Perhaps you’re storing baby clothes until the pitter patter of more tiny feet come along, or maybe you are heading off to lands far away and not sure when you will return. Maybe you have a selection of vintage clothing that you want to keep safe between rare special occasions or you simply don’t have enough storage space for five ski jackets in your studio apartment.
Whatever the reason, we assume you’re here because the time has come to store your clothes for the long haul.
You might think it’s as simple as chucking it all in a box and putting it in the attic. And it could be. If you want moth eating, mouse inhabited, mouldy clothes next time you go to find it.
Not sounding great is it. Well it can be super simple. There are just a few common mistakes that you need to be aware off and a couple handy tricks that we think will help keep your clothes in tip top condition.
So if you care about your clothes more than the mouse family in the attic (gross, we know), read on to find out the best ways to store your clothes long term.
Keep, Chuck, Sell or Store
You’ve got the well kept suits/ dresses in garment bags all hung up in a row. You’ve got shelves that become messier and messier the further down you go. You’ve got hangers with four tops on one, and then, you have the pile of clothes at the bottom corner of the wardrobe that is there because..? There were no spare hangers that day? It was in the way of the top you wanted to get to? You were going to throw it out but you thought you might wear it one more time…
No more! Space is running out, clothes are getting damaged, and you can’t find anything you want. It is time to take all your clothes (not just the ones you think you want to store) and sort them into four different categories: keep, repurpose, sell or store.
Keep: These are the things you use regularly and that you have room for and a safe place to keep them if they are delicate.
Repurpose: If your items are no longer fit to be worn consider repurposing them by using the fabric to upcycle that old chair, or make handy bags for life. If you aren’t a big DIYer then take the unwanted clothing to a textile bank which you can find by searching here.
Sell: For the items that you no long want but are still in good condition why not consider selling them online, at a car boot sale, or donating them.
Store: Things that are of value to you, that you still want to keep, but don’t have the room or a safe place to store them currently.
Okay now it is sorted, carefully (yes, carefully!) fold and place back all the items you are keeping back where they belong. Chuck all the damaged items in the bin. And set aside the things you plan to sell for later.
Check out our blog: The Perks of Having A Car Boot Sale
Now what you are left with, is the clothes you want to store. So let’s move onto the next step.
Dust Them Off And Clean Them Up
We won’t judge if some of your clothes still have a couple of food stains on them here or there or a spare packet of year old chewing gum in one of the pockets, but it might damage your clothes long term.
Be sure to check the pockets for any bits of old food, paper, coins (hopefully notes). Secondly give them a good old scrub and clean.
Stains set in and only get worse over time, so that stain that isn’t too bad right now might be much worse when you pull it out of storage in a year. Not to mention having food stains or even crumbs in your pocket may encourage pests to come and check it out if they can.Packing them away at their freshest will improve their longevity plus be less interesting for mice.
So, wash and dry all of your items for storage according the individual label instruction. Make sure they are all rinsed thoroughly to prevent any chemical damage during storage, and make sure they are bone dry to prevent any build up of mould or mildew.
Give Them Some Final TLC
Now that you have cleaned and dried all of your clothes and clothing items you might have noticed some items that could do with a little bit of tender loving care. If there are any items that need sewed or missing a couple of buttons then try and tackle this now before you forget all over again.
Now that they are all nice, lovely and clean you may want to steal some back for the keep pile, but if not, we will move on.
Make An Inventory
Not only will making an inventory stop you from pulling your hair out with frustration further down the line when your not sure what has been stored and what hasn’t, but it can save you money as well.
Take for example you are storing baby clothes, maybe in 2 or 3 years when the next little one comes along you will need to start buying new things. But what if you had most of it in storage already? Well fear not, luckily you made that inventory of what you were storing and where (what box). Phew.
Pack Considerately And Carefully
Like sending off your first born to college, you want to make sure they are safe and secure and prosper well. Clothes are the same,right?
The best way to do this is pack considerately and carefully, the clothes I mean, not the child.
First thing to do, is working out what supplies you need to store them.
Check out what moving supplies we offer at Storage Vault here.
As appealing as vacuum seal bags are for space they aren’t always the best options for long term storage or for storing delicate items. Not only can they damage delicate fibers, but most textiles need some air circulating to maintain its structure and prevent any moisture from getting trapped. This is the same for plastic bags when it comes to preventing moisture buildup.
The best bet is to use lidded plastic containers. These are great for protecting against any vermin as well as protecting your clothes from moisture. If you want to take extra care, and we recommend you do, line the plastic storage boxes with old, clean cotton sheets first. And to go another step above use wooden cedar balls that work to repeal months as well as keep your clothes smelling fresh.
And I’m sure we don’t have to tell you this, but please, don’t just bung them all in to the box. Fold and pack considerately, and gently. Softly softly.
TIP: For extra delicate items consider purchasing acid free boxes and use tissue paper rather than cotton to store long term.
Once this is done clearly label the outside of the boxes if you are planning to store several. This is where your inventory will come in handy again!
Choose A Suitable Storage Place
When storing your clothes for the long term you have got to consider what storage unit provider is best for these specific needs.
When it comes to clothes you will need to consider storing your clothes in a clean, cool, dark and dry storage space. Other things you should consider are accessibility and security.
For this we think that there is no better option out there than a storage unit! And we aren’t being biased, see we even did a blog post comparing a storage unit to a garden shed so check it out here: Should I Rent A Self Storage Unit Or Buy A Garden Shed
Still not convinced? Check out our blog post on Why You Should Rent A Storage Unit
We offer a range of storage options at Storage Vault that perfectly suit storing clothes long term.
We have perfectly clean, dry and environment proof storage units. We have 24hr CCTV and individual locks, and we are also in several fantastic locations around Glasgow.
If you go elsewhere we won’t be offended either, as long as you make sure you follow these tips to take the best care of your clothes.
If you have any more tips, tricks or advice please feel free to leave a comment on our Facebook page.
If you have any more questions on how to safely store your clothes long term then please contact us on 0141 280 8887 or send us a message here.
Also check out our ‘How To Store Series’ on