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6 Things You Should Never Store in Your Closet, According to Experts

You'll definitely want to find an alternative storage spot for these items.

Your closet offers valuable storage space for much of your everyday apparel—and better yet, makes all your clothing easy to find so you can put outfits together in a cinch. However, while a closet is a great place to put certain essentials—say, skirts, dress shirts, and suiting—not everything belongs in there. According to experts, there are certain garments and other items that should never go in your closet, either because storing them there could be detrimental to your belongings or because they take up too much room.

"Closets can easily become cluttered and disorganized if everything is just thrown haphazardly in them," says Harman Awal, a stylist, fashion expert, and blogger at Your Girl Knows. "By knowing what should not be stored in your closet, you can maximize the space you have and protect your belongings from potential damage."

Without further ado, here are a few things you should remove from your closet, pronto.

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Several old and worn shoes on shoe rack

According to Awal, there are several reasons why you should avoid storing shoes in your closet.

Firstly, if they're dirty, sweaty, or damp, you can end up with major mold and mildew issues. Secondly, storing shoes in your closet can lead to some serious scuffs and scratches, especially if you're cramming them in with other shoes.

Sunica Du, a style expert and founder of Sunica Design, recommends storing your footwear on a shoe rack in a well-ventilated area outside the closet.

"Your kicks will thank you, and so will your clothes," she adds.


jewelry in marble box
Andrej Hyvel / Shutterstock

"While it's tempting to store all of your fabulous baubles in your closet right on top of your dresser, this is not the way to go," says Awal. "Jewelry can get tangled up and lost among a sea of clothing. Not to mention, the temperature and humidity changes in the closet from opening and closing it all the time can damage your precious metals and gems."

Here's a better option. Awal recommends investing in a designated jewelry box to store on top of your dresser, or a hanging organizer that you can place on a wall hook.

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Dirty laundry

Dirty clothes in hamper

While storing laundry in your closet with the rest of your clothing might seem to make sense, Ben McInerney, a home improvement expert at, advises against it. Sure, it helps keep your overflowing hamper out of sight, but it can also have some unpleasant consequences.

Specifically, McInerney says your clean clothing can start to absorb any funky odors from your dirty clothing. That's especially true if you have a small closet that doesn't get any airflow, or if your laundry basket doesn't have a lid or can't be well sealed.

To avoid this issue, just store your hamper in a bathroom closet, laundry room, or corner of your bedroom.

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Family heirlooms, pocketwatch
Port Mango / Shutterstock

It can be hard to know where to keep collectibles and heirlooms—but whatever you do, don't stash them in your closet.

"Not only can these valuables be damaged from moisture and extreme temperatures, but they can also attract pests," explains Carmelo Carrasco, an interior designer and realtor, and co-founder of Axel Property Management.

Carrasco points out that storing them in a closet could also make them vulnerable to theft.

"I suggest looking for a safe place such as a fire-proof safe, a secured lock box, or a secure location in the home to store these items," he tells Best Life.

Items that don't fit you

close up of blue jeans with measuring tape, concept for tailor or size of manhood.
Bill Oxford / iStock

Those clothes that may fit you someday have no business staying in your closet, says Kim Jones, a professional organizer and owner of Lock and Key Home. Keeping these items in your closet takes up valuable space, making it that much harder to find the things that do fit you. Plus, we're all about accepting the body we're in now, not five years ago.

"There are plenty of shelters and charities that have people in need who would love to put your ill-fitting clothing to great use," adds Jones.

Out-of-season items

Girl cleaning out closet

It may take some time to rotate your wardrobe every season, but it's well worth the effort, according to Laura Price, founder of The Home Organisation. By swapping out those shorts and sundresses for sweaters and pants once the temperatures start dropping, you can prevent your closet from ever feeling overcrowded.

Speaking of sweaters, it's worth noting that these should always be folded. When you store them on a hanger, they're more likely to get stretched out and misshapen over time.

As for where to put that out-of-season clothing, Price recommends storing it in a large labeled storage container under your bed or in an attic.

Rebecca Strong
Rebecca Strong is a Boston-based freelance health/wellness, lifestyle, and travel writer. Read more
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