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How to store clothes long-term


Storing clothes long-term can be difficult, especially if you want to preserve them in good condition. It’s critical to select the correct storage place for your garments to keep them safe from bugs, moisture, and extreme temperature changes.

All of these elements can cause damage and wear to your clothes, diminishing their quality and lifespan. You can preserve the quality and longevity of your stored garments by locating a suitable storage place and taking proper care of them.

Clean your clothes before storing them

When storing clothing for a long period of time, it’s crucial to start with clean items. By giving them an extensive cleaning, you will reduce the risk of stains, sweat, or dirt becoming embedded and harming the fabric. Here is how to proceed with the washing and drying of your clothes before storing them:

  • Start by checking the care instructions on the label. Each piece of clothing, whether it’s pants, dresses, or your favorite shirt, has specific care instructions. It’s important to follow the instructions on the label to ensure that you’re cleaning and drying them properly. The label may include information on water temperature, machine settings and the type of detergent to use.
  • Speaking of detergent, the next step is to find the right one. Pick a detergent that is suitable for the type of fabric you’re washing. For instance, use a gentle detergent for delicate fabrics like silk, satin and lace, and a more robust one for sturdy fabrics like cotton and denim. It’s also important to note that you should pre-treat any stains before washing. This will prevent the stains from setting in and becoming harder to remove later.
  • Proceed to wash your clothes in cold water. Using cold water can prevent shrinking and preserve the colour of your clothes. This is especially important for clothes with bright colours or prints that may fade or bleed when washed in hot water.
  • Don’t forget to dry your clothes correctly prior to storing them. Remove your clothes from the dryer while they’re still slightly damp, and hang them up to air dry. Avoid over-drying your clothes, as this can cause shrinkage and damage to the fabric. Still, if you prefer to use a dryer, use the low heat setting or the delicates setting if available.

And be sure to fold or hang your clothes neatly, to maintain their shape and also prevent any creases from forming.

Choose the right storage container

It’s crucial to select the proper storage option for your clothing if you want to preserve them in good shape. The following tips will assist you to choose the ideal storage container:

The best choice is plastic containers with sealed lids. Due to their ability to keep pests and moisture out, these are an excellent option for long-term storage. To guarantee that they offer adequate protection, look for bins that are strong and have a tight-fitting lid.

Keep cardboard boxes away. For long-term storage, cardboard boxes are not recommended since they are prone to damage and can draw pests. Additionally, they are not airtight, which leaves room for bugs and moisture to enter.

Garbage bags, luggage, and baskets are additional unsuitable storage containers that should be avoided.

Use acid-free tissue paper

The use of acid-free tissue paper is a key step when it comes to storing clothes long-term. This is why:

  • Yellowing prevention: Since acidic materials are not used in the production of acid-free tissue paper, no acid will be transferred to your clothing, which helps to prevent yellowing. This is crucial because, over time, acid can cause materials to age and discolour. You can avoid this kind of harm by choosing acid-free tissue paper.
  • Fabric preservation: Acid-free tissue paper can aid in maintaining the overall quality of your materials, in addition to preventing discolouration. Because it is mild and soft, it won’t rip or crease your clothing.

Note: Although it is a typical substitute for tissue paper, a newspaper is not suitable to use for long-term storage of clothing. The newspaper’s ink may bleed over your clothes, changing their colour. The newspaper also contains acid, which over time may cause yellowing.

Store in a cool, dry place

To keep your clothing in good condition while in storage, it is crucial to ensure a cool, dry environment.

Your stored clothes may get damaged by both extreme temperature fluctuations and high humidity. Mould and mildew growth brought on by high humidity can destroy your clothing, too. On the other hand, extreme dryness can make materials fragile and prone to tearing.

So the ideal option for storing clothes long-term is a temperature-controlled closet or storage space. Basements and attics are best to be avoided, since they can be overly damp or dry.

You can help prevent damage and guarantee that your garments stay in good condition while being stored by keeping them in a cool, dry environment.

Avoid folding clothes

Particularly with delicate textiles like silk, folding clothing can leave creases that are difficult to remove. These wrinkles can harm the fabric and affect the appearance of your clothing.

When storing your garments for a long time, you can consider the following alternatives to folding:

  • Hanging: If your clothes are sturdy enough, think about hanging them on strong hangers. For dresses, coats, and other clothing items that can maintain their shape, this is a wonderful choice.
  • Rolling: Another choice is to roll your clothes and put them in a storage container. T-shirts and sweatshirts, which are made of softer, more flexible fabrics, work well for this. You will avoid creases and maintain the appearance of your clothing by rolling them.

Use mothballs or cedar blocks

If you’re worried about pests getting into your stored clothes, consider using mothballs or cedar blocks as natural repellents.

Mothballs are a traditional choice for pest control, and they can be effective at keeping moths and other pests away from your stored clothes. However, they do have a strong smell, so it’s important to use them sparingly and to store your clothes in a well-ventilated area.

Cedar is a natural pest repellent, and cedar blocks can be an effective way to protect your stored clothes. Like mothballs, cedar blocks have a strong smell, so it’s important again to use them sparingly and store your clothes in a well-ventilated area.

When using mothballs or cedar blocks, be sure to follow the instructions on the package to ensure that you are using them safely and effectively.

To sum it all up…

Storing clothes long-term might be a difficult task, but by using the advice provided above, you can make sure that your clothes are kept in good condition.

Remember to rotate and check your folded items frequently to make sure they receive sufficient air circulation. In this manner, you can permanently keep your clothes without concerns about damage or bugs.