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Protecting Your Wardrobe: 4 Tips for Storing Clothes Long-Term

If you’re planning on traveling the world or you are downsizing your house for a while then you are probably going to want to put your clothes into storage as they take up a large amount of space. But storing clothes long term is not always a piece of cake.

You want to ensure you store them in the correct way so that they don’t get damaged and they are ready to wear when you need them.

Here is how our guide to storing clothes.

1. The Great Wash

Before you do anything you need to ensure your clothes are washed. You don’t want to open up any boxes in months or years time and find dirty laundry: imagine the smell and how hard it will be to wash out any stains.

Instead, wash everything thoroughly on high temperature. If you have clothes that require dry cleaning make sure you have this done, don’t skip on this as Stella McCartney does.

If you usually do laundry yourself and you are worried about the time factor or want to ensure they are washed correctly then be sure to consider professional laundry services.

Not only can having your clothes laundered by a professional ensure they are washed correctly and all the stains are removed it can also mean your clothes are ironed and folded and ready to be packed. Remember your washing machine might be full of bacteria. Not only this it can save you hours of time.

It’s also pointless storing clothes you have no interest in keeping so be sure to use this opportunity to throw our what you don’t need rather than wasting money keeping them. Donate anything you don’t want.

2. Say No the Vac

Sealing your clothes in a vacuum, an airtight container, is not always a good thing to do if you want to know how to store clothes long term. If you are planning on keeping your clothes in storage for a long time then the lack of air can erode the fibers over time and change the shape. Natural is best.

Instead, use a normal plastic container and be sure to make sure it is closed properly. Don’t overfill it so that it is difficult to access. Silicon gel can stop any moisture getting to your clothes.

Don’t use coat hangers as these can stretch your clothes over time. You can try using a wardrobe box that is covered with a material sheet.

Make sure everything is labeled correctly. Make sure everything is divided into different boxes beforehand, for instance day clothes, suits, shoes. This way it will be easy to find things when you come to unpack.

3. Choose Your Storage Options

It’s important to make sure that you choose the right place to store your clothes and get the most out of your storage unit. It is worth investing in a good storage unit facility so that you have peace of mind rather than asking to keep your clothes at a friends’ garage or another place.

There are many options open to you. Some of them are merely garage lockups on the ground floor but these are often better options for storing furniture or mechanical objects and tools. Being on the ground floor they can also be susceptible to burglars and damp.

Instead invest in a storage center with hundreds, if not thousands of units. These are often clean rooms that are well maintained. They come in a variety of sizes.

There is usually a 24/7 reception and a team who manage it. If you have any problems you, therefore, have a point of contact.

4. Annual Check-Ups

When thinking about how to store clothes remember time changes everything. Even though it might seem like placing your clothes in storage protects them from time if you left them alone for 3 or 4 years, even with all the protection you have put in place they might fall apart.

Regular yearly checks are important to make sure that if something unexpected has happened you can intervene and stop it from getting worse. Be sure to go through each of the boxes and check the clothes one-by-one.

Remember to ensure you have refolded clothes as well to keep them fresh and to ensure they don’t become permanently creased.

Be sure to allocate some time for this, for instance, an entire afternoon to ensure you do it properly and put it in your diary a year in advance so that you remember it.

Storing Clothes: Take Precautions and You’ll Be Good

Storing clothes might seem like a straightforward task and it can be if you plan it properly. Don’t skip any of the steps or you could find yourself with ruined clothes in years to come.

Be sure to make sure all of your clothes are washed in advanced and consider using a professional service. Label them all and organize them all. Don’t hang on to clothes that you don’t need: remember you’ll be paying for them.

Next, ensure that you ditch the vac bags. Although you might like to think they will reserve your clothes for years to come in fact they can have the opposite effect, starving them of oxygen. Clothes and fabric need to breathe, just like human beings.

But the most important thing to remember is to check up on your clothes every year. It is easy to put them into storage and forget about them but if you leave them time can age them without you realizing. Check them and re-fold them piece-by-piece.

If you are interested in storage options for your clothes then be sure to check out our ratesfor climate controlled and non-climate controlled storage.