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Ask the Storage Experts: How to Store Clothes

June 19, 2020

Photo of clothes hanging on a rack. Learn how to store clothes in a storage unit with tips from the experts at Modern Storage!

Tips for Storing Clothes Carefully

Whether you are getting ready to downsize, travel, or even rotate your seasonal wardrobe, it could all be done in vain if you don’t know how to store your clothes properly. Storing clothes, when done the right way, can ensure they stay in superb shape for years to come!

Ready to get started? Here are the dos and don’ts of storing clothes recommended by the storage experts at Modern Storage®.   

Preparing Your Clothes for Storage

The first thing you should do is wash, dry, and fold all your clothes that you plan to store long term. Yes, we mean all of them!

Even if an item of clothing has only been worn once, small amounts of sweat and oil will still be present. Over time, the oil and sweat can cause staining and mold growth while sitting in storage.

Take any delicate items of clothing to a dry cleaner for laundering. Hang these items on a garment rack covered with a clean, breathable sheet or cloth to maintain airflow and keep dust off your clothes.

Packing Your Clothes for Storage

Now that all your clothes are clean and ready to store, it’s time to pack them up. Before you go collecting cardboard boxes and plastic bags (our purchase supplies from a local Modern Storage® facility!), our experts want to you consider all your options.

Below, we have broken down the pros and cons of different containers for storing clothing.

Cardboard Boxes

  • Pros: Cheap and recyclable. Okay for short-term. 
  • Cons: Absorb smells and liquids. Can grow mold. Not very protective. 

 Plastic Storage Boxes

  • Pros: Keep out pests, humidity, dust, and water.
  • Cons: Can be expensive. Can crack or warp if overpacked.

Vacuum Bags

  • Pros: Save space in a storage unit. Good for short-term.
  • Cons: Compacting your clothes for a long time will damage them. 

Plastic Bags

  • Pros: Cheap and compact. Great for quick transport. 
  • Cons: Trap and accumulate moisture, creating mildew. not good for storage. 

On a short-term basis, standard cardboard boxes and are fine to store clothes. Just make sure they are very clean! You may be tempted to grab free boxes from the grocery store or borrow some from a friend. But, trace amounts of food or moisture can attract pests and cause mold.

For long-term storage, you should be more cautious. The best type of containers to use when storing clothes are plastic storage totes, as these have been proven to keep bugs out far better than cardboard boxes or plastic bags.

Keeping Pests Away

After all the hard work you’ve done learning how to store your clothes, it would be a shame to have pests damage them while in storage. Cedar chips are a safe and natural solution for keeping bugs and vermin away!

Cedar has been used to deodorize and repel moths from clothes for centuries. Want to know why? It’s because the oil in cedarwood deters insects and kills moth larvae.

Our storage experts recommend purchasing cedar chips in cotton bags or even cedar balls and leave them in the plastic containers storing your clothes.

Utilizing Climate Control Storage

If you really want to know how to store clothes the best way possible, our experts recommend you consider utilizing a climate-controlled storage unit.

Scorching conditions in the summer followed by freezing conditions in the winter can cause all kinds of problems in a storage unit that isn’t temperature-controlled. It’s like storing your clothes in a nice closet, versus outside in a shed. You wouldn’t do that, right?

The benefits of climate control are clear: your clothes are safer when they aren’t at risk of attracting mold, mildew, and bugs that love humidity.

We hope that you found these expert insights useful and that we have been able to help you plan your upcoming move.

If you have any questions about storing clothes, please contact us for more assistance!

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