When the weather’s cold, nothing beats curling up by the fire with a warm blanket and a mug of hot chocolate. But as we transition into spring, it’s time to swap out blankets and comforters for lighter-weight alternatives. Here’s everything you need to know about how to store those winter blankets, comforters, and other bedding.
1. How to Prepare Your Bedding for Storage
While it may be tempting to just stuff your bedding into the closet and forget about it until the next cold spell, it’s important to make sure all of your winter items are stowed properly so they smell fresh and stay safe from bugs and other unwanted pests.
Get Rid of Old Bedding
Bedding has a limited lifespan—particularly sheets and pillowcases, which often last just around two years. It can be tempting to hold onto old bedding on the off chance that you will ever want to use it again in the future. But if your bedding has seen better days, discard it so you can make space for other belongings.
Clean Your Bedding
Even if you didn’t use your winter bedding very much this year, it’s still important to wash all of it to get rid of any dust, fragrances, and oils. Natural fibers like cotton and wool are especially prone to attracting moths and carpet beetles, so getting rid of any food stains or fragrances before you put them into storage can help protect your bedding. Wash bedding in cold water on a delicate cycle and use just a small amount of detergent on sheets so they don’t end up stiff.
Dry Your Bedding
Dampness can lead to mold and mildew, so make sure that all of your bedding is completely dry before you store it. Since some bedding can be dried in the dryer and other bedding needs to be air-dried or dry-cleaned, check the label to see what needs to be done. Most cotton or down comforters can be dried in a tumble dryer, while bedding with a mix of fibers may need to be dried naturally.
When putting blankets in the dryer, leave plenty of extra space so that the bedding can properly air out. Dry the blankets and comforters on low to medium heat and use dryer balls to help prevent the fabric from wrinkling. Take the bedding out of the dryer as soon as the cycle is done to keep the bedding from getting wrinkly. Like with storing clothes, it’s important to store bedding at a cool, stable temperature.
2. How to Store Your Bedding
Once you've cleaned your bedding, it's time to store it. If you have the extra space, you can simply fold it up and place it on an empty shelf. However, you'll need to get creative if you're working with limited storage.
1. Find Some Hidden Storage Options
If you prefer your bedding to be out of sight and out of mind, fold it into a zippered organizer or put it into a plastic box and hide everything under your bed. Depending on the size and weight of your blanket, you can either fold it into thirds and roll it up until it forms a log shape, or simply fold it into a square or rectangle shape. For bulkier items, vacuum seal in a plastic bag or roll them and tie them with rope to keep their shape. This is an ideal storage option for those who are trying to use every square inch of their living space. But if you don’t have room under the bed, you can put some of your comforters into an ottoman or storage bench so that they’re out of sight but easily accessible should you need one.
Alternatively, you can tuck them into a trunk or store them in pull-out drawers or cabinets. You’ll want to avoid keeping bedding in the attic to prevent exposure to moisture, mice, and bugs. And it’s also a good idea to keep bedding out of the basement since the damp environment can cause unwanted moisture to accumulate.
2. Keep Blankets in a Wire Basket Side Table
If you’re short on space in your house or apartment, you can maximize your square footage by choosing furniture pieces that serve double duty. Case in point: a wire basket side table like this one, which gives you an aesthetically pleasing way to keep your blankets on display.
3. Keep Blankets in a Basket
If you want to have ready access to some of your blankets and bedding, consider keeping them in a wicker basket. Roll up some of your favorite blankets and then tuck them into the basket for a cute yet understated look. Tuck the basket into a corner or by the couch so you can easily grab a blanket at a moment’s notice.
4. Make a Blanket Ladder
If you’re feeling extra crafty, why not turn a ladder into a blanket holder? You can spray-paint the ladder a different color (such as black or rose gold) to match your aesthetic. Once that’s complete, all you have to do is drape the blankets over various rungs of the ladder and then prop the ladder against a wall.
5. Hang Blankets on Hooks
You’ve probably tried hanging beach towels and bath towels on hooks, but you might not have considered doing the same with blankets. If you want to give it a try, hang some heavy-duty hooks in your living room, basement, or entryway and then hang up some of your lighter-weight blankets. Try to hang blankets of similar patterns and styles together for a cohesive look.
6. Stack the Blankets on Shelves
If you have extra space on your bookshelves or built-in shelves, roll up smaller blankets or fold them into thirds and place them on the shelves. The blankets can add a much-needed dose of texture and color to your living room, playroom, or bedroom.
7. Drape the Blankets Over Furniture
While you’ll probably want to store most of your blankets to make room for your new seasonal items, you can also keep a few of your favorites on display all year long. Drape some of your standout blankets over a couch, chair, or bed for a chic look.
8. Keep Your Bedding in a Self-Storage Unit
If you don’t have enough space in your home, you might want to keep out-of-season belongings in a personal self-storage unit. Renting a climate-controlled storage unit will ensure your bedding remains safe, dry, and in the right kind of condition until you’re ready to use it again. Simply find a unit near you, decide which size of space you need, and rent it out for the winter. This ensures that your winter bedding will stay safely stowed away until you’re ready to use it again.