Storing clothing in a storage unit is a common practice for
many reasons, whether you're dealing with seasonal wardrobe changes, downsizing
your living space, or simply looking to preserve valuable clothing items.
However, successful clothing storage in a storage unit requires more than just
tossing your garments into boxes and locking them away. To keep your clothing
in pristine condition, it's essential to follow the dos and don'ts of storing
clothing in a storage unit. In this article, we will explore these guidelines
to help you make the most of your storage space and protect your garments from
The Dos of Storing Clothing in a Storage Unit
Launder Before Storage
Do: One of the most crucial steps before storing clothing in
a storage unit is to ensure everything is clean and properly laundered. Dirt,
sweat, and even food stains left on garments can attract pests and lead to
permanent damage. Launder your clothing items according to their care labels,
and make sure they are completely dry before packing them.
Appropriate Storage Containers
Do: Invest in high-quality storage containers for your
clothing items. Clear plastic bins with lids are an excellent choice because
they offer visibility and protection against moisture, dust, and pests.
Alternatively, vacuum-sealed bags can save space and provide an additional
layer of protection.
Do: Label your storage containers or boxes with a list of
their contents. This will make it easier to locate specific items when you need
them, preventing the need to open multiple boxes and potentially expose your
clothing to dust or pests.
Mothballs or Cedar Blocks
Do: To protect your clothing from moths and other insects,
consider using mothballs or cedar blocks in your storage containers. These
natural and safe repellents can help deter pests that might damage your
a Climate-Controlled Unit
Do: Whenever possible, choose a climate-controlled storage
unit. Extreme temperature fluctuations and high humidity can harm clothing,
leading to mold, mildew, or fabric deterioration. A climate-controlled unit
provides a stable environment, preserving your clothing's condition.
Clothing Off the Floor
Do: Place your storage containers on shelves or pallets
within the storage unit. Elevating your clothing off the floor helps protect it
from potential moisture or pests that could enter from the ground.
Inspect and Rotate
Do: Schedule regular inspections of your clothing in
storage. Even in a climate-controlled unit, clothing can be affected by changes
in temperature and humidity over time. Rotating your clothing items
periodically can help ensure even wear and prevent any surprises when you
The Don'ts of Storing Clothing in a Storage Unit
Don't: Avoid using cardboard boxes for clothing storage.
Cardboard can absorb moisture, and pests can easily infiltrate cardboard boxes.
Additionally, cardboard can deteriorate over time, putting your clothing at
Don't: Resist the temptation to overpack storage containers.
Overstuffed containers can lead to wrinkles, creases, and fabric damage. Leave
enough space for your clothing to breathe and maintain its shape.
Plastic Garment Bags Long-Term
Don't: While plastic garment bags can be useful for
short-term protection, avoid using them for long-term storage. They can trap
moisture and lead to mold growth, especially in non-climate-controlled units.
Hang Clothing Unprotected
Don't: Hanging clothing in a storage unit without protection
can lead to dust accumulation and potential pest infestations. If you choose to
hang garments, use breathable garment bags or covers to keep them clean and
Skip Pest Prevention Measures
Don't: Neglect pest prevention. Pests like moths, rodents,
and insects can wreak havoc on your clothing. Use mothballs, cedar blocks, or
other repellents as mentioned earlier, and routinely check for signs of pests
Store Clothing Near Harsh Chemicals
Don't: Avoid storing your clothing near any items that emit
strong odors or chemicals. These substances can permeate fabrics and leave
lingering smells that are difficult to remove.
Ignore Mold or Mildew
Don't: If you discover mold or mildew on your clothing
during an inspection, address it immediately. Isolate affected items, and
consider cleaning or dry cleaning them before returning them to storage.
Investigate the storage unit for any moisture sources that might have
contributed to the problem.
Forget to Update Your Inventory
Don't: As you add or remove clothing from your storage unit,
be sure to update your inventory and labels accordingly. This helps you
maintain an accurate record of what's stored and ensures efficient retrieval
Storing clothing in a storage unit is a practical solution for preserving your garments and managing space. By following the dos and don'ts outlined in this article, you can maximize the lifespan of your clothing, protect it from common threats like pests and moisture, and ensure that it remains in excellent condition for future use. Remember that proper preparation and maintenance are key to successful clothing storage in a storage unit. Whether you're storing seasonal attire, vintage clothing, or sentimental pieces, the right approach will keep your wardrobe looking fresh and well-preserved when you decide to retrieve it from storage.