help you care for your sweaters whether you have a small closet or tons of extra space.
Hang Sweaters (Only Under These Conditions)
As I pointed out previously, you should never hang your delicate or bulky sweaters like you would a t-shirt or dress. The shoulders will stretch and lose their shape. Folding is best for most sweaters.
However, if you have tons of closet space and you would prefer to hang your sweaters, there is a safe folded sweater hack you can use when hanging. Choose a hearty hanger, not those flimsy wire hangers from the dry cleaners. The type of hanger matters. A wood hanger or velvet hanger will work for hanging your sweaters. The absolute best is velvet because it prevents your sweater from slipping off the hanger.
Next, lay your sweater flat on a table or your bed and fold in half from left to right. Place the hanger so that the hook is between the body of the sweater and the arm, in the armpit, and the bottom of the hanger is at the top of your sweater. Fold the body of your sweater over the top of the hanger, then fold the arms of the sweater over the top, crossing over the body. Essentially hanging your sweater upside down over the top of the hanger, not through it. This will prevent any creases or stretching and keep your sweater looking new by next year. I have a link a youtube video if you find that easier to follow.
Store Folded Sweaters In Drawers
This is the easiest, best option if you have enough drawer space available because it doesn’t require anything extra or fancy. The sweaters will look nice and be easily accessible just in case there is a cool evening. Drawer organizers are optional here but I have never really seen the need for them.
If you only have a few sweaters and an empty dresser drawer, you can store them folded in the drawer. Neatly fold them to avoid wrinkles and organize them by color. If you have any cashmere sweaters, you may want to store them folded in a drawer as they are pricer and deserve the best protection.
To make it look like a professional organizer has done the job for you, try this hack. Instead of stacking them top to bottom in the drawer, stack them front to back with the tops and bottoms facing down and the fold facing up. This will make it easy to see all of your sweaters at once and to find a particular sweater. See links to how to fold sweaters provided above.
Store Folded Sweaters On Shelves
How do you store sweaters on a shelf? Shelf dividers make closet organization easier so you can store folded sweaters on shelving. The closet shelf over your closet rod with hanging items might be just the ticket for up and out of the way. While you can certainly stack them without acrylic shelf dividers, sweaters tend to topple over if stack more than 4 or 5 high. A shelf divider (DIY or store bought) will keep the stack standing tall so that your sweaters don’t get wrinkled and crunched in a ball.
This storage method works well if you have plenty of shelf space in your closet or a used bookshelf you could use. See links provided above for how to do neat sweater folds that will look nice and store well.
Folded Sweaters In Storage Bins
Storing sweaters in storage bins is a great option if you have plenty of under bed space available but not much drawer or closet space. The large flat storage bins are perfect for this. Large storage bins or storage baskets are also great for storing sweaters if you have plenty of floor space at the bottom of a closet where you could fit a bin under the hanging items. Finally, high quality storage bins are also a good option if you need to store things in the garage or basement. I suggest clear storage bins so you can easily see what is inside. I also suggest picking one consistent size so they can stack easily. Storage bins have the advantage over storage bags in there is any chance of exposure to rodents, in the garage for example.
There are all types of storage bins available from plastic tubs with locking lids to much fancier closet storage bins at the Container Store. They all function about the same so pick what works best for you and your budget.
When storing sweaters in storage bins, you can use the half fold and stack them high all the way to the top with dividers between the stacks. You can use empty, flattened cereal boxes as free dividers. Or you can use the tri-folds and the Marie Kondo method and use a cardboard box between the layers. As you prefer. The point of these sweater storage ideas is to fold sweaters so they won’t get damaged or wrinkle.
Storage Bags or Vacuum Sealed Bags
Sweater bags are a great way if you don’t have a lot of storage space and want to slip your sweaters under your bed. Storage bags are inexpensive and very handy for storing your folded sweaters. They can also work well to place inside a cedar chest or trunk at the foot of your bed for easy organization.
Vacuum sealed bags are a great idea if the sweaters will be stored in the basement to help prevent mold. I would probably put the vacuum sealed bags inside or storage bins for additional protection from possible rodents if storing in the basement. Vacuum-sealed storage bags will keep your sweaters clean, nicely folded, and protected until you need them again. Simply fold your sweaters and slip them into a bag, zip it up, and attach your vacuum cleaner hose to the bags sealing portal to remove all the excess air. Your sweaters will essentially be shrink wrapped until next season. The draw back here is that they may wrinkle which is why I only suggest it for storage that is not climate controlled like the basement or attic or garage.
What is the best way to store winter sweaters?
If you are storing your winter sweaters away for a whole season then you use your favorite storage system described above and add to that some moth and rodent repellent. You can chose a natural bug preventative measure like these DIY closet sachets or go hardcore with some moth balls from the store.
However you decide to store your sweaters, the most important thing is to make sure you don’t leave
any creases or stretch them out in any way. Protect them by using one of these sweater storage ideas to keep them fresh and ready to wear when the weather turns cold again. I hope these simple methods help you to make an effective use of space with the perfect storage solution for your stacks of sweaters.
What types of sweaters do you have and how many? What do you think are the best options for the weight of the sweaters and the space you have available? Remember there is no one right way, but these best tips should help find the perfect solution for you!