Packing up a wardrobe for a move or to be put in storage for the off-season can seem like a daunting task. Many clothing items are much more delicate than the household items you might be used to storing. If you need to move or store your wardrobe, it’s essential that you choose the right containers and take a few simple pre-packing steps to ensure that your clothing stays in good condition. Take the time now to carefully pack your wardrobe and you’ll be ready to unpack and get your closet in order at a moment’s notice.
Preparing to Store Your Items
Before you pack your clothing and wardrobe items, you should be sure they are clean and free of stains. Wash all of your items and let them dry completely before folding or hanging them. Resist the temptation to pack stained or damaged seasonal items without having them treated or repaired. Taking care of those issues now will mean you won’t have to worry about where to get your winter coat cleaned in the middle of December.
You’ll also need to protect your clothing from damage that can happen while in storage if that’s where you’re placing your clothes for an extended period. If you live in an area where moths are a concern, home organizing guru Cynthia Ewer suggests that you use mothballs or another form of pest control to keep your clothing safe. Ewer says, “cedar blocks, shavings or cedar oil offer less toxic protection against moths when storing clothing.” Seal your clothing and the mothballs or cedar in airtight containers for the best results.
Choosing The Right Packing Solutions
Once your clothing items are completely clean, you’re ready to put them in containers. You might be surprised by how many different options you have when it comes to packing and storing your clothes. For seasonal items, try using your luggage. While some individuals line their luggage with tissue paper, this isn’t necessary. You can also buy specialized garment storage boxes that are designed to accommodate your unfolded clothing.
If you need to store delicate items or items that could be seriously damaged by moisture, consider using a plastic-lined or airtight storage solution. Wardrobe specialist Lisa Adams spoke with Vogue writer Emily Holt and suggested that “your best bet would be a fabric garment bag, which allows your clothing to breathe while providing a great moisture barrier.” You can also use large plastic storage boxes—just make sure you don’t pack them too tightly and that pests won’t be able to infiltrate them.
If you’re moving your clothes to storage, you’ll need to decide what you’re actually going to store before you begin packing your boxes, bags or luggage. Cynthia Ewer estimates that most people wear 20 percent of their clothing about 80 percent of the time. “Only current-season clothing that both fits and flatters should be assigned that valuable closet real estate,” says Ewer. Carefully packing the clothing that you don’t use on a regular basis is a great way to free up space in your closet and protect delicate items.
It’s best to carefully fold your clothes before placing them in any type of storage container. You can also roll sweaters and other knits that tend to become stressed around the seams if folded too tightly. Pack long dresses, coats and heavy pants in a hanging garment bag. This will help to keep expensive, difficult-to-iron items in the best shape possible.
Organizing Your Boxes and Luggage
Before you head to your storage unit or new home, check to be sure that all boxes, garment bags and pieces of luggage are clearly labeled so that you know what they contain. Think about your next steps and what you will need to have easily accessible. Make sure to put those items that you rarely use toward the back of the storage unit or closet when you unpack. Put any garment bags or boxes with frequently used items at the front of your unit or closet so that you can easily access the clothing you need when you unpack in your new home or access your storage unit.
Cynthia Ewer, “Store Seasonal Clothing,” HGTV.com, http://www.hgtv.com/homekeeping/storing-seasonal-clothing/index.html/.
Emily Holt, “How to Store Winter Clothes,” Vogue.com, http://www.vogue.com/vogue-daily/article/how-to-store-winter-clothes/#1/.
Cynthia Ewer, “Changing Seasons: Clothes Closet Declutter,” OrganizedHome.com, http://organizedhome.com/cut-clutter/changing-seasons-clothes-closet-declutter/.