The Dos and Don'ts of Storing Clothing in a Storage Unit

Published on 9/12/2023

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 damage.

The Dos of Storing Clothing in a Storage Unit

Clean and 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.

Use 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.

Label Your Containers

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.

Use 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 clothing.

Maintain 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.

Elevate 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.

Regularly 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 retrieve them.

The Don'ts of Storing Clothing in a Storage Unit

Don't Use Cardboard Boxes

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 risk.

Don't Overstuff Containers

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.

Don't Use 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.

Don't 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 safe.

Don't 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 during inspections.

Don't 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.

Don't 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.

Don't 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 when needed.

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.

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