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How to store clothes long term in self-storage

Jeans

Maybe you’re starting to think about storing your seasonal clothes, or perhaps you’re thinking to live life on the road, and you’re not very sure when you’ll be coming back. What about vintage clothing lovers that want to keep their clothes safe for their next big occasion or vintage fair? Whatever the reason may be, people tend to look for solutions for storing clothes for the long haul, especially during seasonal change. 

In this article, we’re going to share our top 7 tips for the best way to store clothes long term in storage so that you can put your mind at ease. 

Why choose clothes storage?

Most people think about clothes storage as a simple task requiring you to chuck all your clothes in a box and place it in the attic to be forgotten. We can’t argue that’s not a handy and quick thing to do, however, most of your clothes will probably get mouldy and even inhabited with mice before the next time you open that box. It doesn’t sound very good, does it?

There are many clothing storage solutions out there, and in reality, storing your clothes safely is straightforward. You should be aware of only a few common mistakes and a couple of handy tips that could help you keep your clothes in top condition for long periods. So let’s dive right into them!

1. Organise and declutter

We know you love your old Christmas sweater, your high-school T-shirt, and who knows what else you have been keeping with you throughout the years. But have you noticed that you are running out of space? Your clothes start to get damaged, and you’re never able to find what you’re looking for because of all of the mess in your wardrobe and house.

A simple solution? It’s time to take all your clothes (and not just the ones you think you want to put in storage) and start sorting them out. Our recommendation is to create four different categories for your clothes: the ones you want to keep, repurpose, sell and store. This will significantly help you in identifying what you need to keep and what can be given away, so you can make more space for the new to come in, such as that new pair of jeans that you saw in a shop last week, and that you want to buy. 

Keep all the clothes that you use regularly and that you have enough room for. If your clothes are delicate, especially your “business clothes” or your beloved dresses, make sure to store them in a safe place. If your clothes are no longer fit to be worn, consider repurposing them by using their fabrics to perfectly re-decorate an old chair, make handy bags for life, or simply use them as cleaning cloths whenever needed. For the clothes you no longer want but that are still in pretty good condition, why not sell them online or at a car boot sale? And lastly, the clothes that are of value to you and you still want to keep, but you don’t have enough room or a safe space to store them, you can place them in the storing pile to be dealt with later on.

Decluttering is a big job to do, we know, and with that in mind, we’ve put together a whole blog with 10 top tips to declutter your home that will come in handy for your next big clean-up.

2. Wash all your clothes before storing them

Over time, dirt collects on clothes, so make sure that you will wash all your clothes beforehand before storing them. 

This will save you a lot of time and effort when the time comes to take them out of storage. This is especially helpful if you have a large number of clothes to store. Make sure that your garments have thoroughly dried before storing anything long term and that you’ve dry cleaned any items that require it as well. Carefully inspect each item for any potential stains and dirt because if you store dirty clothes for the long term, the chances are that any odours that are present will settle in over time, and you might not even be able to take the bad smell out of them! That would be a big waste! 

We have a pro tip for you: to purchase a couple of vacuum store bags for clothes and place some nice clothes scents inside to keep them smelling fresh and clean. Even better? Wooden cedar balls are a great, long-lasting add-on for their pleasant smell, and they will surely protect your clothes against pests!

3. Choose the right packaging

When thinking about how to store clothes long-term, you must know the best ways in which you can pack your clothes, so you can find them in good condition next time when you’ll need them. 

You could simply use plastic clothes storage boxes with lids, special clothes storage bags or clothes storage boxes. They are very cheap and can be found in most supermarkets and DIY shops. These will protect your items from moisture, dust, mould and mildew. Another extra tip is to add clean cotton sheets inside of the plastic containers for additional protection. A popular option is to use storage baskets for clothes, however, make sure that the place you’ll store your clothes is dry and covered, otherwise, your clothes will most likely get ruined by humidity, rain, and dust. 

If you want to be even more organised, you could purchase storage drawers for clothes, which are very useful, especially for small items and accessories. If you have a small clothes storage space, you could even put up some clothes storage shelves to make the most out of the space you have while still getting to your items quickly whenever needed. We have a great blog full of valuable tips that you should check out on how to pack and label your items for storage

4. Fold like a pro

If you want to use your clothes storage space properly, make sure not to stuff your clothes into it. 

Neatly fold all your items, especially knitwear and T-shirts, so that they can be kept in shape for the period you will keep them away for. If you leave them hanging on a coat hanger, they will most likely stretch and won’t fit you properly next time when trying them on. There are many clothes folding techniques that you could apply to save a lot of space, especially for:

  • T-shirts
  • Dress Shirts
  • Towels
  • Short Socks
  • Sweaters
  • Underwear

We found this excellent blog on 6 clothes-folding techniques that will take your folding to the next level, so make sure you give it a read!

5. Store at the right temperature

Another important thing on how to store clothes long-term is to choose the right location for your storage space. The ideal temperature should be no warmer than 23 degrees Celsius, and the humidity level should be around 55 degrees Celsius. 

However, if you can find any other space or location that can keep your clothes dry, clean and dark, you should opt for that! Keep in mind that where you store your clothes is much more important than how you store them. No matter how clean your clothing is and how pretty you’ve folded it, if you keep your clothes in a musty basement, everything could very likely become musty and damaged too. Our top recommendations are to:

  • Stay away from light – find an area that is free from ultraviolet light 
  • Don’t use airtight containers – so you can allow the air to circulate freely for longevity 
  • Avoid attic spaces – places like this fluctuate in heat throughout the year, which may break down clothing fibres

6. Check regularly

It’s essential to keep an eye on your clothes whilst stored. If you are thinking of storing clothes for a long time, checking them once per year will be enough to prevent any long-lasting damage. 

Another great benefit of checking clothes regularly when stored long term is that it gives you another chance to cull on items you don’t want a year later or are not fashionable anymore.  

7. Choose a professional self-storage service

A clothes storage unit would be the ideal choice for both short and long term storage. But always make sure to take into consideration what storage unit provider is best for your specific needs.

Just because you lack space, that doesn’t mean that you must throw your clothes away. And this is where self-storage facilities can help! Self-storage containers are the best option when you’re running out of space to store everything you want to keep in the long run. 

All you need to do is to choose the self-storage unit size you need and get familiar with what not to store in a storage unit and why to avoid any potential damages or incidents to your belongings. Being able to store your clothes in a cheap clothes storage space means that you could end up saving money by being able to keep your favourite suit or special occasion dress for when you need them, without taking up too much space in your home. 

If you’re thinking about the best way on how to store clothes long-term, contact us for more information and advice, as our friendly team is always happy to help and support you. We have perfectly clean and dry environments for you to store any items you may need, and we offer self-storage services across various locations throughout the UK, where all our storage spaces are 24h CCTV monitored and extra protected with individual locks. Also, you can simply fill in our application form, and whilst you’re waiting to secure your own self-storage space for your clothes, you can read more about how to organise storage units for frequent access for some extra tips and tricks.