When considering how to store clothes in a storage unit, you should take more care than your other belongings. That’s because, unlike ceramics or metal, clothing is much more fragile. Cotton and other natural fabrics like wool can be easily damaged if not stored properly. Even synthetic materials can take a beating if you don’t store them the right way.
To help you, we’ve collected some tips for how to store clothes in a storage unit. This article is loaded with the best tips and tricks to protect your kicks (and the rest of your clothes). We invite you to use them as you wish and, if you have questions, chat with us online! So if you want to be sure your clothes come out of storage as beautiful as when they went in, read on!
Tip #1: Wash And Dry Your Clothes Before You Store Them
Although this isn’t exactly a tip about storing your clothes, it’s still vitally important. The reason why is that clothing can stain with oils, sweat, perfume, makeup, and so forth. If you leave that on during storage, it can stain and even ruin the delicate fabrics. That’s why washing your clothes before you store them is essential. Also, they need to be as dry as possible before storage. Any leftover moisture can cause mold and mildew, which can also ruin the fabrics and cause odors.
Tip #2: Store Your Folding Clothes in Clear Plastic Bins
While it’s true that storing most household items in regular cardboard boxes is fine, clothing is different. First off, rodents and insects can eat through cardboard much easier than plastic. (They want to get to your yummy clothes or make a nest in them!) Secondly, cardboard boxes aren’t see-through, making it hard to find clothing when you need to take it out of storage.
On the other hand, plastic bins are more durable, waterproof, and practically insect and rodent-proof. If you purchase clear plastic bins, there’s also another plus; you can see through them. Trust us; it will make things much easier if you need to find, say, a specific skirt or sweater. Instead of 10 or 15 minutes of searching, you’ll find it right away.
Also, storing your clothing in clear plastic bins allows you to organize it better. For example, putting heavy winter clothing like gloves and hats together, or all your summer swimsuits and trunks. We’ve seen entrepreneurs start a used-clothing business and use clear plastic bins to store their stock. One last plus they provide is that clear plastic bins are easy to stack. That can make all the difference if you’re trying to keep your storage unit well organized.
Tip #3: Purchase Wardrobe Boxes for Hanging Clothes in a Storage Unit
Storing hanging clothes in a storage unit is a bit different than clothes you can fold. For example, you might have suits or dresses that can’t get wrinkled. Or large coats, parkas, and winter jackets, which take up far too much space in a regular box.
For these clothing items, we highly recommend purchasing a wardrobe box (or several of them if needed). Wardrobe boxes are enormous, heavy-duty boxes with a bar across the top for hanging clothes. They make it extremely easy to take hanging clothes directly from your closet and put them into a box.
The benefit, of course, is that your hanging clothes stay hanging. Also, once they’re boxed up, carrying and moving your hanging clothes becomes much easier. Another benefit is that you can flip down the front of a wardrobe box once in your storage unit.
That gives you easy access to all of your clothes instantly. By the way, we recommend a 2-wheel dolly for transporting them to and from storage. Also, wardrobe cartons are super-strong, which means you can (carefully) stack things on top of them if you like.
Tip #4: Purchase Cheap Plastic Racks To Organize Your Clothes In Storage
If you plan to store all of your household goods for a few months without taking anything out, you can skip this tip. If you plan to go into your storage unit regularly and take out clothes, it’s very helpful. As we recommended earlier, you can stack clear plastic storage bins easily. However, if you have three or four stacked on top of each other, getting things from the bottom becomes problematic.
Sure, if it’s only once, no big deal. But, if you’re going in and out of your storage unit regularly to get close, it can be a pain. That’s why purchasing a cheap, plastic rack (or several if needed) is a great idea. (You can find them at most major home improvement stores and big-box department stores.)
Once you’ve purchased a storage rack (or shelf unit), you can store your plastic bins on them easily. Plus, you won’t have to move dozens of bins to get it when you need something. Just slip the right bin off the shelf, grab your clothes, and put it back in its spot. It’s simple and will save your back from all that extra lifting.
Tip #5: Use Cedar Balls When You Store Clothes in a Storage Unit
Depending on the year you were born, you either know about or have no idea about mothballs. Mothballs come in handy to protect clothing from insects while in storage. The problem is they smell terrible, are potentially dangerous for children, and don’t work all that well.
We instead recommend using natural cedar balls or, if you can’t find those, cedar chips. Cedar chips smell lovely and do a better job protecting your clothing from mildew, mold, and odors. By the way, you can also put a small, plastic container of cedar chips in your storage unit. Not only will it collect moisture but also leave everything smelling fresh and natural.
Tiny Tip: Don’t place the cedar ball or chips directly onto your clothes. Instead, put them in a small plastic bag and leave the bag slightly open.
We hope these tips help you store your clothing well and keep it in great shape. If you have any questions, we encourage you to chat online with a Southern Storage manager. They’re friendly and well-versed in all things storage!