There’s an art to packing clothes for storage: it’s not just a case of popping them in a box and retrieving them when the time comes.
To maintain the quality of your garments, you need to pick the right storage containers and ward off moisture. Here’s our step-by-step guide for how to protect your clothes and pack clothes for storage.
1. Declutter and donate
Is it time to declutter your wardrobe?
The logical first step when it comes to packing clothes for storage is to decide which clothes you want to keep and which can be donated or recycled. If you haven’t worn a garment in over 12 months, consider whether or not you really want to keep it.
Instead of sending your old clothes to a landfill, do the following:
- Donate them to registered charities
- Drop them off at a recycling point
- Check to see if your local authority picks up clothes to be recycled
- See if any friends or family would like them
2. Wash all clothes before packing
It’s so important to make sure your clothes are clean before they go into storage.
Why? Because bugs love dirt and dust! Put any dirty clothes on a quick wash or take them to the dry cleaners, and make sure they’re dry before you pack them.
Don’t bother ironing – you can do this when you take them out of storage!
Store shoes separately and treat them with some specialist oil to help protect them and prevent them from drying out while in storage. Putting scrunched up acid-free tissue paper inside will help your shoes and boots retain their shape.
Consider rolling instead of folding your clothes for storage. T-shirts, trousers, casual dresses, swimwear and PJs are perfect for rolling (but rolling bulkier items like jumpers can end up taking up more space, so fold these).
3. Choose long-term clothes storage boxes
You should only really use vacuum sealed bags for short-term storage, and we recommend not using them for particularly delicate items.
Although great for saving space, vacuum bags can damage natural fibres.
Don’t use standard plastic bags to store your clothes either – they can trap moisture and encourage mould and mildew to grow.
For storing clothes long term, use plastic storage boxes with lids. Like the clothes themselves, your plastic containers should be clean, and you can line them with clean cotton sheets to give your clothes added protection.
Bear in mind that plastic clothes storage boxes shouldn’t be 100% airtight: some fabrics, including wool and other natural fibres, need to breathe.
Wardrobe boxes are another option. Some come with their own inbuilt racks that enable you to hang clothes in them. Metal can rust, so use hangers made of wood or fabric.
Regular cardboard boxes can harbour chemicals that damage clothes if transferred. Also, cardboard boxes can attract moisture and create the perfect environment for pests. Avoid wooden boxes too, as the acids the wood contains can damage garments over time.
4. Opt for cedar balls
Instead of placing mothballs in your storage boxes – which don’t smell particularly nice and can be toxic for children and pets – consider cedar balls instead.
Wooden cedar balls are an effective natural moth repellent for wardrobes, drawers and storage containers. They last a long time and have a much kinder aroma.
5. Find a storage space
You should try not to store clothes in an environment that is too warm, bright or humid.
In other words, opt for a dry, cool and dark place to help keep your garments safe and protected during their stay in storage.
You should place boxes and containers off the floor, too.
If you’re storing your clothes in your loft or somewhere else in your home for a long period of time, you should consider taking them out every six months or so to refold them and check for damage. This will help prevent lines and tears from forming.
If you’re lacking home storage space or are moving home, you may want to consider renting a short or long-term storage unit.
While some storage companies only offer the basics – i.e. a space to store your belongings – other removals and storage companies go the extra mile.
For example, at Storage X, we collect your items, create an inventory for you, pack them, move them into storage and deliver them to your door when you want them back.
Book a storage unit today
Now you know the best way to pack your clothes for storage, it’s time to book a storage unit with StorageX! Get your quote today.
Whether you need to keep your items in storage for a few months or for a year or more, we have next-day availability. We’ll store your clothes – and other items – in one of our purpose-built stackable storage units.
Our stackability enables us to store more items with less space, making it one of the most cost-effective long-term clothes storage solutions out there today.