Most of us can divide our wardrobes into seasonal clothes, separating winter outfits from summer t-shirts and shorts. As seasons change, we tend to rotate the items in our closet, with last season’s wears becoming buried under our current favourite garments. If you have an extensive wardrobe, you may be considering putting your old clothes into storage. Placing material items into storage can lead to creasing, crinkles and musty smells if not packed away properly. So, how do you store clothes properly?
The Best Way to Store Clothes
Long-term clothing storage requires preparation to ensure your garments remain in good condition. Follow these top tips on how to store clothes to preserve your most-loved items.
1. Wash and Dry Your Clothes
Before you place your clothes into storage, it’s essential to wash and dry them correctly. Depending on the individual item, you may need to dry clean them or simply put them into the washing machine. There’s no need to iron them as they’ll require ironing once taken out of storage.
2. Eliminate Stains
Stains become worse over time if not treated. Always eliminate any old stains before putting your clothing into storage. Chemical stain removers are highly effective in removing older stains. For newer stains, you can try adding half a cup of baking soda to your machine wash cycle.
3. Clean Shoes and Accessories
Clean and polish your shoes to ensure they’re in good condition. Check over any accessories and clean these if they require it. Place scrunched up acid-free tissue paper inside handbags and shoes so that they keep their shape.
4. Donate Old Clothing
If you have old clothes, consider donating them to charity or recycling them. Fix any damaged items that you want to keep and tear up anything you cannot repair into rags for cleaning purposes.
5. Avoid Vacuum Sealed Bags
Vacuum packed storage bags are ideal for some items but not others. Clothes made with natural fibres, such as silk, can easily become damaged when placed in plastic bags as they tend to lose their shape. While storage bags are fine when used for a couple of weeks, it’s best to use plastic boxes instead for long-term storage. Just make sure that they have an airtight lid to prevent moisture from getting into them.
6. Avoid Cardboard Boxes
It’s also important to avoid storing your shoes and accessories in cardboard boxes. These can quickly become damaged by water or mould, destroying your items in the process. Place them in a plastic storage box to prevent water damage or infestation.
7. Fold Your Clothes Neatly
It can be tempting to throw your clothes into a plastic box or suitcase. However, rolling or folding your clothes neatly will ensure they stay in the very best condition. You may prefer to invest in a hanging clothing rail or clothing rack for more expensive items.
8. Avoid Contact with Wood
Textiles should be kept away from wood when placed into storage. Wood contains acids that promote damage when coming into contact with clothing. Ideally, your items should be placed in a cool, dry environment and away from sunlight or heat.
9. Label Your Boxes
Remember to label all your storage boxes so you can find everything with ease. You can organise your items according to colour, garment or season. Alternatively, you could introduce a number coding system. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to labelling, so do what works best for you.
10. Use Moth Repellent
Moisture must be kept out of your storage boxes to prevent mould and mildew. Ensure your clothes are 100% dry when placing them into boxes. You can also purchase moisture absorbers and moth repellent, especially if you’re storing cashmere or wool. Mothballs can have an unpleasant odour, so opt for lavender sachets instead.
11. Store Vintage Items Together
Keep any vintage or expensive items together in a plastic storage box. You can then give this extra care and attention when packing them away. Any long dresses or coats are best stored on a hanger within a special plastic box.
Planning on Placing Your Clothing Into Storage? Removals & Storage Experts Can Help!
Putting your clothes into storage requires choosing the perfect storage space for your belongings. At Removals & Storage Experts, our temperature-controlled facilities boast optimal conditions for storing your possessions. We can even help pack and transport your items, too. Get in touch now for a free, no-obligation quote.