Storing clothes is pretty easy and straightforward, but it is also easy to make some mistakes that will damage your clothes and reduce their quality and lifespan.
It is important to ensure that your clothes are stored in such a way that they will not attract any moisture and dirt, especially if you are storing them for a long time.
Some of the clothes that can be stored for a long time include seasonal or baby clothes, and you want them to still serve you well when you need them next. Some of the tips for long-term clothes storage include;
1. Wash everything
Before you fold and pack everything, ensure to wash them, and let them dry completely. Make an effort of using a good-smelling fabric softener to help your clothes remain fresh.
Dirty clothes will not only smell bad over time, but they will also produce mold and mildew, especially if they have sweat on them.
They may also stain because of the oil, perfume, or lotions sitting on the fabrics for very long. Food stains on the clothes can also attract pests which will eventually damage the quality.
Dump clothes will also form mold and have an unpleasant stuffy smell over time. They might also develop watermarks that are hard to come off.
2. Use plastic bins
When we think about long term clothes storage, many people think of plastic bags or carbonated boxes because of how cost-effective they are. However, they will leave your clothes prone to damage because plastic bags may trap moisture leading to mildew and mold.
Carbonated boxes are vulnerable to water damage and humidity. Free used boxes are another cheap and readily available option, but they may contain bacteria and attract pests, especially if they were used to store food before.
Plastic bins may be expensive, but they keep your clothes safe from dust, pests, water, and humidity. Ensure not to overpack the bins, to keep your clothes from over-wrinkling, and to also ensure there is enough airflow.
Clear bins are the best because you tell the conditions of your clothes without opening them. However, if you will store the clothes in a place with sunlight, go for darker ones to keep your clothes from fading.
3. Have an inventory system
An inventory system will help you organize your clothes better for easier and faster access. You can sort your clothes per their types like t-shirts, dresses, sweaters, etc., and have each category in a separate box. Ensure to label the box afterwards.
To make that easier, you can further categorize into sizes like mini dresses, mid-length, maxi, baggy sweaters, etc. You can also classify them according to color.
4. Get rid of clothes you no longer wear
You can donate or sell clothes that no longer fit you or that you haven’t worn in over eight months. Not only will it help create more space for the clothes you need, but it will also make it easier for you to remember and organize the ones you are left with.
5. Store in a cool, dry place
Where you choose to store your clothes plays a big role in what their condition will be after the storage period. Many people will opt for the attic or garage, but those places are vulnerable to extreme temperature changes.
Ensure that the place you choose is dark, dry, and has cool temperatures. Light will cause your clothes to fade. If the storage location has light, especially direct sunlight, go for dark containers.
A humid and hot place will attract mold to your clothes, and the heat will cause your clothes’ fabric to break down. Also ensure that the containers you store in are not airtight, to encourage airflow between the clothes.
6. Refold often
Refolding not only helps prevent permanent creasing, but it also helps you to know the condition of your clothes.