How To Store Clothing
Want more space in your closets or storage spaces at home? Moving baby clothes, seasonal clothing, or other garments to self storage is a great solution. Make sure your clothing and accessories are protected with the following storage tips from Extra Space Storage.
Things you’ll need: garment bags, rolling garment racks, non-rusting hangers, storage boxes, acid-free tissue paper, desiccants (silica packets, oxygen absorbers), cedar blocks, and mothballs.
Step 1: Donate or Sell Unwanted Clothing
When is the last time you’ve cleaned out your closets? Take this opportunity to clean out your closets and get rid of too big or small clothes, don’t fit your style, or are too tattered to wear. Once you’ve decided which clothes to ditch, decide what to do with them, you can opt to sell your clothes at garage sales or online via websites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace. Donating clothes to non-profit organizations is another option that allows you to clear your closets and help others in the process.
Step 2: Wash All Clothing
Dirt and debris left on clothing in storage can attract insects and pests and promote the growth of mildew and mold—all things that can ruin your clothes. Residual lotions, body oils, and perfumes left on the clothing can also turn the fabric yellow. Prevent potential damage by washing every clothing item according to care instructions before storing it in a self storage unit. One note: avoid using starch or fabric finish on any garments because the scent can attract insects and pests.
Step 3: Organize Everything & Take an Inventory
Once all your clothing is clean, it’s time to organize them. The organization method you use is up to you, but you can sort items by:
Season (all winter clothes together, all summer clothes together)
Type (all jeans together, all coats, etc.)
Purpose (skiing clothes together, surfing gear together, etc.)
It’s also a good idea to make a list of everything you have so you can reference it to remember what you have instead of unpacking everything from your self storage unit.
Step 4: Get the Right Storage Containers
Cardboard boxes and vacuum-sealed bags might seem like a good—and space-saving— option for storing clothes, but you should avoid using them. Vacuum-sealed bags promote mold and mildew growth, while cardboard boxes are vulnerable to moisture damage. Instead, invest in hanging garment bags, plastic wardrobe containers, and trunks to store your clothing.
Step 5: Carefully Pack All Clothing
It’s best to keep clothing and accessories in garment bags that can hang on rolling garment carts or wardrobe containers with built-in hanging rods—just be sure to use non-rusting hangers and allow plenty of space between items. Place sheets of acid-free tissue paper between the garments you pack in plastic storage containers and trunks. Avoid packing items into containers too tightly.
Step 6: Add Moth Balls or Cedar Blocks
Keep pests at bay by adding cedar clocks or mothballs to garment storage containers. Also, add desiccants like silica packets and oxygen absorbers to keep moisture out and prevent mold growth.
Step 7: Find a Secure Self Storage Facility
Keep your clothing investment safe and secure by looking for a self storage facility that offers:
Fencing around the property perimeter
Video surveillance throughout the facility and property
Electronic gate access with private keypad entry codes
Indoor storage units with controlled access
Secure access to your floor only (if it’s a multi-level storage facility)
A facility manager living on-site
Individually alarmed storage units
Step 8: Rent a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit
It’s essential to choose a storage space with a moderate temperature for your clothing to prevent mold growth, pest-related damage, and fading or warping materials. With a climate-controlled storage unit at Extra Space Storage, your stored belongings will be kept in an environment between 55 and 80 degrees.
Step 9: Store Clothing in Self Storage Unit
While plastic wardrobe containers and hanging racks will protect your garments, it’s still a good idea to raise everything off the ground with pallets or shelving units. Just be sure to always store heavier items on the bottom and lighter clothing containers on the top.
Step 10: Check on Your Items
Are you planning to store your clothing for a long time? Plan to check on your items once a year to refold them and check for any apparent damage by mold, mildew, moisture, or pests. This not only helps you identify problems before it’s too late but also prevents permanent creasing in your clothes.