Often packing can come about in times of change when there are multitudes of things to take care of. Sometimes, it is easy to assume that packing will just happen at the right moment, but then you may find yourself without the time and resources to do a good job. Here is the Gentleman & a Van guide to packing clothes for storage, which can help you sail through when the moment arrives. As removal and storage experts in London, we believe satisfaction depends on strategy. Use this simple strategy and your clothes will be preserved well throughout their time in storage.
- Streamlining your wardrobe for storage
- Wash and dry clothes for storage
- Select appropriate storage containers
- Storing suits
- Storing fur coats
- Fold, roll, and wedge
- Labels and inventories
- Finding the best storage location
- How long should clothes be kept in storage
Streamlining your wardrobe for storage
If change is on the horizon, be sure to shed a few skins before packing up your clothes for storage. Create three zones, clothes you are storing, clothes you will give away, and clothes that are beyond donation. Get clear on which ones you will be preparing for storage and which ones will be sloughed off. If anything needs mending in your pile for keeping, now is the time to get that addressed.
Washing and drying clothes for storage
Now is the time to take care of the dry cleaning that has been lurking at the edge of the wardrobe, and to wash and dry your clothes for storage. It is good to seal freshness into the clothes as you store them. Eliminating odours from clothes is wise as you prepare them for storage. Using fragrant laundry liquid and fabric softener with essential oils can ensure that you keep the musty smells at bay. Ironing dries clothes out thoroughly and adds a crisp edge of care to any garment. It is very important that your clothes are very dry before you pack them away.
Select appropriate storage containers
The best storage containers for clothing are made of breathable natural materials that allow air to circulate. Fabric storage bags and acid-free boxes are ideal for preserving clothes, but ultimately it comes down to where your clothes will be stored. To protect against mildew, moths and other pests, plastic boxes can provide your clothes with temporary refuge. Check that the lids are secure and consider wrapping items within the boxes in acid-free tissue paper. Vacuum storage bags can be space-saving, but over time, plastic can lead to moisture and condensation. As the process of vacuum packing the clothes can distort their shape, be selective with the clothes you choose to store in them. The benefit of stackable transparent boxes is that it is possible to see what is inside without opening.
The power of a suit hinges on its presentation so it is important how suits are cared for and stored. Suits do not take well to being folded, particularly not for long periods of time. To preserve a suit it is best to have a suit cover made of breathable fabric to protect the suit as it hangs. When hanging suits, it is recommended to use suit hangers with broad rounded shoulders to hold the form of the suit. Beechwood hangers are perfect and keep moths at bay. As hanging is the best way to store a suit you may want to use a wardrobe box if you are transporting suits. Cardboard is not the best material to store clothes in over long periods of time, but if your suits are being stored in a temperature-controlled storage unit and within suit covers a wardrobe box could be used as a short-term storage solution.
Storing fur coats
Many people inherit fur coats and want to preserve them. If you are storing a fur coat the same principles apply as for storing quality suits. The breathable suit covers are the best to preserve your heirloom fur. In lieu of a cover you can improvise with a cotton sheet. Plus, a dark environment with a stable temperature is advised. Again a large coat hanger, preferably designed for fur coats is advised.
Fold, roll, and wedge
When it comes to packing clothes in boxes or bags, rolling garments now trumps folding. You may have come across this revelation as hand luggage allowances on flights dictate new space-saving techniques. Rolling items of a similar type together and zip-locking them in plastic bags can be helpful when organizing clothes for transit and space-saving. Depending on the length of time you are storing items, you can choose an appropriate method. The benefit of smaller ziplocked bags of clothing items is that they can make useful soft wedges in other packing boxes, maximising space and protecting other items from moving in transit. Cotton jute bags and sustainable shopping bags are also good ways to contain sectors of your wardrobe for storage. Their breathability is excellent for the clothes, but you want to ensure they are sealed away from moisture and pests.
Labels and Inventories
Inventories are invaluable because once something is out of sight, it can really be out of mind. Having a record of where everything is when it goes into storage will give you back the gift of time when you must access anything there, or when it comes to organizing your storage further down the line. Label your boxes as you pack and write an inventory sheet as you go. This process of documenting everything helps to solidify everything in your mind as well, so it is easy to remember and know that everything you are storing is accounted for.
Finding the best storage location
Here are a few points to consider when looking for a place to store your clothes. You will need to find an environment which is:
- Clean and dust free
- Dry and ventilated
- Away from direct sunlight
- Away from moths, rodents, and other pests
- Ideally with the ability to lift boxes off the floor for ventilation
A secure and protected storage unit can guarantee you all the above, as well as 24-hour security and access dependent on your arrangements. Gentleman & a Van have state-of-the-art storage in Battersea and Wimbledon and different packages to suit our customer’s needs.
How long should clothes be kept in storage?
As a rough guideline, it is advised to check on your clothes after 12 months to see how they have fared. At this stage, you can air them, wash them, and re-store them if required. It may be a good moment to consider whether you want to hold on to these clothes or if it is a good time to let them go. Some clothes will increase in value over time, so it is important they are well-preserved to be highly valued by collectors and fashionistas.
Gentleman & a Van – quality storage in London
Our state-of-the-art storage facilities in London are situated in Wimbledon and Battersea. We provide container storage and self-storage and have an unparalleled Man and Van service that can help with delivery and collection. Contact us today, to discuss your removal and storage needs. Let our customer reviews speak on our behalf.