Why You Should Use Unwanted Pillowcases To Store Your Sweaters

As the weather warms up and we desperately try to make way for our summer wardrobe, it's time to put the chunky knit sweaters that kept us warm all winter away. But finding a solid storage solution for these cozy clothes can come with issues. Vacuum sealing is arduous and requires storing a vacuum sealer year-round. Leaving them hanging or shoved in a bin can also make them susceptible to our dear summertime friends, moths, as well as dust and debris. 

But luckily, you probably already have the perfect storage container sitting in your linen closet. All of those bleach-stained and mismatched pillowcases are ideal for storing sweaters. Because they're made from breathable fabrics like cotton, the sweaters won't get smelly and stale but will be protected from dust. And you won't need to pull out any clunky equipment — sweaters can live happily in the linen closet until the weather turns colder, and your spare pillowcases will have a purpose instead of just taking up room. 

Keeping sweaters fresh and safe in the summer

Once you've got your sweaters happy in their new pillowcases, there are some extra steps you can take to make sure they stay in great shape all summer long. First, it can be tempting to just shove as many sweaters into a pillowcase as possible, there are a couple of reasons to avoid this. One, sweaters can lose their shape very easily, so you want them to be folded flat to keep their fibers intact. But also because too many in one compartment can cause a build-up of moisture, which leads to odor, yes, but also mold and mildew. Keep things as breezy as possible. 

Additionally, to avoid that musty smell that high temperatures leave behind on fabric, add some deodorizers to the shams. Sliding dryer sheets in with the sweaters or dabbing a few drops of essential oils onto them can be helpful. If you go with the oils route, be sure to verify that they won't stain clothing. Patchouli, vetiver, tangerine, jasmine, and blue tansy can leave stains. Lavender and lemon essential oils should leave a fresh and clean fragrance.

The downsides of using pillowcases

While pillowcases are a good choice for sweater storage thanks to their convenience and that you probably already have a half dozen cluttering up your closets. But there are, of course, some downsides. Those delightfully thick sweaters that take up so much room in your chest of drawers will also take up plenty of room in your linen closet. So if storage space inside your home is an issue, this probably isn't the right hack for you. 

In the same vein, those pillowcases can protect sweaters from some debris, but they aren't air-tight by any means. So if you tend to store your knits in the garage or a shed or live in a super humid area, the shams just aren't going to cut it since creepy crawlies, moisture, and weather can easily make their way inside. If you still want to try this hack in a detached space or storage unit, you'd also need to include an air-tight bin, and at that point, the pillowcases are basically moot.