They say there is a season for everything. And, yes, you don't have to be a total fashionista or a Vogue devotee to know that also applies to clothes! Many of us have experienced the challenge of keeping track of a wardrobe that includes a stack of shorts and tank tops and a closet full of chunky sweaters and warm boots. While switching out a portion of your clothing can be daunting, it can actually be a smooth (and dare we say, fun?) process. Luckily, having the right storage is key to corralling your clothes.
To help us get a handle on clothing clutter, we reached out to Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid, to get her perspective on clothing storage. "Putting seasonal clothes away helps you see what’s really in your closet for the right season," she explains. In fact, Peterson says stuffing your entire year’s wardrobe in the closet can actually wreak havoc on your clothing collection. Some of the fabric can get wrinkled, damaged, or start to smell from being packed so tightly together, she explains.
Once you've separated the clothes you intend to store and ensured that they're clean and dry—and we mean all the way dry because moisture trapped in storage can lead to mold—then take a look at how much clothing you're storing and where you'll be storing it. Ask yourself: Will you be using an upper closet shelf? Hiding it your garage or basement? Utilizing the space under your bed? Whichever options you're considering, we promise there's a container or bin to suit all of your cute clothes!
"Aim to organize your closet, and do seasonal swaps twice a year," Peterson advises. In most climates, it makes sense to combine your spring and summer fashions because those clothes work for each season. You can also combine fall and winter, too.
With Peterson's advice in mind, our Best Overall clothing storage pick is the Lifewit Clothes Storage Bag. We think it's great for your foldable clothing. The bins are stackable, they feature a transparent window so you can see exactly what's inside, and they come in a convenient set of three.
Here, you'll find all of our picks for the best storage containers for storing clothes, so you can look glam all year-round.
Best Overall: Lifewit Clothes Storage Bag
Collapsible, foldable design
Size accommodates large sweaters, blankets, and more
No supports, so bags may sag if not all the way full
For an all-around, versatile storage option, consider this trio of cubic storage bags. Whether it's your college t-shirt collection, your bulkiest winter sweaters, or a combo of the two that you're looking to keep safe, these storage bags will accommodate all of it and then some. We like that they're durable, yet breathable with sturdy, two-way zippers and sewn-on handles that make it easy to pull off the shelf. Even better, each bag has a window so you can see what's inside without having to fully open and dig through them.
They're available in sets of three or five, and you can choose from black, gray, or blue. They lack extra supports that keep them upright when they're not full. However, this is the same feature that allows them to be easily folded down for storage. Our suggestion: fill them one at a time so they stay sturdy, and those in waiting will be easy to tuck away—or even slide underneath.
Price at time of publish: $20 for 3
Best Budget: IKEA PÄRKLA Storage case
Can slide under a bed or onto a shelf
Contrasting zipper is easy to spot
Not super sturdy
For a lightweight and low-key storage solution for your clothes, IKEA's inexpensive PÄRKLA is a plastic fabric bag that'll effortlessly do the trick. Best suited to be used indoors, such as under the bed or at the top of the closet, the bag is roomy without being bulky, and it features a bright orange zipper that stands out against the frosted fabric. Plus, because it's a fraction of the cost of other options on this list, you can stock up on a few for linens, towels, seasonal decor, or various other supplies.
One thing we recommend with this particular bag is to fill them intentionally. The lightweight material isn't as durable or sturdy as other types of storage, so if protection is a priority for you in addition to storage, take that into account.
Price at time of publish: $2
Best Plastic Bins: The Container Store Clear Weathertight Totes
Tight and secure latching lids
Frosted, transparent material
Labels not included
What sets apart these totes from The Container Store are the secure seals that are both airtight and watertight, giving ultimate protection from the cold, pests, and other unpleasantness that may mess with your favorite clothes. They also come in a range of sizes, from 6.5-quart (roughly lunchbox sized), all the way up to 156 quarts. For practical clothing storage, we're zeroing in on the 74-quart size, which is similar to a standard laundry basket, only a few inches deeper. That means there is plenty of room for your favorite hoodies, long scarves, thick socks, and more.
The material is a frosted, transparent polypropylene plastic, so the bins are as sturdy and durable as you can hope a high-quality plastic bin to be. The only thing missing are labels that can help you identify contents from a distance (especially helpful if you have more than one), but we think that the transparent material will probably be sufficient for most people to identify what they're looking for.
Price at time of publish: $35 for 74-quart
Best Fabric: IKEA SKUBB Storage case
Made with recycled polyester material
Folds flat when not in use
Mesh added for ventilation
Not as sturdy as other choices
Using fabric to store your fabric clothing feels like a natural choice. In the case of this option from IKEA, the material is made of at least 90 percent recycled polyester. There are three versatile sizes to choose from, but we're partial to the largest. It holds the most and fits well under a bed. A zipper flap and external handle make it easy to put away and pull out at your convenience. We also like that it has mesh subtly added to the corners for ventilation.
With a fabric container, keep in mind that the reality of the material and design means it won't be as sturdy as heavy duty bins or boxes. Still, it's a great option for storing clothes and keeping the dust—and pesky moths—away.
Price at time of publish: $10
Best Stackable: Sorbus Storage Bin Boxes
Two openings to access contents
Multiple colors available
Inner metal frame
Only available in one size
With so many options available, it wasn't easy to determine a Best Stackable container for clothing storage. But the Sorbus Storage Bins rose to the top because of the thoughtful details. For example, we love how you can conveniently access contents from the top or the front, the transparent window, label slot, inner metal frame, and the attached handle.
Having a label makes a world of difference when it comes to organizing. "For easy access, containers that have labels are optimal, so you remember what you stored in each one," says Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid. The Sorbus makes labeling easy!
The containers come in a set of two, and there are even six colors to choose from (including pink and teal green). They're collapsible when they're not in use, but they're so practical we're confident you'll find plenty of ways to fill them. If we could change anything, we'd extend the line so more sizes are available. But in the meantime, we're definitely fans of the current offering.
Price at time of publish: $23 for 2
Best for Shoes: StorageLab Under Bed Shoe Storage Organizer
Capacity for 24 pairs of shoes in two bins
Handles on different sides
Material could be more sturdy
While there's no dearth of shoe storage options available, if you're looking specifically for a bin, then we recommend this sleek under bed set, which comes with two separate units. Each one holds up to 12 pairs of shoes giving you, in total, room for 24 pairs! What's more, if you have boots or other larger styles, the inner dividers are adjustable so you can re-shape them to create roomier compartments. They also have transparent tops for easy viewing of your collection, and handles are smartly placed on two different sides so you can store them facing in either direction and still access a handle.
There are five color choices in total, and if you don't want adjustable dividers, that option is available, too. You can also buy a single bin. While we like these options, we'd also like to see one with a more durable frame or sturdier inserts to protect shoes even more.
Price at time of publish: $40 for 2
Best Large Capacity: Honey-Can-Do 43" Wide Portable Wardrobe Storage Closet
Multiple kinds of storage; hanging rods, drawers, shelves
Sturdy steel frame
Cumbersome to move
At 43 inches wide, this portable closet isn't as overwhelming as others, and it still offers plenty of room inside, in the form of hanging space, drawers, and shelves that can store loose items or bins of your choosing. The frame is made of durable steel, and it has a lightweight fabric cover as well as magnetic doors to protect your belongings.
The amount you can fit inside will of course depend on the size and style of your wardrobe, but rest assured it boasts a weight capacity of 50 pounds. Speaking of weight, it's not as easy to move a piece of this size and shape as it is to scoot a bin or bag around, so you'll want to plan accordingly if and when the need to move it arises. But if that's not a bother for you, there's lots to appreciate.
Price at time of publish: $91
Best Heavy-Duty: Brightroom 128qt Extra Large Wheeled Latching Storage Box
Wheels and handles for easy movement
Frosted plastic construction
Stackable with locking lid
Lifting heavy bins to stack is not ideal
Labels not included
Those puffer jackets you need to store for nine months out of the year? This extra large bin from Target's Brightroom collection is perfect. It takes the standard plastic bin features that we all know and love, like a spacious and stackable design, locking lid, and durable material, and adds wheels plus handles to ensure that even when it's filled to the brim, you can move it around. It's also made with a frosted, transparent plastic material, so you can get a sense of what's inside. You may want to add labels if you need more than colors and outlines.
We also like how it's hefty but not bulky, and still a suitable size for most closets, basements, or garages. Take note that if you are filling and stacking more than one, you'll want to be careful lifting it because it can get heavy.
Price at time of publish: $27
Best for Small Spaces: The Container Store Our Long Under Bed Box With Wheels
Hinged lid makes either side accessible
Can access contents without removing bin from under bed
Labels not included
With a hinged lid that can be opened one half at a time, you can access this under bed storage bin without pulling it all the way out from under your bed—a big plus in our book. It earned the title of Best for Small Spaces for this reason, along with bringing the overall efficiency and flexibility that under bed storage provides. When you're working with tight quarters, storage and organizations options that won't take up additional space and can multitask are ideal. Under bed bins definitely fit the bill.
These bins also feature wheels at the bottom, so they slide with ease, and they coordinate with various other Container Store products if you're inclined to match. This bin in particular is also sold in bundles of six, though it's not more cost-effective. If you are using more than one—or really, if your storage tends to be "out of sight, out of mind"—then you may want to add a label to the front, which is not included.
Price at time of publish: $30
Best for Long-Term Storage: TAILI Hanging Vacuum Storage Bags
Clothes can be stored hanging
Two available sizes
Pump not included
Hanging design may be limiting
Vacuum storage bags are a great choice when you're looking for efficient storage that also saves space. If you've not used these clever bags before, it could take a bit of getting-used-to, but ultimately we think you'll find them easy and efficient. We recommend this set from TAILI because it stands out as a great option for clothing when researched alongside multiple sets and styles of vacuum storage bags. We especially love how they're made to hold clothes in place on hangers, so you can avoid wrinkles and the work of ironing when you remove them. While we see this as a benefit, it may complicate things for anyone who wants to move their out-of-season clothes out of their closet, or who has limited hanging space available elsewhere in their home.
With convenient features like short and long sizes and color-changing zippers, we think they're well worth consideration. Just make sure to have a hand pump or vacuum at the ready because the set does not include one.
Price at time of publish: $29
Best with Adjustable Divider: Lifewit Under Bed Clothes Organizer
Accommodates varied clothing styles and sizes
Transparent top window
Only available as a 2-pack
Variety is the spice of life, as they say, so an organizer with adjustable dividers makes sense for lots of reasons. If you intend to swap your sweaters for your sandals mid-year, for example, the ability to quickly and easily re-size the inner compartments is ideal. Even if your needs aren't are precise, the adjustable dividers are good to have, especially if you like knowing your clothing storage can double as all-around storage, too.
Like some of our other favorites, these fabric bins can also fit under most beds, or they can stack on top of each other in your closet or storage space of choice. Handles come on two sides, so you can pull from either direction, and the top flap is transparent so you can see your belongings. And, a stainless steel zipper ensures everything stays safe and secure inside. Note that these bins are sold as a set of two—we expect most buyers will be glad for the extra storage, but you may want to plan accordingly if that doesn't suit your needs.
Price at time of publish: $36 for 2
Our Best Overall pick, the Lifewit Clothes Storage Bag, comes in a set of three, with each one large enough for sweaters, blankets, snow gear, and more. We also like the practical cube shape and the convenient transparent windows that allow you to keep an eye on your belongings. For another choice, consider the IKEA PÄRKLA Storage Bag. It's lightweight, easy to store in a closet or on a shelf, and has a zipper closure for convenience.
What to Look for in a Clothing Storage Container
Durability and Sturdiness
When storing clothes in a closet isn't feasible, make sure you're opting for a container or containers that protect them from potential damage—especially as it relates to the part of your home that you'll be using for storage. For example, we don't recommend using vented bags in an unfinished basement, where moisture could collect, or setting up a portable closet in a corner of a garage where wind or rain might reach it. When in doubt, sturdier is better, including options like plastic bins, such as the Clear Weathertight Totes, or the Brightroom 128qt Extra Large Wheeled Latching Storage Box that we named Best Heavy-Duty.
Anyone who has ever sat on a suitcase knows that most clothing can handle a bit of squish from time to time—but that doesn't mean we want to subject them to it long term. There's a reason that stackable bins frequently come up in conversations about long-term storage and organizing: they're a versatile choice that works for a variety of belongings. And, they tend to hold their shape well. Among the choices gathered here, roughly half are stackable. We singled out Sorbus Storage Bins as Best Stackable in part because of their dual-openings that allow you to access your clothes without lifting out the bins on top—a feature well-worth considering if you don't want to break into a sweat just to get to your bins on a regular basis.
Design and Size
As tempting as it is to see pristine and polished closets and shelves on our Instagram feeds, we recommend always pausing before you make a purchase (especially one inspired by a social post), and making sure the design and size of the piece will not only work for your space, but also for your lifestyle, too. If you're coveting the hanging space of a portable closet, but don't yet have a spot in your home identified for such a piece, or you love how rows of transparent bins look but know yourself (or your family members) well enough to predict that the lids will never stay on, you don't need to rush to make any purchases. Your system will work better in the long term if you match it to your needs (and to the space you have available in your home).
Clothes serve countless purposes, and there are enough reasons to store and protect them as there are frayed edges on your favorite t-shirt that you can't bear to throw away. Whether you're saving it until next winter—when your daughter is ready to wear it—it's worth it to do everything you can to ensure your treasured clothing stays in good condition. If investing in clothing storage isn't something you've considered before, know that you can do it on almost any budget. The choices we've brought together range from $2 apiece, for the IKEA PÄRKLA Storage case to $91, for the Honey-Can-Do 43" Wide Portable Wardrobe Storage Closet, so no matter how much you're willing and able to invest, there's likely a reliable solution for you.
How do you keep clothes from mold in storage?
The short answer is, keep them away from moisture. You should only pack clothes away when they're completely dry, and ensure to the best of your ability that water or dampness doesn't reach them while they're in storage. Should you find that they have started to mold, or you smell mildew on them, there is hope to to clean and refresh them, but it's also best to avoid it as much as possible.
If you are keeping clothes in an environment where they may potentially be exposed to moisture, consider an airtight or waterproof storage option, like our Best Plastic Bin, the Clear Weathertight Tote from The Container Store, or the TAILI Hanging Vacuum Storage Bags.
Is it better to store clothes in boxes or plastic bins?
There's a place for either option, depending on your needs. For long-term, durable storage with added protection from moisture, our vote is for plastic bins. None of the choices we selected here were cardboard, while three are plastic bins (our Best Plastic Bin, the Clear Weathertight Tote from The Container Store, the Best Heavy Duty container, the Brightroom 128qt Extra Large Wheeled Latching Storage Box, and our choice for Best for Small Spaces, The Container Store Our Long Under Bed Box With Wheels).
However, cardboard boxes can be a lifesaver when you're moving or in transition because they can be folded down after use, and they can often be easier to buy in larger quantities. Certain lidded cardboard boxes can rival plastic bins in durability and can even include handles and other conveniences. When plastic or other sturdier choices aren't an option, cardboard can still do the trick.
How do you keep moisture out of storage containers?
First things first: don't put your clothes in a moisture-prone area or pack them away when they are slightly damp. Only pack away clothes and belongings that are completely dry because any wetness can lead to, at best, wrinkles, and at worst, mildew, mold, or other damage. Once you're certain that everything you're packing away is aired out, choose as dry an area as you can for clothing bins and containers. Upper closet shelves, for instance, are better than unfinished basement floors.
If you're limited in choices and find yourself using an area that's prone to dampness, you can still take precautions to protect your belongings. Use airtight containers (such as TAILI Hanging Vacuum Storage Bags, our Best Long-Term choice, or our recommended Best Plastic Bin, the Clear Weathertight Tote from The Container Store). Also, consider shelving, or stacking containers so that they're off the ground. You can also add charcoal to absorb moisture (it combats odors, too).
Why Trust The Spruce?
Dena Ogden is a lifestyle and commerce writer who’s been writing professionally since 2016, and with The Spruce since August 2022. She's written about everything from baskets and bins to carpet shampoos and robot vacuums.
For this piece, she reviewed and considered clothing storage options from major retailers, combed through product descriptions and listings, and factored in additional features like size, features, material, and design. Her own clothing storage tendencies lean toward baskets and bins. In fact, she's on a personal quest to determine if one can ever own too many plastic bins, and so far the answer appears to be no.