Whether you want to store clothing that’s out of season, out of date or you simply don’t wear very often, you want it to come out looking like it did when you put it away. Improperly stored clothing can deteriorate very quickly, but if you do it right you can clear out your wardrobe and rest assured your clothes are safe at Lock’n’Store.
1. First up, make sure your clothing is really clean. We suggest you launder or dryclean before storing because stains and dirt which may not be visible now, can show up over time and be really difficult to remove. Body oils and particles attract insects and cause clothes to smell over time. It’s always best to take a bit of effort to make sure everything is really clean before you pack it away.
2. There is some debate over whether plastic or cardboard is best for storing clothing in the long-term. Many say that plastic, though good for keeping away any nasty critters, will trap moisture and promote mildew. Others say that cardboard is acidic and will damage your clothes as well as attracting moths and insects. However, as long as you store things properly (ie follow these instructions) you shouldn’t have any problems with either. You can purchase custom built wardrobe cartons with built in hangers, versatile tea chest cartons and vacuum sealed storage bags to safely store clothing from The Box Shop.
3. It is a good idea to individually wrap items in acid free tissue paper or cotton garment bags before storage. This helps to protect the clothing from chemical staining or damage from acids/chemicals present in cardboard glue or insect deterrents.
4. Creepy-crawlies can be an issue no matter how carefully you prepare your clothing beforehand. Avoid using mothballs, they don’t smell great and pose a potential hazard to children and pets. A good natural (and much better smelling) option is cedar balls and shavings. There are also various chemical products available which will wipe out the nasties but be careful to read and follow the directions carefully as some of these products can be quite harsh if used incorrectly.
5. To prevent damage from moisture/mildew throw in some of those silica desiccants (the things that come in a new bag or pair of shoes). But make sure these are kept out of contact with clothing.
Hanging vs. Folding
Some things should be hung, others need to be folded, it is a case-by-case decision. Don't hang knitted items as they will stretch and become misshapen. Jackets and dresses are best hung using broad, padded hangers which spread the weight of the item across a wider area. Skirts and pants can be hung using (non-rusting!) skirt hangers (the ones with little clips) which will help them to maintain their shape. It’s usually a good idea to pad the area where the clips sit, to prevent discolouration or stretching of the item over time. Fold items carefully, making sure to wrap each item and label the box correctly.
Storing Woollen Clothing
Freezing your woollen items before storage will help prevent moths, the cold will kill any larvae hidden in the fabric. We suggest you put your woollens in the freezer for a few days before you give them a final clean – I promise it works!
Silk, like wool, is very prone to attack by moths. It can be treated in much the same way as wool, freezing for several days before cleaning thoroughly. Silk is a delicate fabric that should be stored flat and it is important to make sure no moisture can come into contact with the fabric as this will cause a lot of damage very quickly!
Storing Leather Clothing
Leather should be stuffed with acid free tissue paper to help maintain its shape and prevent creasing. Jackets should be hung on a wide padded hanger as wire hangers can disfigure the clothing over time.
Linen should be rolled, rather than folded. This prevents the item from developing permanent creases.
Lastly, it’s important not to stack a whole lot of heavy stuff on top of your clothing, so make sure you’ve got the right sized unit to suit your needs!