The Best Way To Store Curtains

January 13, 2021

Disclosure
The best curtain storage, keep them clean and organized

For some reason, January, and its fresh page on the calendar, seems to get everyone thinking about cleaning and organizing.

Including me.

As a matter of fact, I've been doing a lot of it lately.
Packing up holiday decorations, cleaning out cabinets to make room for the gifts I received and moving along with the process of simplifying.

Apparently that is never-ending.

Well, yesterday, I was on the phone with a friend, while taking down the ivory velvet curtain panels I put up in the living room for Christmas, and it prompted a conversation.

Peeking Into Christmas Living Room

I love all your curtains and the way you change them out so often, but where do you keep them when you're not using them?

Hmmm. In that moment, it dawned on me that others may have the same question. After all, we don't have a large house and I do have a lot of curtains.

I wouldn't want to tuck them up in the attic, it's not finished. Ick.

And the basement is dry, but that's where the Christmas items are hiding.

Knowing that many of you may have the same dilemma, I decided to share my curtain storage secret today.

And trust me, it's really not that big of a secret. But she seemed surprised when I told her, so maybe you will be, too.

Long ago...

I used to fold them up every season and put them in the linen closet.

That worked well, until, the sheet and blanket collection grew along with the kids. They have the same decorating bug as their momma. So that teeny linen closet got pretty crowded in the last few years.

It forced me to clean it out more often...and in the process I've lost a few panels. By accident.

No one really knows where they went, but I have a feeling that we erroneously donated a few in an organizing frenzy.

Bummer, since I tend to reuse my curtains and the fabric from time to time.

Then...

In an effort to make room in the linen closet, I bought a bucket. I kept my old fabric scraps and the off season curtains, again folded up, inside.

And that worked well, for a while, until my fabric stash and collection of coordinating trim, required more space. I was just about to buy another bucket, when I had an epiphany.

Now...

I was moving things in the hall closet to see if another bucket would even fit, when I found an old garment bag on the floor, in a ball.

Black Dress Garment Bag On The Floor

One of my daughters' prom dresses came home in it years ago. However, once the gown was worn and dry cleaned, it was either donated or still hanging in the clear cleaner plastic.

Now, these gown bags are awesome. They're not strong enough to travel with, but they are strong enough for storage and I do use them that way.

I have baby dresses and Halloween costumes in some, but until that day, I never put curtains in them. And I wondered why not?

They stay clean, organized, don't take up valuable space in my linen closet and they are right at my fingertips when I want to redecorate. 

What a great solution. So now it's my go-to.

It works well for both panels and valances. They hang long and straight and I use one bag per complete curtain set or room.

However, if I have something small, like my collection of kitchen sink window valances, they all go in one bag.

You can organize yours in a way that makes sense to you, so they're easy to locate when you want them.

First, I take them down and I wash them.

Laundry basket filled with curtains

If they are store bought curtains, I follow the directions on the tag. If they are handmade, I either dry clean them or carefully wash them in the machine myself.

When dry, I fold my panels first in quarters, lengthwise.

Fold panels lengthwise in quarters

Then I fold them over, in half, so they fit nicely on a hanger.

Ivory curtain panels folded in half

I know, those wrinkles are probably screaming at everyone, but trust me. They're fine. I just leave them.

I'm not a fan of ironing and usually by the time I go to hang them up on the windows the following season, most of the wrinkles have fallen out.

Wrinkled curtain panels

Plus, I once I do hang them, I always give them a quick once over with my steamer to remove any little lines or fold marks.

There are also wrinkle release sprays. You are supposed to be able to squirt and go. I haven't used one yet, but I might be willing to give an unscented version a try. 

Curtain panels folded and hung on hanger next to garment bag

When they're all folded and on the hanger, I just pop them in the bag and zip that sucker up.

Hand zipping up a black garment bag

I tuck it into the hall closet (which by the way used to be the one and only bathroom in the house when it was first built) and voila, perfect curtain panel storage.

I don't really need a lot of them, which is great, since we only had so many proms.

Garment bag hanging in closet

And if I ever need more I did find some very affordable clear ones to purchase. And actually the clear ones are even better so you can see what's inside without having to open them all up.

But free is free, so that's where I am for now.

Black garment bag hanging in hallway

Well, there and back to red curtains in the living room.

C'mon.

We all knew those ivory velvet lovelies wouldn't last forever.

What do you use those old garment bags for?
  1. Genius. I have a few of these in the closet with graduation gowns and suits that I should donate. Then I would have garment bags to store some of my drapery panels too. I do not have a lot but I would love to feel like they stay fresh and clean until I want to use them again. I am thinking of changing up my curtains in my living room and I want to keep the blue and white custom drapes for maybe using again. Thanks for the great idea. xoxo Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris!! I’ve been doing this for a while and it didn’t seem that innovative to me. I just thought I was late to the game with this idea, so I was hesitant to share, but my friend said, SHARE!! It never occurred to her either.

      And new curtains in your living room sound great. You know me, I’ll all for change! I always told my mom that if I could’ve had four dresses to wear at my wedding (ceremony, cocktail, reception, after party) or more than one kitchen (even though I don’t cook), because there are so many gorgeous choices, I would’ve. I guess I’m living out those two fantasies with curtains instead!! 😉🤣

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  2. Hi Kim, I do pretty much the same, thing except it's for tablecloths. They hang perfectly in a spare bedroom closet.

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    1. Oh…great idea, Linda! I have exactly two tablecloths, but I should hang them. I know you have many, many, many more!

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  3. A garment bag is a great idea for storing curtains Kim. I like that the wrinkles come out this way too. Thanks for this organizing tip.

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  4. Kim, you are so enterprising! I guess that is the right word. You always figure out the most common sense and reasonable ideas for everything. I always love seeing your pretty rooms. Your colors are so soothing to me. Great idea. Stay well..xxoJudy

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    1. You know, Judy, I’m not sure if I’m all that enterprising or just channeling my mom. She was a depression era baby and everything had a second (or third!) use. So when I see things, before I toss then, I think about it. It’s second nature now…I think that would make her smile. xo

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  5. I knew when I stopped by I'd get a "help hint"!
    Who knew a garnet bag would come in handy for other things! I like the Saks Fifth Ave! It has a touch of class!

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    1. Thanks Christine. I’m in organizing mode, can you tell? It really is a great bag and it was a great dress. And on sale, which was my favorite part! 😉

      Enjoy the week and thanks for the visit!

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  6. Kim, you never disappoint. Thank you for the tips.

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    1. Thanks Carla! I almost didn’t post this one. And then I shared it and people emailed me and left comments on Facebook that they bought the bags and it was a genius idea.

      My next post is about putting contact paper in the silverware drawer. I thought everyone did that, too, but in a few DIY forums I’m in people are always asking how to keep their drawers clean and when I mention contact paper they’re all like what’s that!?! It makes me feel old!! Ha!!

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  7. Brilliant solution, and I like that it keeps them free from dust. And I bet the weight of them does make most of the wrinkles fall out, too.

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    1. It really does, Ricki!! And it's a great way to open up storage in my linen closet.

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  8. Anytime you want to store those red curtains, you can send them to me! Of course, you may never get them back!!!!!:) This is good information although I only have valences in my house. I am sick of most of them though. I really need you to come for a visit and redecorate for me!!!

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    1. I will certainly keep it in mind, Cheri!

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  9. Such a great idea! This would work for tablecloths as well! Now my wheels are turning!

    Thanks, Kim!

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    1. Thanks for the good thoughts, Deanna! That's a another great use.

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  10. Great reuse of those garment bags, Kim. I don't have a lot of curtains, but I'm loving the idea of using them for tablecloths that have been mentioned.

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  11. Love this idea!! I keep mine stored in plastic bags that blankets and bedspreads come in and they are up in the attic in my old toy chest that my dad build for me when i was a child.....This year, I hope to free up some space in the Sitting Room closet which used to be a bedroom...i already have throws and blankets stored on hangers in there...I also have seasonal clothes stored in there. I have so many clothes that i know that i will never wear in my retirement so i will be donating to Salvation Army. Then , hopefully, seasonal clothes can be moved elsewhere and that closet can be used as a household linen storage closet.....Thanks for the inspiration and thanks for your visits!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

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    1. Oh, Debbie, I love that you a have a toy chest where you keep them. I always wanted a hope chest when I was little. I had a picture I cut out of a magazine, a Lane Hope Chest, and I kept it for years. Of course, by the time I was old enough to afford one of my own, it was out of production. Boo! I hope you have a lovely weekend!! Hugs to you!

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  12. What a brilliant idea, Kim. We don't change our curtains around often, but we do swop out the coach covers and I think your storage solution could work for them too. I'll have to tweak how I fold them up though, but that shouldn't be a problem.

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    1. I hope it's a helpful tip!! And good luck with that tricky folding.

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