As the seasons start to change, so does our wardrobe. Those sweaters, jackets or summer dresses get tossed into the wardrobe or drawer and get forgotten until next year. If you don’t want any nasty surprises when a new season starts, take the time to properly store your clothes.
Clean everything first
Machine wash or dry clean everything before you pack and store it away. Oil, perfume, body lotions and perspiration can cause yellowing and stains and can attract moths and insects. Washing before storage can help prevent odour, mould and mildew and remove any stains before it settles into the material and becomes too difficult to remove.
Remove plastic from your garments
Never, ever, store your clothes in plastic! It can trap moisture and cause mould and mildew on your clothes.
Don’t hang sweaters
Sweaters and other knit items should always be folded and placed in a storage container to keep them from losing their shape. Stack heavier garments on the bottom and lighter items on top. Use wardrobe boxes for items such as dresses, silk, coats or leather items that need to be hung. Place them in breathable garment bags or slip an old cotton sheet over the rack to protect them from dust.
Photo: Frédérique Voisin-Demery
Keep moths and insects away
Mothballs, cedar blocks, shavings, or Lavender sachets can help deter moths and silverfish. Don’t place any mothballs directly onto clothing – you could use a clean sock to place mothballs in before adding it to the storage container. Just remember that although they are effective against insects, they’re not a complete guarantee.
Fumes from mothballs can be hazardous to humans. We recommend cleaning the clothing first, or air it for at least a day before wearing it when you take it out of storage.
Clean your shoes
Remove dirt and wipe down your shoes before you store them away. Sprinkle in baking soda to remove odours and pack them with clean tissue paper to help maintain their shape.
Insert boot forms or stuff old newspapers or tissue paper inside taller styles to help maintain their shape and prevent them from going slouchy or creased. Store the boots upright.
Photo: Leigh Jay Temple
Label your boxes
Keep similar items together and label the boxes accordingly, so you can easily find the clothes you need when the new season comes round.
More storage tips for your clothes:
- Pack and store garments loosely so they can breathe and air can circulate
- If you’re using mothballs, place them inside an old sock so they don’t touch your clothes
- Leather and suede items should be stored in a cool and well ventilated storage area
- Keep clothes in a clean, dry, cool and dark place. Light fades colours and a dirty or wet storage area can attract mildew, insects and other pests
- Scrunch up extra balls of acid-free tissue paper and insert them between clothes so air can circulate
- Stow shoes in old pillowcases to protect them from dust.
You can also check out our guide to self storage infographic, with benefits of using self storage, the typical storage unit sizes and tips on how to store goods in storage.