Storing clothes for the long term can be daunting, especially if you want them to remain in pristine condition. Whether you’re packing away seasonal garments, saving vintage attire, or holding on to special occasion outfits, proper storage is key to ensuring your clothes last. By properly cleaning, packing and storing your clothes you will increase their longevity and you’ll be able to find them in the same condition you stored them. If you want to avoid mistakes that will cost you time, money and unnecessary stress look no further. Here are eight essential tips to help you learn how to store your clothes effectively, preserving their quality and longevity.

If you can’t follow all these steps when storing your clothes, try to follow as many of them as you can. The better your clothes are stored, the longer they will last. These clothing storage tips will work for wherever you decide to store your clothes, whether you’re storing them in a storage unit, in the loft, under the bed or in a garage. Naturally, some options are better than others!

1. Consider Seasonal Storage: Store Out-of-Season Clothes

Even though in the UK we can experience all four seasons in a single day, most of us could divide our wardrobes into spring/summer and autumn/winter clothes. When you’re wearing summer clothes your winter wardrobe can become buried deep at the back of the wardrobe, horribly creased, maybe damaged and even totally forgotten!  And of course, vice versa when wearing your winter clothes, your summer ones can suffer the same fate.

The answer to the issue of an overcrowded and ill-used wardrobe is, of course, to store the items you are not using. Learn how to transition your wardrobe seasonally using self-storage. This strategy helps prevent these issues and keeps your clothes in prime condition year-round.

2. Take an inventory of your wardrobe

Knowing what clothing you are storing to will make the storage process easier. If you ever need to find an item, you’ll know where to look and how it has been stored. Your clothing inventory should include:

  • The name of the article of clothing
  • Where the item is stored

3. Discard or donate clothes

If you haven’t worn something for a year, you probably won’t wear it again!

There’s not much point in storing clothes that are in poor condition or that you’re probably never going to wear again. Go through all your clothes and decide which ones you want to store and which ones you want to donate or give away.

Remember – the less stuff you store, the cheaper the storage will be as you will need less space. Be strong! Be ruthless! Only keep what you need and do some good at the same time by making donations.

Once this is done, it’s time for the next step!

4. Wash and dry your clothes properly

It’s really important to wash and dry all the clothes you’re planning on storing thoroughly before you put them into storage, even if they look clean. Whether that is washing them at home, or taking them to by dry cleaned, it’s vital that they are stored once they are clean and completely dry. This will help stop stains and moths!

The good news is there is no need to iron your clothes before you store them as you will only have to do it again when you take them out of storage – and nobody wants to do the ironing more than they have to!

5. Repair any damaged items

Now your clothes have all been washed and dried, if you notice any missing buttons or holes, now is a good time to carry out any repairs – remember ‘a stitch in time saves nine’!

Doing these fixes now will mean all your items in storage will be good to go and ready to wear when you take them out again.

6. Polish your shoes

Storing shoes and boots can be difficult as they can lose their shape easily when put in a bag or box.  The key is giving them a good polish before putting them into storage to protect them and so they are ready to use when you take them out again. Try to keep them completely separate from any clothes and to put some old newspaper inside them (or shoe trees if you have them) so they keep their shape.

7. Give your clothes some space – Choose The Right Container

Acid-free clear boxes like the ones pictured above are the best storage option if you can afford them. This is because they are stackable and you can easily see what’s in them. It’s also better to store clothes in plastic rather than wood, paper or cardboard boxes. This is because cardboard and wood contain chemicals that can transfer on to clothes and damage them. The boxes may also become a home for pests attracted to proteins in the glue that holds them together. If you don’t have access to those boxes, you could line cardboard boxes using quilt wadding and white sheets to add a layer of protection between the clothing. If you use plastic boxes make sure they’re not completely airtight, as some clothes (such as wool, silk and other natural fibres) need to breathe.

Another option could be to buy a clothes rack or a wardrobe box and hanging storage bags.

If you do hang your clothes, here are some other clothing storage tips to remember:

  • Choose padded, plastic or wooden hangers for hanging clothes in storage as wire hangers can damage clothing over time.
  • Cover clothing racks in breathable fabric like cotton or linen covers. This will help keep out dust and pests but also allow the air to circulate.
  • Place cedar blocks or line a storage area with cedar to deter moths. Cedar won’t leave your clothes with the undesirable smell of mothballs.

For fabrics that are prone to creasing or are extra delicate, use acid-free tissue paper to wrap the clothes or pad folds. This prevents permanent creases and protects against potential damage from environmental factors.

We don’t really recommend vacuum packing your clothes for long periods, but if you do decide to use vacuum packing, make sure you don’t use it to store items with natural fibres as materials like wool and silk need to breathe.

8. Label your boxes clearly

This may seem obvious but, if you use cardboard boxes or bags make sure you label them clearly with the contents, so you can find what you are looking for easily when you come back to the storage room to retrieve your things. You will thank yourself for doing this, we promise you!

9. Pack and store your clothes properly

Clothes stack for newborn boy. Close up of rolled up kid's chlothes on white chest of drawers in front of wooden wall. Grey and blue colors and different print.

As we have already said, there is no point in ironing your clothes before putting them into storage but you should still pack your clothes with care.

Another top tip is to roll your clothes instead of laying them flat. This has the dual benefit of keeping creases out of them and getting more into a bag or box.

Remember to put the heavier items at the bottom of the bag or box and lighter, more delicate items at the top.

Don’t over-fill your boxes or bags – remember to give your things some space to keep them in good condition.

10. Pick a cool, dry place to store clothing

Where you store your clothes is arguably more important than how you store your clothes. No matter how clean your clothes are, if you store them in a musty basement, your clothes could very likely become musty. Temperature is also important. The temperature in attics can fluctuate in heat throughout the year and excess heat can break down clothing fibres.

When picking a place to store clothes for an extended period, find a place that is dry, dark and maintains a cool temperature. It’s also important to have good air circulation and no direct sunlight.

Air quality in the storage area is important. If the area smells or is damp, this will be absorbed by the clothes as they should not be stored in airtight boxes, since fabrics require circulating air for longevity. Airtight containers would work for clothing that will only be in storage for a short time.

Finally, make sure your clothes are stored somewhere you can access them easily. There is nothing worse than needing an item of clothing and having to travel miles to go and get it!10.

Some FAQs on storing clothes

Inside Storage Facility London

How do you store your clothes without them smelling?

It’s important to make sure all the clothes are properly washed and dried before they get stored away.

Is it OK to store clothes in plastic containers?

Yes, it’s actually preferable to cardboard or wood, but if your clothes are made of natural fibres (like wool or silk), make sure the containers are not airtight as natural fibres need air.

How do you store clothes so they don’t get mouldy?

It’s important to make sure all the clothes are properly dry as well as clean before they get stored away, and don’t store them in a damp location. The storage area should be dry, dark and cool.

Does vacuum sealing clothes ruin them?

It won’t ruin them for the short term, but if you need to store something for long we don’t recommend vacuum sealing.

Should I fold or hang clothes?

Folding or rolling puts less stress on the materials. If you hang them, make sure not to use wire hangers.

Storing with Metro Storage

Metro Storage, Self Storage Article

If you’re looking for a reliable and hassle-free place to store your clothes long-term, Metro Storage is your best storage option in London. As the city’s leading all-inclusive storage provider, Metro Storage offers a variety of central locations across London, making it convenient no matter where you are. With our state-of-the-art security and climate-controlled units, you can rest assured that your garments will remain in the same condition you left them.

Ready to declutter and preserve your wardrobe?

Visit Metro Storage website today and discover why we are London’s preferred storage solution. Our friendly staff is ready to help you choose the perfect storage option for your clothing and more. Secure, convenient, and flexible – Metro Storage is your wardrobe’s best friend for long-term care. Let’s keep your fashion fresh and protected. Visit us online at [Metro Storage’s website] or drop by one of our centrally located facilities to get started!

This comprehensive guide not only helps readers effectively store their clothes but also promotes Metro Storage as a convenient and reliable solution for those in need of professional storage services.