Here’s a million-dollar question thrown the way of the professionals every day – what’s the best way of effectively and safely storing out-of-season clothing long-term? Say for example you’ve got a rather excessive collection of garments and accessories you really can’t see coming back into fashion any time soon but would rather not get rid of – how can you hold onto them in a manner that will minimise the chance of any real damage?
According to the experts at www.bellafashionqueen.co.uk, the practice of storing clothes long-term is one that’s never been more popular or indeed celebrated up and down the UK. You need only look of the way in which this year has seen the incredible renaissance of plaid, puffer jackets and pale flairs to understand exactly what the appeal is of holding on to past-season fashions and collections – it’s only ever a matter of time until they come roaring back into the spotlight. Nevertheless, it’s likely that most will have encountered the rather familiar scenario of revisiting garments after any number of months or years only to find they are in no way in the same kind of condition in which they were left.
All of which harks back to the original question – what’s the best way of storing out-of-season clothing that’s unlikely to be touched for some time?
Well, there are various methods out there and each has its own pros and cons – take a look at the following tips for a rough introduction:
1 – Wash Before Storing
First and foremost, the single most common mistake when it comes to storing clothes away long-term is forgetting, or not realising it you in fact needed to wash them beforehand. Why so important? Well, it all comes down to the fact that if the garments are not spotlessly clean and are packed away with any kind of dirt, grime, bacteria and so on embedded in them, chances are what started out as the tiniest of problems will manifest and grow into something quite nasty. If there’s anything you absolutely would prefer to keep in pristine condition, consider dry cleaning before storing it away.
2 – Vacuum Sealing
The debate as to whether vacuum sealing is a good idea or not rages just as strongly today as it ever has. On the surface, packing your garments away in those neat little plastic with all the air sucked out to minimise size and storage space required seems like something of a no-brainer. Nevertheless, there are those for whom the idea represents a risk that simply is not worth taking as the rather aggressive nature of the compression has the potential to lead to damage. In most instances, various basics like cotton t-shirts, shirts, jeans and so on will not be damaged by vacuum sealing. However, anything manufactured from any kind of thicker material or with any amount of lined material may not respond well to this kind of intensive and long-term pressure.
3 – Cull the Cardboard
If you thought your garments would be reasonably safe from harm packed into cardboard boxes, you’ve clearly never come across the teeth of the average mouse or rat before! Protecting your clothes from vermin means not simply hiding them out of the way, but instead making sure they are inaccessible. You’ll have much better luck using sturdy plastic boxes with air-tight lids, or harder wooden/metallic boxes.
4 – Ditch the Plastic Bags
While plastic boxes with tight lids can do the job brilliantly when it comes to long-term storage, plastic bags are generally to be avoided. The reason being that it is far too easy for moisture to find its way into plastic bags and subsequently become trapped, which is almost guaranteed to lead to the build-up of mould and mildew, ultimately destroying the garments you are looking to protect.
5 – Measure Moisture
Last but not least, it’s always worth stepping away from blind assumption and instead fully verifying whether or not the storage location of your choice is in fact suitable for the storage of clothing. It will be pretty obvious if the place is of the adequate temperature, it’s nice and dark and also not exposed to any strong or constant smells, but in terms of ambient humidity this is the kind of thing you might not be able to measure accurately on your own. As far as the experts are concerned, the temperature of the storage space should not be allowed to exceed 23° C while ambient humidity should be kept around the 55% mark. It costs next to nothing these days to invest in a cheap thermometer that will also accurately measures humidity – if your clothes matter, it’s a minor investment that’s more than worth making.