Knowing how to store clothes properly keeps them in great shape to make you look your best—even with the world’s smallest closet! Whether your closet is the size of a bedroom or merely a shower stall, make the best of your space by knowing how to store suits, dress shirts and casual clothes. They’ll be better organized and wear longer.

How to store clothes to keep them looking new

If you can afford a custom closet organizer system, go for it! It can get pretty pricey so you may want to check out a less expensive one at your local home improvement store. If neither option is in your budget a rod, a shelf along with see-through bins and dresser drawers will do the trick. The main thing is to keep your clothes fresh, wrinkle-free and ready for the next wear.

How to store suits/sport coats

  • Hang suit jackets and sport coats on wooden hangers that are slightly curved to support the coat shoulders and maintain their shape. Stay away from flimsy plastic hangers that will snap in two.
  • Take the time to remove any lint or dog hair after wearing so your garment will be ready to wear next time out!
  • Once cleaned, remove plastic bags to allow fabrics to “breathe.”
  • Rotate suits and coats to extend wear and help remember which ones you’ve recently worn. Place the one you wore last off to one side of your closet. Hang the one you wear next behind it. Continue the process with each garment.
  • For seasonal storage, place cleaned wool suits and sport coats in cloth garment bags. Don’t add mothballs—you’ll end up fumigating your clothes to erase the harsh smell! Red cedar is more fragrant and isn’t poisonous. Learn how to care for your suit.

How to store shirts

  • Launder, don’t dry clean dress shirts—they’ll last longer without harsh chemicals. Again, don’t forget to remove plastic bags so they can breathe.
  • Fold knit and t-shirts neatly in drawers or on shelves. Inexpensive dividers will keep them stacked in place.

How to store pants

  • If space permits, hang dress pants by the hems or cuffs on wooden skirt hangers lined with felt. Otherwise, fold lengthwise at the crease and drape over pant hanger bars or open-ended bars that are coated with rubber to prevent them from slipping.
  • Fold sturdier casual pants and jeans lengthwise in half or a third then stack or “file” upright on a shelf for better visibility.

How to store sweaters

  • Never hang sweaters by the shoulders! They’ll stretch and loose their shape. Fold then place in clear plastic bins, organizing by season.
  • Have more rods than shelves? Hang sweaters on slender hangers by matching shoulders and folding lengthwise. Drape tissue paper over bars to prevent hanger marks. More on caring for sweaters

How to store socks and accessories

  • Place socks in bins on an easy to reach shelf or drawer.
  • Sort socks by color—blues and blacks are hard to tell apart.
  • Place pocket squares and hankies in small clear plastic bins.
  • Hang ties and belts on a rack or if space permits, roll neatly in drawers.
  • Use shoetrees in dress shoes to retain their shape. Dust and polish as necessary.

More clothes storage tips

  • Use a reputable, certified dry cleaner with cleaning facilities on-site for more personalized service. Problems that may occur tend to be addressed and resolved more quickly.
  • Consider vertical storage with cubbies, baskets or clear bins as hangers take up more room.
  • Organize by season, color or a combination of the two.
  • Keep hampers for dirty clothes out of the closet—especially when clothes are damp. Treat your clothes as investments that deserve to smell as fresh as they look.

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