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Reluctant To Give Away Those Smaller Clothes? What Are Your Long-Term Storage Options?

by Bruce Lawson

Whether you've recently gained weight due to a medical condition or medication or have discovered you're pregnant, you may be facing months or even years before you can fit into most of your smaller-sized clothes again. If you're hopeful that you'll be able to regain your form or size, you may be reluctant to sell or give away your clothes -- on the other hand, you may need to free up room for your new larger wardrobe. Can you store your clothes for the next year or two without them becoming mildewed or moth-eaten? Read on to learn more about the best ways to preserve your clothes for long-term storage, as well as some storage options you may want to avoid.

How should you prepare your clothes for long-term storage? 

Before paying a deposit on a storage unit or even packing your clothes away in preparation for storage at your home, there are a few steps you'll want to take to maintain their quality over time.

The first is to wash them, using a stain remover on any tough or stubborn stains. Dirt, food crumbs, and other particles that remain at the time an item is put into storage can can set in to the fabric, eventually becoming so absorbed by the fibers that even bleach or other tough stain removers won't help. Certain wrinkle-prone fabrics may also need to be ironed to prevent them from becoming indelibly wrinkled after they've been sitting in one position for a long time.

You'll also want to choose your packing material carefully. Using a plastic tote or other water-resistant material is ideal, as it can help protect your clothing from moisture and reduce the odds that any moisture-seeking pests (like moths or vermin) will attempt access. You'll want to make sure that the interior of your plastic tote is clean and dry, and may even wish to line the inside of the tote with clean towels or rags to provide further protection. 

Vacuum-sealed plastic bags can also be a space-saving way to store clothes -- but you'll need to be careful about moisture. Be sure to vacuum-seal these items in a cool room, as doing so outdoors or in a humid area could trap moisture inside the bag's seal, permitting bacterial growth or even mold or mildew. 

What should you avoid when storing your clothes for months or years at a time? 

Whether you're storing these clothes in your attic or basement or a freestanding storage unit, you'll want to avoid extreme temperatures and moisture. A climate-controlled storage unit can be ideal; alternatively, you may want to store these items in your basement during the summer and in the attic during the winter months to avoid too-hot or too-cold conditions. When you're rotating your boxes from one spot to another, you can take this opportunity to inspect the clothes inside and ensure all is still in order. If there are any issues, it's much easier to identify and correct them once they've affected only a few items of clothing rather than the entire tote. Contact a business, such as K&L LLC Mini Storage, for more information.