How to Store Your Clothes

Keep drawers and closets well organized and clothes looking their best

clothing hung up on slim hangers

Julieanne Browning / The Spruce

When you decide to re-organize and store your clothing, it's easier to work item by item. Dealing with your entire wardrobe at once can be daunting, but tackling certain sets of like items is easier and more efficient. Some items require more care than others, and not every piece of clothing should be stored in the same way.

storing a scarf with the coat you wear
Julieanne Browning / The Spruce

Tops

The type of top will determine how it is stored. In general, keep tops up high, such as on the top closet rod or upper shelves. This will make it easier to spot outfits when looking through your closet if you have tops on top and bottoms on the bottom.

Button-Down Shirts and Blouses

Always store button-downs on wooden hangers (you can also use slimline hangers in a pinch) and take them off the wire hangers and out of those bags as soon as you get them home from the dry cleaners. The plastic bags trap the dry cleaning chemicals and can slowly destroy your shirts.

Better yet, bring them to the dry cleaner on their hangers and ask them to be returned the same way.

Shirts and blouses hung up

Julieanne Browning / The Spruce

Sweaters

Sweaters should be stored folded in your dresser. If you have the extra closet space, you can fold sweaters and store them on a shelf. Never hand them because hangers may stretch out the fabric and you run the risk of creating little bumps in the shoulders, which can ruin your sweater's shape.

Sweaters neatly folded

Julieanne Browning / The Spruce

Suits, Jackets, and Blazers

Store suits, jackets, and blazers in the closet and hang them together, then sort by color if you'd like; if you have a large collection, it may save a few seconds in the morning.

Bottoms

Pants and other bottoms are more versatile than tops in how they can be stored. You can dedicate more shelves to bottoms unless you need to preserve seams or creases in the fabric.

Denim

Because denim fabric is pretty hardy, you have options when it comes to how you store jeans. They can be either hung on hangers or folded and placed on shelves. If you want to get fancy, you can organize them by hem length or color.

denim jeans neatly folded and stacked
Julieanne Browning / The Spruce

Dress Pants

Store dress pants by hanging them along the crease on wooden hangers. Store these by color and if you want to get organized, then store them by hem length (this won’t matter much to men, but some women hem pants for either high heels or flats).

Casual Pants

Casual pants (not jeans, suit, or dress pants) may be folded and stored in the dresser, but if you have space, store them in the closet for fewer wrinkles. These can also be stored by either color or hem length to create an organized closet.

Skirts

Store your skirts in the clothes closet on hangers with clips. If you try to hang a skirt on a normal hanger, it either slides off or the hangers create a dent in the sides.

You may think storing skirts would be similar to dress pants and button-downs, but that’s not the case. Skirts are clothing items best stored by function: work skirts, fancy clothes skirts, beach/summer skirts, and casual skirts.

Vintage Clothing

Vintage items, which are typically delicate, can be stored with other clothing items, but make sure they have room to breathe and are not crowded in a closet or squished into a drawer. Also, consider using drawer liners in your dresser to protect vintage clothing from the natural oils or other chemicals that may be in your dresser's construction.

Footwear

Shoes can be tough to store. Again, separate the shoes you wear all the time from the shoes you wear less often. Shoes that don't get worn often can be stored high on a shelf in your closet. Store the shoes you wear all the time on the floor of your clothing or entryway closet.

Shoes neatly lined up

Julieanne Browning / The Spruce

Boots

Store the boots you wear every day to walk the dog or commute in a boot tray by your door. A boot tray will protect your flooring from mud, dirt, ice, and salt. Store the boots you wear less often either in your entryway or clothing closet.

Accessories and Undergarments

Accessory storage will vary based on the type of accessory and how often you wear it. For instance, you may store scarves folded in a drawer, but if you wear one scarf all of the time, it will be easier to store it with the coat you wear it with.

The same goes for gloves, hats, belts, and ties: Store the ones you wear often in an easy-to-reach spot. Store the ones you wear less often in a proper storage spot with similar items.

Underwear

For men, store underwear in the top drawer or a drawer close to the top in your dresser. You may consider storing your underwear and socks in the same drawer and dividing it by half.

For women, store undies and bras in the same drawer (again, preferably the top drawer). Lay bras flat. If you have a lot of pairs of underwear, consider separating them into categories based on how you wear them. Separate specialty garments such as Spanx, slips, and strapless bras. The best way to store bras is with drawer dividers. Lay them flat and don't fold molded bras.

If you’re tight on space, consider storing them under the bed for easy access without crowding out your everyday undies.

Socks

Store socks in the dresser or bureau, preferably in a top drawer for easy access. There is a surprisingly large number of ways to fold socks, although many find the KonMari method of folding socks in thirds to be an effective way to organize sock drawers.

Socks neatly folded in a drawer

Julieanne Browning / The Spruce

Hosiery and Leggings

Store hosiery (pantyhose or tights) in a dresser drawer separate from your socks. This will save you time while getting dressed. If you have an extensive collection, you may want to go a step further and separate by color.

Once a pair is ripped or no longer fits, throw it out immediately. There is no sense in storing hosiery that you can no longer wear and then accidentally putting them on again.

Sturdier leggings can be stored folded in a dresser drawer or hung with your casual pants in the closet.

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