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Most of us have different sets of clothes for different climates. Loose, light clothing for summer months and something a little more cosy as the temperature begins to drop. To free up space in your wardrobe between seasons, one solution might be to put any items you won’t wear for a while into storage.

To ensure your clothing remains in good condition whilst in storage, there are some simple steps you should follow to keep everything looking fresh. Believe it or not, your clothes can become damaged if stored incorrectly so putting stuff in a box and forgetting about it is a big no-no!

Follow our 6 simple steps for safe storage…

1. Don’t store clothes unless they’re clean

Before you even think about storing an item of clothing, ensure that it is stain free and freshly washed. What might be a simple-to-remove stain now will become impossible to get out if you leave it in storage for months. Worse still, dirty clothes can attract insects. Yuck!

Wash your clothes according to the label instructions and put some stain remover powder in with your detergent. Once fully dried your clothes will be ready for long term storage.

2. Use plastic boxes; don’t vacuum pack

If you want to store your clothes for months at a time, vacuum packing your clothes probably isn’t a good idea. Stored clothes need air to keep their shape and vacuum packing can compress fibres and force clothes to lose their structure if stored for more than a couple of months.

Cardboard boxes and plastic bags aren’t a good idea either as they don’t offer adequate protection against insects and damp. Instead, get yourself some plastic boxes with a clip on lid.

3. Pack it correctly

Make sure you fold your clothing properly and layer items based on their weight, packing heavier garments at the bottom and lighter items on top. To further protect your clothing from damp, lay some silica gel packets in the boxes as they will absorb any moisture in the surrounding atmosphere.

4. Don’t forget about your footwear!

Shoes can become mouldy if stored incorrectly and should be kept separate from any clothes. To store your shoes safely:

· Clean your shoes before you store them, removing any mud, dirt or stains.
· Ensure they are completely dry before putting them away.
· Stuff and wrap them with acid-free paper (toilet paper works too) so that they retain their shape.
· As with your clothes, use a plastic box (with a clip on lid) and silica gel pads for long term storage.
· Sandals and flip flops can be stacked but for shoes with more structure, lay them side by side to ensure they keep their shape.

5. Keep it dark and dry

When it comes to where you should store your clothes, some advice can get pretty specific. Apparently the best conditions for storing clothes long term is 25?c in temperature and a relative humidity of 55%. But if you don’t fancy a crash course in meteorology all you really need is to ensure that your clothes are stored somewhere clean, dark, dry and relatively cool.

6. Check from time to time

It is a good idea to check anything in storage from time to time so that you can tweak conditions if necessary. You may want to replace silica gel pads once or twice and check for any signs of moth damage or mould. It’s better to spot signs of damage sooner rather than later!

Follow these tips and you’re guaranteed to keep your clothing fresh and damage free. Happy storing!

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