Is your closet so full that your clothes are getting wrinkled? Or is your dresser overflowing? It may be time to go through and donate some of your outfits. If you don’t want to, don’t worry; you can also look to store them. Here’s our handy guide on how to store clothes, especially if they’re out of season.
1. Wash your Clothes Before You Store Them
While it may seem like an obvious step, washing your clothes and making sure they’re 100% clean is super important, especially for seasonal clothing like sweaters and coats.
So why is this important? Because any lingering perfumes, scents, or body oils can attract insects and we all know at moths due to clothing (they eat through it). Untreated stains will darken over time too, so be sure to treat those right away.
If you’re dry cleaning your clothes, make sure you ask them to leave out the starch. Starch can also attract unwanted pests. This is because starch is a vegetable-based product! Bugs will be attracted to the smell, thinking it’s food.
All of this goes for bedding too!
Pretreat Clothes to Repel Pests
If you’re worried about bugs getting to your clothes, you can pretreat them with scents that won’t harm the fabric, but should repel pests.
You can add lavender sachets to your clothes or near where they’re being stored. Moths and spiders hate lavender.
Stick to natural and organic methods and avoid moth balls at all costs. They are toxic to pets and leave a lingering smell that is very hard to get out of clothing.
2. Learn HOW to Store them
Some clothes are better suited on hangers, while others are better off being folded. Any item of clothing can lose its shape over time and folding can help prevent that, especially if it’s knitted, synthetic, or silk. Hanging these items can cause them to sag over time.
Jackets, coats, and thicker items can be hung up without any problem. We recommend using a padded hanger or a wood hanger, as those are more durable and offer the most support for your heavier items.
When it comes to pants, it may sound insane, but hanging them is more ideal than folding them. This prevents creases!
Say No to Plastic or Cardboard Packaging
You don’t need to use plastic hangers or cardboard to keep your clothes fresh. Plastic hangers are often not strong enough for long-term storage.
Avoid using plastic bags, bins, or cardboard packaging too. Keeping them stored away can promote mildew growth, attract pests (they love dark spaces), and your clothes can yellow too. We recommend using a linen or cotton packaging if you want to store them in a container.
ery important to choose the correct type to avoid damage to your clothing investment.
If you are using plastic containers for storage, they must be made of cast polypropylene to be safe for clothing storage. Look for the #5 within the recycling triangle on the bottom of the container or the letters “PP”. If you do use plastic: clean and disinfect it first!
3. Store Clothing in a Dark, Cool, and Dry Spot
Always keep your clothes in a dark, cool and dry spot to prevent mildew and mold. Both can have serious consequences for your health.
Prolonged exposure (including touching or inhaling) mildew or mold spores can lead to throat irritation and nasal issues like congestion, sneezing and bloody noses, even if you’re not allergic!
Not to mention both can leave nasty spots on your clothes. So try to keep your clothes out of your basement and attic.
How to Get Mildew out of Clothing
To remove mold or mildew from machine-washable clothes, first, take the affected items outdoors to shake or brush away the spores. Once you’ve removed everything you can, you can pretreat your clothes with heavy-duty liquid detergent. Allow the detergent to sit for 15 minutes before throwing the clothes in your washer. Use the hottest setting possible (while taking note of your clothing’s care label)!
If chlorine bleach won’t affect the coloring of your clothes, you can add that to the wash cycle to disinfect your clothing. If the fabrics are synthetic or colored, use pine oil or phenolic disinfectant.
Where Can I Store My Clothes?
You can store your clothes in your home — like in a closet, under your bed, or in a dry and cool location. If you don’t have much room, we recommend a storage unit! They’re cost-effective options for decluttering your home and your closets. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us at Albuquerque Self Storage today.
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