5 Ways to Organize Sweaters So They Are Accessible All Winter Long

published Nov 28, 2023
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Sweaters folded and stored in plastic storage bin on shelf next to straw storage basket
Credit: Photo: Sidney Bensimon; Prop Styling: Anna Surbatovich

Where I hail from, “sweater weather” is relevant in the wintertime. During this time of year, Long Island is consistently cold, so sweaters are the smart choice when getting dressed. Now that I’ve relocated south, I’ll admit I miss throwing on a cozy, chunky sweater. (I will never, however, admit to missing shoveling snow!)

Quick Overview

5 Ways to Organize Sweaters

  1. File fold and store in drawers or open bins.
  2. Use hanging closet organizers.
  3. Try shelf dividers.
  4. Get a sweater box.
  5. Go for a grid organizer.

Wherever you reside on the map and however your seasons look, chances are you have at least some sweaters that need to be accessible throughout the winter. I know they can be a pain to find space for and keep tidy — especially the bulky ones. 

Luckily for you, through both personal experience and years of professional organizing, I’ve got some of the best sweater organization methods up my sleeve to share. Here are five ways to organize your sweaters so you can get cozy faster.

File fold and store in drawers or open bins.

This is my go-to sweater organization method and, best of all, it can be inexpensive or cost you nothing at all. You only need to master the art of file folding (which is much easier than it sounds) and then store your sweaters vertically so you can see them all. From here, there are two ways you can organize them.

  1. File fold them into dresser or closet drawers. If you have the space to spare in drawers, simply line up your file-folded sweaters inside them. Thick sweaters should stand up perfectly fine on their own, but if you’d like to give some a bit more support, add spring-loaded dividers in between the rows.
  2. File fold them in open bins. This is a good option for those who like the idea of file folding but can’t afford to give up any drawer space. Use rectangular open bins to store your file-folded sweaters then place the bins onto open shelves. I recommend using a fabric, plastic, or acrylic container, as natural materials (like rattan or seagrass) can snag on your sweaters, and one with handles so you can easily pull it on and off high shelves.

Use hanging closet organizers.

These cubbies are good to use if you have excess space on your rod but not a lot of shelf or drawer space. They often come in three- or six-compartment versions and, depending on the thickness of your sweaters, may only hold approximately two to three per compartment (with thinner sweaters, like cashmere, you’re able to stack more). If you want to keep visual clutter to a minimum, avoid overstuffing the cubbies so the bottoms don’t bow. 

Try shelf dividers.

If you currently stack your sweaters on open shelves, you probably know the struggle of it toppling over whenever you grab an item from the bottom of the pile. That’s where shelf dividers come in handy. If you have wire shelving, there are versions available that will snap onto the wire directly.

Get sweater boxes.

Sweater boxes can be a bit pricey and do not hold a ton of sweaters, but they give off a boutique vibe and keep your expensive threads in good condition. Most offer a see-through front that drops down so you can pull horizontally stacked sweaters out, and they stack on top of one another which is good for a shelf with a lot of height above it. Realistically, I would only recommend trying this method if you have a minimal sweater collection.

Go for a grid organizer.

Grid organizers are becoming increasingly popular. They have built-in dividers that keep items in their own compartments. They’re also relatively cheap. The issue I have with them is that I’ve heard complaints that they don’t hold up over time. They can also be too small for oversized sweaters. But if you’re on a budget or only have thin sweaters, these can work for you.