How to Prepare Clothes for Long-Term Self Storage

Clothes can easily get damaged when being stored for long periods of time. Read our guide on how you can prepare your clothes to prevent this from happening.
If you're moving to a new home, downsizing your closet, or simply need more space; self storage for clothes can be a great solution.

However, it's important to properly prepare your clothes before storing them to ensure they remain fresh, undamaged, clean and dry.

In this guide, we'll give you several clothing storage tips. From sorting and purging, to preparing your clothes for storage, to how to choosing the right storage unit for your needs.

Clothes On A Shelf

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Sorting and Purging Clothes Before Storage

Before you start packing up your clothes, it's important to sort through your wardrobe and decide which items to keep, donate, or discard. Here are some tips to help you get started:
  • Sort your clothes and create three piles: keep, donate, and discard. This will help you see what you have and make it easier to organise and pack.
  • Consider the weather: If you're storing clothes long-term, it's a good idea to only keep the items that you'll need for the season ahead. This will help you save space, and make it easier to find what you need when it's time to retrieve your clothes from storage.
  • Be honest with yourself: If you haven't worn an item in more than a year, it's probably time to let it go. Consider donating items that are still in good condition or discarding items that are damaged or worn out. Thrift+ is an easy way of donating clothes you don't want any more.
  • Think about your future plans: Are you moving to a different climate? It may not be worth storing clothes you won't need in the future.
Are you storing furniture as well as clothing? Check out this guide on how to store furniture in a storage unit.


How to Store Furniture in a Storage Unit

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Now that you've sorted your clothes and made more closet space, it's time to prepare your clothes for self storage.

Preparing & Packing Clothes for Storage

Box Of Clothing Ready For Long Term Storage
Here are some of the most important tips on how to pack clothes for long term storage:
  • Wash all clothes before packing: Even if your clothes look clean, they may have hidden stains or odours. This can attract pests or cause damage over a long time. Be sure to use a gentle detergent and follow the care instructions for each item.
  • Dry clothes thoroughly: Moisture can cause clothes to smell musty, so make sure your clothes are completely dry before packing. Use a dryer or air-dry them in a well-ventilated area. This is important to prevent mould and mildew.
  • Iron or fold clothes neatly: Creases and wrinkles can become permanent over time. It's important to iron or fold clothes neatly before packing. You can use tissue paper or acid-free packing paper to help prevent creases and wrinkles.
  • Consider using mothballs or cedar blocks: Moths and other pests can be a problem in long-term storage. Consider using mothballs or cedar blocks to deter them. Make sure these items are near but not touching your items, to avoid damaging your clothes.
Person Pulling Clothes Out Of Wardrobe
  • Avoid plastic bags: Although plastic storage bags may seem like a good idea, they can actually trap moisture and cause mildew or musty odours. Instead, use breathable fabric garment bags or acid-free boxes for storage. There are storage boxes which are specifically designed for hanging clothes.
  • Choose the right type of storage containers for clothes: When storing clothes in self storage, it's important to choose containers that will protect your clothes from damage and pests. Consider using plastic storage bins with tight-fitting lids.
  • Consider using a vacuum sealer: Vacuum seal bags help compress clothing and reduce the amount of space they take up. They also provide an extra layer of protection from pests and moisture.
  • Label your clothes: Once you've packed your clothes, label each box or bag with a detailed list of its contents. This will make it easier to find what you need later on.

How To Choose The Right Self Storage Unit For Clothes

Person Pulling Clothes Out Of Wardrobe
When it comes to storing clothes in a self storage unit, choosing the right facility and unit is essential. Here are some key things to consider when selecting a self storage unit for your clothes:
  • Climate control: Look for a self storage facility that offers climate-controlled units. This will help keep temperature and humidity stable in the unit, which is important for protecting your clothes from moisture, mold, and mildew.


Temperature controlled storage: What you need to know

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  • Security: Make sure the facility has good security features, like gated access, security cameras, and individual unit alarms. This will help protect your clothes from theft and damage.
  • Accessibility: Choose a self storage facility that's nearby and easily accessible. Make sure the unit you choose is on the ground floor or close to an elevator.
  • Unit size: Consider the size of the unit you need based on the number of items you plan to store. Make sure to leave some extra space in the unit for air circulation and to avoid overcrowding.
  • Cleanliness: Ensure the self storage facility is clean and well-maintained to avoid exposing your clothes to dirt, dust, and debris.
  • Reviews and ratings: Research the facility online. Read reviews from other customers to get an idea of their experience with the facility. Look for facilities with high ratings and positive reviews from other customers.

So now you know how to store your clothes in long term storage - but have you found the right storage space yet? 

Stashbee has thousands of secure spaces that are available to rent for storage; from garages to outhouses, lockups to shipping containers, and even self-storage.

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Updated 13th Apr 2023

Written 17th Feb 2023