Your favourite suit, your wedding dress, your little ones first t-shirt you didn’t want to lose. Is there anything worse than storing clothes you think are safe and sound only to find later they’ve grown arms and legs? I mean like, literally?
Luckily it doesn’t have to be this way. The world can be a cruel and unforgiving place but for every action, there is a reaction… Or is it for every problem, there’s a solution?? Either way, here’s our top trade tips on how to keep your your garments fresh, clean and untouched by nature while your clothing is in storage.
PS: Our TOP tip is at the bottom of the page so whatever strategy you use to store your fabrics, make sure you stay till the bottom for the secret sauce.
Vacuum Bags To Store Clothes
These are your best friend, if you get the good ones. Cheaper ones will in a short time let air leak into the bag and with it, moisture – so if you opt for vacuum bags to store your clothing, do pay the extra pennies and get the ones that do the job.
Fun Facts About Mould n Stuff
Mould spores and bacteria occur naturally & they’re everywhere. They’re in the air we breathe and on everything we touch so of course your first line of defence is keeping things clean, dry and inhospitable to micro life.
It’s not until conditions are right that they can start making a mess so choosing vacuum bags to store clothes and other fabrics gets our green light.
Spedalon Vacuum Bags
Our top pick for vacuum bags are from Spedalon. Why? Well, above all else these vacuum bags come with a LIFETIME replacement guarantee. If any of their bags fail, the company offer a no quibble one for one exchange for the defective item.
Coupled with that, the bags feature a double zip seal and a triple seal valve so when the air is out of these babies, it’s proper out. Natural levels of mould, mildew and bacteria trapped inside will have little else to do but to hang around wishing they were somewhere else.
Also included is a handy hand held travel pump for ease of use on the move.
Spedalon vacuum bags are available on amazon: Spedalon Vacuum Storage Bags
SpaceSaver Vacuum Bags
Close runners up are from SpaceSaver and their bags do exactly what they say on the tin. They’re very durable, can be reused over and over again and do come with a hand held travel pump so deflation is a breeze.
In fact, the only difference between the two is that Spedalon offer a lifetime guarantee with their products. SpaceSaver might do, but we couldn’t find it.
SpaceSaver vacuum bags are available on amazon: SpaceSaver Vacuum Storage Bags
The Downside To Vacuum Back For Storing Fabrics
Sucking every ounce out of air out of that bag might be a bad idea depending on the types of fabrics stored in it. Some fabrics fare better than others but for silks, suits and delicate items, it’s always best to leave just a little breathing space in there.
Also, even the best vacuum bags can leak if you don’t check and double check that you’ve actually sealed it properly. And how do you know? Well you don’t.
Other than checking the bag in a couple of weeks to see if it has inflated in any way, there’s no other real way of telling.
This wouldn’t be an issue for short term or simple underbed storage but for long term storage, then it’s something you really want to consider.
Storage Containers For Your Clothes
Plastic storage containers are the bees knees when it comes to storing clothes and keeping fabrics clean, safe and dry – but only if you have a handy roll of duct tape lying around.
They’re strong, cheap and you can pick them up anywhere from the B&M store to the B&Q. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that storage containers are the better option as even the best vacuum bags can leak given enough time.
And once you seal the lid with bombproof duct tape? Nothing and nobody is getting in or out of that puppy.
Duct tape is around £5 for a 50m roll and storage containers are around the same price for the 80L size. You can fit more into them than you can into a vacuum bag and they’ll never leak. Ever.
Plus they stack perfectly so unless something physically knocks them over, they won’t sag, lean or topple.
To use, simply fill the storage container with clothes or other fabric items, no compression required, and seal the lid properly with the tape. Job done.
The Downside To Storage Containers
Well, is it really a downside though? Yes, but only if saving space is close to the top of your list of things to consider when storing clothes.
The only drawback of using plastic containers that can’t be compressed is of course the space factor. If you’re travelling then large 80L tubs probably aren’t for you but if you’re looking for general long or short term storage, then these are our top picks.
Storing Clothes In The Loft Or Attic
Lofts & Attics are excellent places to store clothing provided you take the precautions above. They’re normally dry, clean, sheltered and warmed by the glowing heat below. That said, they’re not without their own issues.
9 times out of 10 in any normal home, the loft is little more than the bare underside of an average roof so there’s usually no flooring or insulating wall sheathing installed. All you really have to work with are balance beams to stand on and cross beams supporting the apex.
Fibreglass & Rock Wool Loft Insulation
Problems with storing fabrics in the attic begin and end with rogue fibreglass particles that are light enough to float freely in the air for days if disturbed. They get into utterly EVERYTHING and of course, as fibreglass does not dissolve in a wash, once it wedges itself into the seams and weaves of a fabric it’s pretty much there forever.
And NOBODY likes fibreglass…
Enter The Handy Bin Liner
Bin liners are cheap, cheerful and impregnable to fibreglass and rock wool particles. As dampness probably isn’t an issue in your loft area, storing clothes in good quality bin liners should be more than enough to keep your garments clean, safe and dry.
Another great choice for garment storage are durable, easy to come by sports bags. Some have the fill capacity of an entire wardrobe and have strong carry handles for easy moving.
Of course suit cases, why would you not use them? They’re made for the task after all. The only downside to storing clothing and other fabrics in suitcases is that they can get really quite heavy, so lifting and shifting one into the loft area could be interesting.
Vacuum Storage Bags For The Loft
If you have the pennies to spend then do consider vacuum bags for storing clothes in the loft. They’ll keep your fabrics safe and are a bulletproof protection barrier between dirt and dust from the outside and whatever is stored on the inside.
Plastic Storage Containers In The Attic
Excellent choice and again, as most loft and attic areas don’t suffer from dampness, you wouldn’t even need the duct tape. You could use it just out of good practice, but you really shouldn’t need it.
Storing Clothes In A Garage Or Shed
Ahh… How many times have we been hired to remove items stored in a garage or shed only to find everything rotten with mould? And not just mould, but green furry alien mould that looks like it’s 2 evolutionary steps away from being able to stalk small prey.
Sheds and garages by their very nature are inherently damp and dampness of course, is the enemy and real Apache country for the micro world.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t store your property in a garage or shed though. It’s more just a case of taking extra precautions to make sure your clothes and other items are fully protected against ruthless fungi who don’t care who Louis Vuitton is. Foods food.
And by extra precautions, I mean our secret, (but not really secret) tricks of the trade that should make sure your clothes are kept safe, dry and spore free while being stored in damp garage areas.
Our Secret Sauce For Storing Clothes – Silica Gel
Our top TOP tip. The “magic juice” to storing clothes safely, particularly over a long period of time are these little life savers.
Silica gel packets are small, cheap and a handful of them will suck the moisture out of a jellyfish in 30 seconds flat. Not that we’ve ever done this to a jellyfish, or any other creature but you get the picture of just how good they are in maintaining moisture levels.
Silica Gel For Clothes Stored In Vacuum Bags
If you’re opting for vacuum bags, place 2 or 3 10g silica gel packets in the bag before you seal it. Once the bag is sealed tightly, any moisture left in there will quickly be absorbed by the gel.
Silica Gel For Clothing In Storage Containers
Throwing 4 or 5 10g silica gel sachets into an 80L storage container will be more than enough to keep your clothes clean, dry and free from mould and mildew.
Once you place and seal the lid with duct tape, again, any natural levels of moisture left in there will be quickly absorbed by the silica gel.
Silica gel sachets are also available on Amazon and as they’re all made from the same stuff, silica, any brand would do.
Mould, mildew and bacteria will thrive in any damp & poorly ventilated area. Deprive them of moisture and you’ll put a dead stop to anything growing in your storage bags or containers. Washing clothes before storing them also puts the brakes on a mould outbreak later.
Weird source, but there’s a good article on mould prevention from NHS Uk here.
Other Resources For Storage Ideas
We hope you found this guide useful and thanks for staying till the end. We also have some really good info on storage strategies in another excellent article Top 10 Tips Tor Moving House so feel free to check that out. Packed with hints, tips and checklists for home movers.