How many times has it happened that your closet is overflowing with clothes and yet you cannot find anything to wear? Have you ever wondered why that happens? Well, let us tell you! There are so many clothes in there (that aren’t used daily most of the time), the mere sight of the overflowing closet overwhelms you. What do you do in such a situation? Ideally, consider putting your stuff into storage!
You might think that putting your stuff into storage is rather straightforward. Just collect all the clothes and dump them into a unit! That doesn’t sound that hard, does it now? However, the process is more complex than you think. Always remember the better you treat your beloved clothes; the longer will they last. But, how do you ensure that your clothes don’t get spoilt in storage? Let us walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to put your clothes into storage.
Before Putting Your Clothes Into Storage
Some very important tasks precede the process of you hauling your clothes to storage. Taking these steps will ensure that your clothes aren’t put into storage in a haphazard manner.
1. Segregating your Clothes:
There is no point in hoarding clothes when you know that you aren’t going to use them. When you are planning to put your stuff into storage, you will realize that your closet contains clothes that could fall into any of the following categories:Used on a daily basis
- Used on a daily basis
- Used on occasions or only during certain seasons
- Clothes that you never use or the ones that you have outgrown
- Clothes that are torn or in an unusable condition
The first thing you need to do is sort out your clothes. If you use certain items daily, they can be folded neatly and returned to your closet. When it comes to clothes that are used only on certain occasions (for instance, dresses worn during weddings) or during specific seasons (for instance, sweaters, coats, etc.), these are the ones that are supposed to go into storage. This will help you declutter your house.
Moving on to the pile of unused clothes, ask yourself why are you still holding on to them? If some clothing items have a sentimental value attached to them, you could directly put them into storage. However, you might come across some clothes like your baby clothes that you have outgrown, some that you don’t like wearing, or some clothes that you simply don’t need. What do you do with them? You can get rid of these clothes in three easy ways:
- Sell them: This is the easiest way to make a quick buck. The quickest way to get rid of the clothes that you don’t use could be selling them to thrift stores. In this way, you declutter your house with the added benefit of making some money. Read our Article on How to Sell Clothes Online for Cash to get more Information on this
- Donate it: If this option is available, always go for it. There are many people stuck in unfortunate circumstances who could use your help. Every little effort to make their lives better counts. So, do consider donating your clothes.
- Hand it down: If your clothes are in great condition, you could hand them down to your siblings or cousins. Living costs are steadily rising so why not try to save some money? You can always look around for people in your family who would be willing to accept your clothes.
Now, what do you do with the clothes which are torn or cannot be used for some reason? The answer is simple. Clothes that are spoilt beyond repairs can be dropped off at the recycling centers. Instead of contributing to the filling up of the landfills, recycling clothes can lead you to a greener way of living. However, if those clothes can be fixed and restored to a working condition, make sure you fix them and then either sell or donate them.
2. Cleaning Them Thoroughly
Always remember that you would be committing a big mistake if you do not wash your clothes before putting them into a storage unit. If you want to ensure that your clothes last in the storage unit for a longer time, washing and drying them rigorously is absolutely important. Do you know why?
Unwashed clothes give off a peculiar smell after a while if they are stored in an unbreathable compact space. You might think that your stuff is clean but storing clothes without washing can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. This will further result in your clothes giving off an extremely off-putting odor. There might be some stains that can’t be seen at the time of packing. Don’t forget that these stains will show over time and removing them, later on, will be a hassle.
We are sure that most of you use some kind of antiperspirant sprays, lotions, and other skincare products that come in contact with your clothes. It would be unwise to leave your clothes unwashed, because these products leave a stain on your clothes (cloth patches might turn yellow). Moreover, food stains are an open invitation for pests to come and destroy your clothes. All we want to say is, wash your clothes and dry them properly before putting them into storage.
3. Up your Inventory Game:
If you want to stay organized, it’s time to grab your stationary. Make a comprehensive list of all the clothing items that are being put into storage. Ideally, include a small description of the items after their names. Create subsections and decide which items are to be stored together. For instance, put all your sweaters in one box, and all your coats in another. Make several copies of this list and keep one handy in case you quickly need to grab something out of your storage unit later.
Also Read: Packing your Suitcase for Moving
How to Put your Clothes into Storage?
Once you have all your clothes ready, you need to know how to pack them and where to put them into storage. Read on to know more about this.
Choosing the Right Place to Store your Clothes:
You might assume that your attic or garage will suffice when it comes to storing clothes. You couldn’t be more wrong! Always remember that your clothes will get spoilt if they aren’t stored in an ideal environment. This means that you need to ensure your clothes are being stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. You might wonder, why is this necessary? Let us tell you.
When your clothes are constantly exposed to bright light, they will start fading and this is not something that you want, right? Your best bet would be to store them in a dark place in opaque containers, so that they aren’t exposed to any light. If your clothes are exposed to temperature extremities with high levels of humidity, don’t expect them to be in a good condition after the storage period is over.
Similarly, if your garage floods up, your clothes are bound to get wet. All of this will lead to your clothes growing mold and mildew. Eventually, they will attract bugs and pests. You might feel like you saved some bucks by storing your clothes in your garage, but ask yourself this – are you really saving money if all your clothes are going to get spoilt?
That is why you should opt for a climate-controlled storage facility. You can simply rent out a climate-controlled storage unit at affordable rates and store all your clothes there. Keeping your clothes here ensures that they remain in pristine conditions for a longer time.
To Fold or Not to Fold:
The biggest problem you will face while storing your clothes is folding them might permanently wrinkle them. Folding clothes might be the first thing you do while you pack them, but don’t forget, that’s not the only way to store them. Did you know that you could hang them as well?
Well, some packing supplies let you hang your stuff inside them. You definitely need to know which clothes to fold or not fold if you want them to be in a good condition when you need them.
Related: Tips to Pack your Clothes for Moving
- Clothes made from stretchy material
- Sweaters or other woolen items
- Denim Clothes
Not to Fold:
- Blazers and Coats
- Dress Pants
- Clothes prone to permanent wrinkling
Using the Right Packaging Supplies
Choosing the right packaging supplies is crucial because the fate of your clothes ultimately depends on them. The type of storage supplies you should use actually depends on the length of your storage time. You might want to store your stuff for a short time (1 week – 1 month) during a move, for a few months, or for a few years. Let us look at the different types of storage supplies that you can use to store your clothes.
Basic Cardboard Boxes:
Cardboard boxes have been your savior friends for numerous situations and clothes storage is no exception to that. They are cheap, reusable, and recyclable. However, you can use them only for your short-term storage needs. Why, you ask? Well, cardboard boxes do not protect your clothes from moisture. They also attract pests that can eat through them and ruin your clothes. Use them only if you keep your stuff in a secure, pest-free, climate-controlled unit, and that too for a short time.
Plastic bags are quite similar to cardboard boxes in terms of their pros. They are easy to use, easy to transport, quite cheap, and reusable. However, the problem with plastic bags is that they retain moisture and your stuff starts growing mildew. They will provide you with a cheap solution but remember to use them only for your short-term storage needs.
Vacuum Sealed Packs:
If the storage space is limited and the number of items you need to store is more, vacuum-sealed packets are the way to go. They allow you to store your bulky clothes compactly and you don’t even have to spend additional money on extra storage space. These packs will also keep pests away. However, use them only for short-term storage. These packs suffocate your clothes, creases them permanently and the clothing fibers start deteriorating.
The length of your storage doesn’t matter. It is always advisable to go for a plastic bin because they are the best when it comes to storing your clothes. They are durable, they let your clothes breathe and they also keep pests at bay. What more do you want?
The only drawback of sorts here is that you might have to pay more in comparison to plastic bags or cardboard boxes. Make sure that you dry out your container and place a layer of the clean cotton sheet inside it before you store your clothes in it.
You wouldn’t want permanent creases on your clothes now, would you? Wardrobe boxes allow you to hang your clothes while storing them, similar to how clothes are stored in a wardrobe. These boxes ensure that clothes that can’t be folded are stored appropriately. Additionally, these boxes are also available in different sizes. However, you should know that these boxes are made up of cardboard. As a result of this, your clothes don’t get any solid protection against moisture, mold, and pests.
As mentioned before, wardrobe boxes are made from cardboard. If you have to hang your clothes while storing them, you can put them into garment bags and then hang them in wardrobe boxes. Garment bags are made from cotton. They let your stuff breathe and also protect it from moisture, mold, and pests. Avoid using plastic garment bags because they tend to trap moisture.
Go Crazy with the Labels
Label everything that you can possibly label. Learn this organizing hack to make your item retrieval process easier. Make the labels as specific as possible. If this isn’t enough, you can also tape a list on each container. This list would contain the names of the specific objects that are put in that particular container.
Moreover, you could also color-code your boxes. For instance, red boxes could contain seasonal wear, blue boxes could contain your sister’s clothes, green could contain your clothes, and so forth. Make sure that you store all the clothes that you might need frequently towards the front of the unit so that they are easily accessible.
After Putting your Stuff into Storage
Keep the Bugs at Bay:
We know that mothballs make your clothes smell really bad. You might not want that. Fortunately, you don’t have to use mothballs to keep pests away if you don’t like them. You can always opt to use cedar blocks or cedar oil to protect your clothes from bugs and pests. They also don’t harm any of your clothes and maintain a fresh smell in your storage boxes. Make sure you put the cedar chips/blocks in and around your boxes to ensure that pests do not ruin your stuff.
Air Out the Clothes:
This does not literally mean that you need to remove them from storage and use them. It is advisable to remove them from storage at least once a year. Use them if you can, or else unfolding and refolding them will suffice. This will help you straighten out certain creases and wrinkles. You can also examine whether clothes have stains or if they are spoilt in any way. Regularly checking up on them ensures their longevity.
Useful Tips for Storing your Clothes
● Make sure that you aren’t using airtight containers to store your clothes. Your clothes need to breathe. A breathable container ensures that your cloth fibers do not lose their structure. However, air-tight containers can be used for short-term storage.
● Your clothes should ideally be away from any kind of light. You don’t want your clothes to fade so make sure that your clothes aren’t being exposed to light. If they are being exposed by any chance, use opaque containers to block this light out.
● If you realize at any point that your clothes are smelling musty, just get a clothing steamer to freshen your clothes up in a wink of an eye.
● Use strong wooden or plastic hangers when you hang your clothes. Wire hangers tend to rust and overstretch your clothes over time.
● When packing your clothes, ensure that you don’t fold them more than necessary. Use bigger boxes to avoid creases and fold lines.
● Use acid-free tissue paper between your garments. It can also be used as an inner liner for your storage box. This ensures maximum protection of your clothing items.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will clothes get ruined in a storage unit?
Your clothes won’t get ruined if you do a couple of things while storing them. Go for a climate-controlled unit to store your clothes. Never store unwashed clothes because they start showing stains and also attract bugs after a point.
Make sure that all your clothes are stored in the right storage containers. Ideally use plastic bins to store your garments. Lastly, unfold and refold your clothes every year to straighten out the creases that have formed. If you do all this, we assure you that your clothes won’t get ruined in a storage unit.
Is it OK to store clothes in plastic containers?
Plastic Bins are the best way to go when you store your clothes. They are light-weight and very convenient to handle. They can be stacked up easily. In addition to this, they also protect your clothes from moisture as well as pests. If you ask us, try to use plastic containers for storage instead of cardboard boxes.
How do you keep clothes fresh in storage bins?
There are several ways in which you could make sure that your clothes remain safe inside a self-storage unit.
- Add essential oil to the clothes while you wash them before putting them into storage.
- Use air fresheners around your storage boxes that contain your clothes.
- Keep dryer sheets in one corner of your storage unit.
- Place coffee grounds in a container that has several holes and keep it in your unit.
- Sprinkle a mixture of vodka and water on your smelly clothes to freshen them up.