How to store your clothes away safely

Are you getting ready to store away your winter woollies? Find out how to pack them away safely and avoid damage and mould.

Spring is the perfect opportunity to refresh the wardrobe for the new season and store away any winter clothing before digging out your summer holiday clothes. However, storing clothes correctly to prevent them from getting damaged or ruined can be a tricky task, especially if there is limited space in the home.

New research conducted by digital department store Freemans found that 44% of Brits do not know the correct way to store clothing, with Google search data for ‘clothes storage for small spaces’ at an all-time high in the last 30 days, increasing by 5,000%.

As 58% of Brits plan to store away their winter wardrobe, the retailer has partnered with domestic cleaner Pavlinka Veleva at Fantastic Services to share top tips on how Brits can declutter their wardrobes and keep their clothes safe – preventing damp and mould.

Store clothing carefully to avoid damp and mould

As 47% of Brits complained about their clothes developing dampness and odours after being stored, Pavlinka shares that clothes should be dry before storing to avoid this. She also suggests using activated charcoal or silica gel packets when storing

Improper storage can lead to dampness and musty odours in clothes, indicating mould growth. To prevent this, ensure clothes are clean and completely dry before storage. When storing use moisture-absorbing products like silica gel packets or activated charcoal. Proper ventilation in storage areas and the use of cedar balls or lavender sachets can help you deter pests and maintain freshness.

Avoid excess heat when storing clothing, instead opt for breathable containers or garment bags and store in a cool area

While having the heating on can help you maintain a stable environment for clothes storage, it’s essential to avoid excessive heat, which can damage certain fabrics, if not most of them. Storage in breathable containers or garment bags in a cool, dry place is crucial for preserving your clothes and preventing damage.

Avoid storing clothing in the attic or a garage

With 19% of Brits’ opting to store their clothing in garages or attics, Pavlinka advises why these areas should be avoided Make sure to avoid storing winter clothes and dresses in garages or attics as these areas may not provide the necessary cool, dry, and dark environment to preserve the garments. Not to mention that these places are pest-friendly most of the time.

Roll up vintage fabrics and denim

Take extra care when storing away older garments, as these materials often become brittle over time which can cause weak points in the folded areas. Rather than folding, try rolling the garments up to avoid damaging the fabric.  This is especially important with denim items due to the materials stiffness

Use plastic or cotton boxes for long-term storage

As a general rule, warmer materials such as cotton t-shirts, soft joggers, sweatshirts, wool jumpers and cardigans are fine to be kept in storage over the summer.

But, for long-term storage, I’d suggest using plastic boxes rather than plastic bags to avoid compressing the garments and causing damage. When storing garments made from natural fibres such as silk – opt for a cotton storage box as it allows the clothing to breathe and prevents mildew which can cause excess moisture to form. These fabrics should be stored away from direct sunlight as they can discolour when exposed to the sun. 

When storing away sequin or embellished Christmas party dresses, avoid pairing them with delicate wools or silks as the materials rubbing together can cause tears and fraying.

Identify the pieces that have become worn out

You probably don’t have the space to store everything you own without cramming it in and risking potential damage or mould. So look for pieces that have become worn out and are ready to donate to rag bins.

Signs of worn-out clothes include visible wear and tear such as frayed seams, holes, pilling, and fading colours. Additionally, pay attention to fabric condition – excessive thinning or roughness can indicate deterioration and the need for replacement.

Remove items you no longer wear

Make sure to use a ‘one in, one out’ policy to prevent overcrowding and regularly assess items for fit, condition, and relevance to your current style. Aim to declutter your wardrobe at least once a year to ensure you only keep items you truly love and use.

Freemans offers you the latest looks at affordable prices. Freemans is part of the Freemans Grattan Holdings group which includes fantastic brands such as Lascana, Bonprix and Freemans own range offering everything you need from fashion for you and your family plus the latest styles for your home.