If you’re about to pack your clothes for storage, you may be surprised to know that it’s not as simple as packing your clothes into a suitcase and leaving them to wait for your return – at least, not if you want to return to clothes that you can wear again!
Leaving your clothes improperly stored can result in them losing shape, growing mould or mildew, or even becoming infested with bugs or vermin. Below, we’ve listed the best ways to pack your clothes for storage to extend their life and keep them fresh for longer.
Wash & Dry Them
If you’re going to be storing your clothes for several weeks or months, the last thing you want is to put them in storage dirty or damp.
Washing and drying your clothes properly will ensure they stay fresh for longer, and will avoid any stains and odours developing while in storage. Dirty clothes can also attract vermin and bugs, which is definitely best avoided if you’re going to leave them for a while!
Preparing your clothes for storage in this way is a great way to sort through your wardrobe and decide what you really want to put into storage – and what is better being donated or discarded now. Don’t pay to store clothing that you’re never going to wear again.
Wash, Polish & Shine Your Shoes
If you are storing washable shoes such as trainers, it may be a good idea to put these in the wash and check they are completely dry before putting them into storage. Again, this will avoid any odours developing over time, which can be very difficult to get rid of later on.
It’s also a good idea to polish your smarter shoes to remove any scuffs and stains, so all your shoes are in pristine condition to be stored away for however long you require. This will lengthen their lifetime and ensure you return to shoes that are still perfectly wearable.
Take an Inventory
It may be a good idea to take an inventory of the clothes and shoes you are planning on putting into storage. Not only is this a good way of helping you to decide which items you really want to keep, but it will also help you remember exactly what you have stored away at a later date – and where to find it.
Your inventory could include:
- A brief description of the item
- The brand
- Where the item is stored in your unit
Avoid Vacuum Bags for Long-Term Storage
Vacuum storage bags are great for minimising the amount of space your stored clothing takes up. However, over time, storing your clothes in this way can cause your items to lose shape, and can even damage the fibres in wool and silk.
If you are storing your clothes temporarily for a couple of weeks, vacuum packing your clothes will be fine – but don’t leave them packed in this way for long.
Use Plastic Storage Boxes Over Cardboard
Cardboard boxes are very easily infiltrated by vermin, bugs, and mildew, so it’s best to avoid packing your clothes in these if you want to keep them in good condition.
To keep your items safe, we recommend you use plastic storage boxes with clip-on lids to pack your clothes for storage, preventing vermin from getting into your boxes. Picking an airtight box will also prevent mould and mildew finding its way to your clothes.
Store Them in a Cool, Dry & Dark Place
Many storage providers have the ideal cool, dark and dry storage units to keep your clothes fresh and good as new when you later get them out of storage. However, it’s definitely a good idea to look around first and make sure the units are what you are looking for – you definitely don’t want to end up with a damp unit that ruins your clothes.
Ideally, your storage unit should be no warmer than 23C with a low humidity.
If you are storing clothes that are particularly important, such as a wedding dress, you can get specialty acid-free storage boxes which are lined with tissue paper, and then placed inside a plastic storage box.
Note that this boxes can be pricier than standard plastic storage boxes, but they do preserve your clothes best if it is a particularly sentimental item.
Don’t Forget About Them
If you are putting clothing into storage long-term, it’s a good idea to check on them every now and again to ensure they’re still in good condition.
This might involve re-folding or re-hanging your clothes to ensure they don’t lose their shape, and put cedar balls into your storage boxes to keep moths away from them.
If you see the condition of your clothes deteriorating, you may need to reconsider how you are storing them, or the conditions they are stored in.
When you store your items in self-storage, you want the peace of mind that their value is covered should anything happen to them.
Our storage insurance will cover you against damage from natural disasters, theft, and more. Click here for a quote for your storage insurance policy today.