1. Get rid of unused garments. First things first: evaluate your spring and summer wardrobe currently hanging in your closet. Those pieces you haven't worn all season probably won't get worn next year either. They aren't worth the space of storing them. Now is the time to filter and simplify. Set aside the items you plan to donate.
The same can be true for your children's clothes. Items they have outgrown don't need to be stored and can be donated or handed down to smaller children.
2. Wash before storing. The items you will be keeping need to be washed before you put them away. Small amounts of food or soil that aren't removed now can become permanent stains after a few months. Worse, they can attract insects.
You will also need to launder your fabric storage bags to remove dust, and clean and line the plastic containers your clothes are going in.
3. Clean your closet. Before bringing the fall and winter clothes into your newly-vacated closet, clean and vacuum that area as well to remove dust, dirt and insects.
4. Find a protected, ventilated storage area. The summer clothes you have packed away should not be stored in areas that may be exposed to extreme temperatures or moisture, such as garages, attics or basements. A cool and ventilated space not directly exposed to sunlight is the best choice. The best solution is neat and stackable boxes on higher shelves in your closet. (Of course not all of us are lucky enough to have this much square footage for our closets.)
5. Build storage into furniture. Under the bed seems to be the go-to storage space solution for many.
A built-in window seat would be a very good storage spot for seasonal clothes or blankets.
6. Add free-standing storage. A dedicated wardrobe for seasonal clothes adds a beautiful vintage touch to any home.
This modern version from CB2 is simple and functional.
Here's a portable closet system for keeping out of season out of sight in style.
7. Treat yourself to dedicated storage bags and boxes. These unbleached cotton canvas zippered bags are a handy storage tool for storing clothes under the bed.
Protect hanging garments from dust and insects when they are stored out of sight for months at a time. Just make sure the bags are cleaned before using them to protect your clothes.