Tips for Storing Clothing Long-Term

Published: 04th August 2010
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Do you have some clothing that you need to store? It's a good idea to follow some standard rules of storage to keep your clothing safe while it's being stored. You can store out-of-season clothing, clothes that your children haven't grown into yet, maternity clothes for the next person that needs them, or clothes that you hope to fit back into one day. There are endless reasons that you may have to store clothes for a long time. Follow these tips so that your clothing investment is not ruined by mold, mildew, pests or heat.



1) If you're storing winter coats, you may have to follow specific directions. Leathers need to breathe, so you must not store it in plastic. Furs can be ruined by humidity. Wool needs to be brushed or dry cleaned to ensure that there is no body oil present that might give moth larvae a breeding ground. Certain fabrics can fade or even melt if exposed to heat or sunlight. For your more expensive or delicate items, make sure that you follow the manufacturer's advice before you store them.



2) For regular, everyday wear, mostly cotton clothing, it's mostly the humidity that you have to worry about. Any tiny amount of moisture present can cause mold and mildew to grow. Have you ever opened up a cardboard box of clothing from storage and it smelled musty? That smell is mold and mildew. Somehow moisture was allowed into the box. To avoid those dreaded musty odors, use cedar products in an airtight plastic container with your clothes. Cedar doesn't only help to repel moths and other pests, but it absorbs moisture from the air trapped in the container, giving you a humidity-free environment for storing your clothes.



3) Many people have asked about storing their clothing with dryer sheets to keep them smelling fresh while they're in storage. This can work, but you have to be careful. Don't place the dryer sheet directly on an article of clothing. As time goes on, the chemicals in the dryer sheet will adhere to the fabric that it's touching. It leaves a waxy residue that can damage clothing or that won't wash off. If you want to use dryer sheets for fragrance, tape one in the lid of the storage container and don't stack the clothes to the top. You may still need to use cedar to absorb moisture to fully eliminate musty odors.



4) If you plan to store items like suits and coats, you may want to invest a little in a rolling garment rack. Use wooden hangers to help suits and coats hold their shape at the shoulders. Your clothes hangers can make a big difference here. Clothing hangers made of cedar are perfect for storing things long-term. Whichever hangers you choose, make sure that they are sturdy enough to hold the weight of the items for long periods of time.


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