The moment comes when you need to store your clothes away, and you should be prepared for it. Storing clothes in self-storage is a good way to protect your apparel while you’re moving. It is also a great solution for when you’re downsizing. However, there are a few tips you should make use of to ensure safe storing.
Tips for storing clothes safely
Even if you just wish to make more space for new clothes, putting your old clothing into a storage unit requires preparation. After all, you might need it later, and you would prefer to avoid damage. Clothing is sensitive to light, humidity, and temperature. Hence, you must find a facility that offers adequate storing conditions for sensitive items. It means you would have to look for a climate-controlled storage unit.
Once that part of the work is done, focus on preparing the clothes for storage. As storage needs of 90 days and longer are considered long-term, it indicates that your seasonal apparel will have to endure a procedure for long-term storage which includes
- Washing and drying your clothes properly
- Investing in quality storage containers
- Taking time to make an inventory and label your storage containers
- Visiting your storage unit regularly to check on the state of items
Proper storing demands more than simple folding. Luckily, we have some good tips in store for you.
Wash and dry before you store
Hopefully, you have decluttered your wardrobe and disposed of everything that isn’t worth keeping. Figuring out what should go into storage is the first step, followed closely by washing and drying the items. Bear in mind that certain materials require special handling and that some items need dry cleaning instead. This step is important even if your clothes do not look dirty. Traces of body lotions, perfumes, and even sweat can cause stains during storage.
If there are some food stains, note that they can attract pests to your storage unit. It is important to stress that even if you clean your items before storing, you should make sure you find reliable company that applies pest control measures. Once clean, dry your clothing as best as you can. Moisture trapped in clothing produces mold and mildew and will ruin your clothes over time.
Storing clothes in proper self-storage containers
Good organization is essential for packing in general, but especially if you are packing your wardrobe for relocation. This is especially important when you need to decide how to store your clothes best. Some of your items should not be folded, and some cannot hang. Some require additional protection from dust. But it is an unwritten rule that you should avoid putting your clothes into vacuum bags. That way, you will avoid inevitable creases and permanent wrinkles. Natural fibers require air to “breathe” and need some space.
Therefore, if you are placing clothing in self-storage for a short time, such as during your relocation, you will do well with wardrobe boxes as they provide the best conditions for storing apparel in the short-term storage. Your apparel can hang, it will have sufficient space, and the boxes are not sealed. However, it also means that dust can reach and settle over your items in time. It implies that, for long-term storage, plastic, air-tight containers are a perfect choice for foldable items.
Items that are more delicate and need to hang should be placed on racks but wrapped in bags intended for clothing. Hangers should be either plastic or wooden, as they do not rust. Also, they are more durable than wiry metal hangers and will not deform your clothing. Wardrobe boxes can serve as an added layer of protection in this case. Consider adding a desiccant like silica gel in each container, especially if you’re storing shoes.
How to easily find clothing items in your storage unit
Nothing beats a detailed inventory and labeling. So, take the time to create an inventory system that will help you find a specific clothing item. You can rely on color-coding to mark clothing that belongs to different family members, or different clothing types. Putting a list of items on the outside of the container is a great help as well. Don’t forget to make a map of your storage unit in case you have a lot of similar containers to help you find the ones you need.
Making an inventory and labeling is easier than ever with smartphone apps. If you are a fan of such solutions, have fun making an inventory in one of those apps. Then, print a bar-code label and stick it on the container. After scanning a bar-code with your phone camera, the app will show you your detailed inventory. Even if you’re old school, don’t underestimate the power of labels. Now that you don’t have to worry about your old clothes, feel free to look for sustainable fashion trends in 2020 and treat yourself.
Visit your storage unit regularly
Checking on your stored inventory is important for two reasons. Your items need refolding and airing after a few months. Also, you need to check the state of the unit, including storing conditions. Storing clothes in self-storage for a longer period is a safe option but only if you take good care of your clothing items. It implies that, after several months, you need to check on them, open the containers, air the clothing, and refold it.
Moreover, you will be able to determine if there are any changes in color or scent and prevent deterioration. Storing your apparel in a storage unit will keep it away from pests, as reputable storage facilities invest in regular pest control. Still, it is advisable to inspect your self-storage from time to time and report any cracks or ill-fitting doors that can allow bugs or small rodents inside. Also, make sure that any cardboard boxes you are using for sturdier garments are clean and unused. Used boxes, especially those obtained from markets, may have traces of food or spilled liquids and attract vermin, dirty your clothes, or both.