How To Store Clothes Long-Term
Your wardrobe is an investment — you want it to last a long time. You may have certain vintage pieces that are particularly valuable or that you wear less frequently, or you may have a full collection of pieces you want to store off-season or for wearing in a different climate. The bottom line is that you need to know how to store clothes long-term, so they won’t get damaged over time. You’ll need to protect garments from sunlight, insects and other pests, moisture, heat and pressure from items placed on top of them (which can cause creases and distortion).
Our first recommendation is to use a reputable wardrobe storage service that will handle all the details for you and ensure that your clothing remains in pristine condition. But we understand you may want to take care of some of your long term clothes storage at home, so we’ll provide some tips for that as well.
At-home long term clothes storage
Ideal conditions for long term clothes storage are well-ventilated areas with a steady temperature and low relative humidity. A dark place without direct exposure to sunlight is best, so fabrics don’t fade. Stay away from:
- Basements, which are often humid and fluctuate in temperature
- Closets on an outside wall, which tend to have a higher relative humidity
- Sunny windows
- Plastic or vinyl bags, which can accumulate moisture and don’t allow garments to breathe
Here are some tips on at-home storage:
- Be mindful when choosing hangers, which can stretch and distort clothes, especially when storing vintage or delicate pieces. Instead, store them flat, wrapped individually in breathable, acid-free tissue, and in a breathable box.
- Remove garments from plastic bags, as these don’t allow the fabrics to breathe properly.
- Be sure to clean clothes before storing them. Even if they don’t appear to have stains, body oils and other contaminants can cause stains over time as they oxidize.
- Never place worn items in the closet next to clean clothes. Any dirt or oils on the worn fabric can attract insects, which can damage garments.
- Always allow garments and bags (especially leather) to dry completely after cleaning. Placing them in storage without fully drying them can lead to mildew.
- Be sure to place dust covers or breathable garment bags over leather and denim garments and accessories, as they can transfer dyes to other clothing in storage.
- Be sure to allow garments to breathe properly. Keep air circulating wherever you store them, and don’t overcrowd closets with too many garments.
- Take inventory of what you store, including the name of each article of clothing, a brief description and where the item is stored. Keep in mind that UOVO provides digital lookbooks to make this process easy.
Professional long term clothes storage
UOVO is a luxury storage company with facilities for fashion services in New York, Los Angeles, and South Florida. Our climate-controlled, air-purified facilities are the perfect solution for off-season storage, travel wardrobe storage (we deliver, too!) and storage of vintage and other infrequently worn items. We have a state-of-the-art security system with round-the-clock video monitoring, and we also offer optional loss protection for your garments.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.