Clothing storage is an almost universal need in modern homes, but most people don’t think twice about how they store their wardrobe. If you want to keep your clothes in top condition, then it’s a good idea to consider how you’re storing them. Here are a few tips for effective clothing storage.
Before you start stuffing your clothes out of sight, take a minute to consider why you’re storing them. If you’re putting winter clothes away for the warmer months or want to save a child’s hand-me-downs, then go ahead and get started. But if you’re using storage to avoid facing the fact that maybe you have too many clothes, it might be time to downsize.
It’s generally a good idea to go through the clothes you’re planning to store, so that you can determine whether or not you’ll even want them when you pull them out of storage down the road. If it no longer fits or if you’ve fallen out of love with it, donate or give away old pieces of clothing rather than burying them in a closet.
Next, make absolutely sure that your clothes are clean before you store them. If there are any stains in the material, they’ll set in over time, making them almost impossible to remove once you take the clothes out of storage. The same is true for odors or residues, so be sure to do your laundry before you start packing your clothes up.
Boxes and Bins
What’s the best strategy for packing your clothes away? Folding them carefully and placing them in a cardboard box is an excellent short-term solution, such as when you’re putting away seasonal items. For longer time periods, though, you’ll probably want a solid plastic bin, which can protect them from bugs, dust, and water damage. If you have clothes that need to be hung, use a garment bag to protect them.
If you’re concerned about bugs, then you can use mothballs or other pest repellants to keep your clothes safe. A block of cedar wood is a great way to ward off insects and keep everything smelling great—just don’t let it touch your clothes directly, because the natural oils in the wood can sometimes stain fabric. Wrap the block in an old rag or sock to keep your clothes safe.
Be sure that you remember where you put everything! When it comes time to dig out your clothes, you’ll be glad that you stayed organized. Generally, labeling the outside of the box is a helpful step; depending on how much you have to store you might also want to make a master list of each box and its location.
Finally, check up on your clothes occasionally. It’s easy to take the “out of sight, out of mind” approach, but that might mean that you don’t discover problems until it’s too late. Check your storage every few months or so to find out if there are any moisture or pest problems.
Following these tips can make clothing storage much easier.