How to Organize Sweaters: The 5 Best Ways

Sweater organization is a favorite topic of mine. Sweater weather doesn’t last very long in sunny Arizona where I live, but I sure love to wear those cozy knits!

So, what’s the best way to organize them? In my opinion, there is more than one “best option.” It all comes down to your available space and the storage systems you prefer to use.

Take a look at my five best ways to organize sweaters and see which one works for you!

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1. Stack Sweaters in a Dresser Drawer

A dresser drawer is a great option to store sweaters, especially delicate knits like angora or cashmere sweaters. Here’s how to fold sweaters to stack in a dresser drawer:

How to fold thin sweaters for dresser drawer storage

Lay the sweater on a flat surface. I start with it face down. Smooth out all of the wrinkles.

How to organize sweaters: folding sweaters to stack in a dresser drawer, step 1.

Fold one side in towards the middle. Again, smooth out all wrinkles as you go.

Organize sweaters: step 2 in folding sweaters to stack in a dresser drawer is to fold one side over the middle.

Fold the top sleeve down along the side.

Organize sweaters: step 3 to fold a sweater to stack in a drawer. Fold the other side in towards the middle, followed by the sleeve. Check that your folds are smooth.

Fold the other side in towards the middle, followed by the sleeve. Check that your folds are smooth.

Organize sweaters: step 4 in folding a sweater to stack in a drawer. Fold the other side in towards the middle, followed by the sleeve. Check that your folds are smooth.

Fold the bottom 1/3 of the way up.

Organize sweaters: step 5 in folding sweaters to stack in a dresser drawer.  Fold the bottom 1/3 of the way up, then bring the top down over the fold.

Fold the bottom third up once more.

Organize sweaters: the 6th step in folding a sweater to stack in a dresser drawer. Fold the bottom third up to the top of the sweater.

Flip it over and repeat with your other sweaters!

Organize sweaters: the final step in folding a sweater to stack in a drawer. Flip it right side up and repeat the steps with your remaining sweaters.

Deep dresser drawers can hold tall stacks of light weight sweaters, but it can be difficult to reach the one you want on the bottom of the pile without creating a mess. A set of stacking boards is a great way to organize stacks of sweaters while providing easy access every item.

How to fold thick sweaters for dresser drawer storage

You may not have enough drawer space to fold and stack many bulky sweaters this way. Chunky sweaters take up less vertical space in a shallow drawer when folded as shown below.

Lay the sweater face down on a flat surface. Smooth out wrinkles.

Organize sweaters: fold a thick sweater for dresser drawers step one. Lay flat on a table.

Fold one sleeve into the middle.

Organize sweaters: fold a thick sweater for a dresser drawer step 2. Fold one sleeve into the middle.

Fold the other sleeve into the middle.

Organize sweaters: fold a thick sweater for dresser drawers step 3. Fold the other sleeve towards the middle.

Bring the bottom half of the sweater up to meet the top and flip it over. (Really long tunic sweaters can be folded in thirds).

Organize sweaters: how to fold a thick sweater for dresser drawers step 4. Fold the bottom up to meet the top.
Organize sweaters: fold a thick sweater.

This folding method takes up more surface space than the first method but keeps the height down considerably. I tried folding my thick wool sweaters both ways, and you can see the height difference here:

Organize sweaters
Organize sweaters

2. File Fold Sweaters in a Dresser Drawer

File folding is one of my favorite sweater storage ideas. File-folded sweaters are stacked horizontally in the drawer, Marie Kondo-style.

File folding is one of my favorite sweater storage ideas. File-folded sweaters are stacked horizontally in the drawer, Marie Kondo-style. This method works great with drawer organizers that keep the sweaters neatly on their side.

The easiest way to file fold sweaters step by step

Lay the sweater flat. Smooth out all wrinkles.

Organize sweaters

Fold one side and sleeve in towards the middle.

Organize sweaters: file-folding

Fold the other side and sleeve in towards the middle.

Organize sweaters: file folding

Bring the bottom third up towards the middle.

Organize sweaters: file folding

Bring the top third down towards the middle.

Fold the bottom half one more time over the top half.

Organize sweaters: file fold sweater

You now have a nice, sturdy folded sweater that will stay upright in a drawer organizer:

Organize sweaters: filed folded sweater in drawer organizer

Continue to file fold sweaters. Don’t overstuff your drawer organizers, as that will cause the sweaters to wrinkle.

Organize sweaters: file folded sweaters in a dresser drawer organizer

This method works best with drawer organizers (they keep the sweaters neatly on their sides). While any deep drawer organizers will help corral the sweaters, a compartmentalized solution like this is also a great idea:

Be sure to measure the length, width and depth of your dresser drawers before purchasing drawer organizers.

RELATED ARTICLE:

How to Organize a Messy Dresser Now

3. Fold Sweaters and Stack Them on Closet Shelves

No dresser drawer space? No problem! The good news is you can also organize sweaters on a bedroom closet shelf.

Got a lot of sweaters? I recommend making stacks of folded sweaters based on the type of sweater. Here are some examples:

  • Long sleeves
  • Short sleeves
  • Cardigans
  • Heavy sweaters
  • Light sweaters

Fold the sweaters the same way you would in Tip 1 above. Keep the stacks tidy with acrylic shelf dividers like these:

A second option would be to file fold sweaters and store them in fabric organizing bins, similar to how you might store towels in the linen closet.

I don’t recommend wicker or wire baskets as they will snag your sweaters. This type of bin would be a better solution:

Sort your sweaters by type and color. This will make it much easier to find the exact piece you want to wear on a given day.

4. Hang Sweaters (Without Stretching Them)

You’ve probably heard you should never hang sweaters because they stretch and develop bumps. This is true. However, not everyone has enough shelf space to store sweaters, particularly in a small closet.

And I personally prefer to hang my thin cardigans because they wrinkle SO easily. But there’s a trick to doing it right…see below!

How to hang folded sweaters on velvet hangers (or wood hangers)

Let’s discuss the type of hanger you should use. I don’t recommend wire hangers for sweaters as you’ll likely end up with creases. A thicker wooden hanger or velvet hanger works best.

PRO TIP: The trick to hanging sweaters is to fold them over the hanger.

Here’s how:

Fold the sweater in half vertically. Carefully line up the sleeves and body and smooth out any wrinkles.

Organize sweaters: how to hang a sweater without stretching, step 1.

Place a hanger upside down on top of the sweater. The hook should lie in the upside-down “V” between the sleeves and body.

Organize sweaters: how to hang a sweater step 2.

Fold the sleeves over the top hanger bar and under the second.

Organize sweaters: how to hang a sweater step 3

Fold the body over the top hanger bar and under the second.

Organize sweaters: how to hang a sweater step 4

Here’s how it looks all ready to hang in the closet!

Organize sweaters: how to hang a sweater step 5

Hang Folded Sweaters on a Tiered Closet Organizer

There are technically two ways to use your closet rod for sweater storage. The second storage method is a good option if you have enough closet space.

A tiered shelf hanging closet organizer also allows you to “hang” sweaters without stretching them. Simply fold them (according to Tip 1) and stack!

5. How to Organize Sweaters for Seasonal Storage

Seasonal storage is a necessity when you live in an area that experiences four seasons. I recommend moisture-proof, dust-proof storage bags when the seasons change and it’s time to put the winter items away.

Here’s a perfect solution that comes with a large, clear window and a convenient reinforced handle.

Pack a few of these with sweaters; they make great under-bed storage bins. They can also be stacked in a closet or packed into heavy-duty plastic tubs.

Sort your sweaters by type (wool, cashmere, long sleeves, short sleeves) and color before you stow them away. You’ll find it’s much easier to reorganize them when the weather turns cool again next year.

Vacuum storage bags for sweaters

Try vacuum storage bags when space is really tight. There are two types that work for sweaters. The first is a good option for under-bed or plastic tote garage storage:

Simply fold your sweaters, slide them into the bag and use the vacuum hand pump to remove excess air. The bags shrink down to a fraction of the size, enabling you to store much more in less space.

Vacuum storage bags also come on sturdy hooks for closet rod storage. Hang up to five articles of clothing (using the hanger folding method in Tip 4 for sweaters) and vacuum out the excess air.

Roll sweaters to eliminate creasing

A third option for seasonal sweater storage: roll your sweaters and store them in a cloth bin. This is a good solution when you have closet space on a high shelf and don’t need to compress them or keep them safe from moisture.

Rolling your sweaters will keep them from creasing while being stored long-term.

Organize sweaters: roll them for long-term seasonal storage to reduce creasing.

Start with the folding steps from Tip 1. After folding in the sleeves, simply roll the sweater from the bottom up. Store in a bin.

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