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Clearing up closet space is a biannual ritual for many of us, swapping out shorts and swimsuits for coats and sweaters. It can be liberating to clean out closets – pondering the passage of time while donating old items and packing away others for storage. But the stacks get high quickly, and can take up a surprising amount of room. Using a self-storage unit for seasonal or long-term storage of clothing and furs can be a space-saving, convenient and practical solution. Folding garments and putting them in a box, bag or bin, however, can be a costly mistake. There are specific ways to pack clothes – especially those made with quality fabrics, leather or fur – to preserve them well. The following are steps you can take to prevent damage to fabrics and furs, and get the most out of both your clothing and self-storage.
Deciding on a Storage Alternative
- When comparing storage facilities, ask about the availability of climate control, air conditioning and dehumidifiers.
- A climate-controlled self-storage unit keeps the temperature between approximately 50 and 80 degrees with the use of central air and heat.
- Sunlight can cause fading and attract insects. Self-storage units offer the necessary darkness needed for proper preservation.
- Using see-through plastic storage containers may make it convenient to see what’s inside, but if stored in a windowed garage or basement they can open up the possibility for some unpleasant surprises.
- Select a space that will be cool and dry all year long. Your garage may seem like the logical place to store extra clothing, but fluctuations in temperature, exposure to sunlight and pests can cause significant damage to fabrics, leather and fur.
- Cooler temperatures help prevent mold growth, the presence of pests, molting of furs and drying out of leather.
Suitable Packaging Supplies
- Fur should be stored in professional cold storage for best results.
- Not all clothes should be folded and stacked. Fur in particular must be hung from the shoulders. Placing fur in a plastic bag, or packing it in between hung items, can permanently crush the fur.
- Prevent from using plastic bags including vacuum-seal bags when storing expensive clothing. Not only can they permanently crush fabrics and furs, but the airtight seals can cause mildew and mold growth.
- If hanging garments, use non-rusting hangers and allow plenty of space between items. Wardrobe boxes are specifically made for storing clothes, and come with a built in hanging rod. They are particularly useful for packing furs, suits and other garments that must be hung.
- Rolling garment carts can be used in combination with garment bags to hang clothing in storage.
- Use sheets of acid-free white tissue to separate garments and line boxes or bins. Use white muslin garment covers.
- Some chemical desiccants (such as the inedible packets found in food or prescription items) can be used to absorb moisture and prevent mold growth.
- Proper ventilation is important when preserving natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, silk and linen, as well as suede and leather. A wicker trunk or unused suitcase can be a great choice for fabrics that can be folded and stacked safely.
- Cedar blocks, mothballs, etc. can be used in addition to pest control methods provided by the facility. Since they are toxic, avoid using mothballs anywhere where children may be present.
- Avoid storing clothing in dresser drawers or trunks that are lined with wallpaper or adhesive liner paper, as the glue can attract pests. Glued boxes can present the same problem.
- When stacking folded garments, place the heaviest at the bottom of the pile. Fold and stack them loosely.
- Stay away from using starch or fabric finish on any garments that will be stored. Taking steps to preserve your clothing pays off in long-lasting, well-kept wear. For additional storage success strategies, ask Extra Storage.
Learn More About Extra Storage!!
Extra Storage units are designed with the security of your belongings, your budget and convenience in mind. For all your personal and commercial storage needs, please call the Extra Storage professional team at 619-427-2122 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org