How to expertly pack clothes for storage

by | May 14, 2024 | packing service London | 0 comments

The clothing industry is a large contributor to environmental degradation, responsible for  4-10% of global emissions annually. Plus, the pollution and water usage in manufacturing textiles, not to mention the microplastics involved, throws some shade on this disposable industry. Consumers can avoid supporting these production trends by buying good quality clothing that will last and preserving them well.  Whether you are packing for storage because of a home move, a long trip abroad, or to get your winter clothes out of sight, here are some tips for keeping your threads in good nick.


  1. Donate and repurpose your unwanted clothes
  2. Wash and dry your clothes ready for storage
  3. Suitable locations for storing clothes
  4. Seasonal clothing switches
  5. Packing clothes in packing boxes
  6. Packing clothes in vacuum bags
  7. Packing clothes in tote bags
  8. Packing suits and dresses for long term storage
  9. Packing shoes for long term storage
  10. Storage with Green Man and Van

Donate and repurpose your unwanted clothes

Change is usually on the cards when packing for storage, so embrace that change by letting go of some garments that no longer serve.  Make a bag for the local charity shop, your neighbours, or specific friends that you think will appreciate your previous look.

Wash and dry your clothes ready for storage

It is ideal to wash your clothes and dry them thoroughly before you prepare them for storage. It is easy for odours to linger in clothing and then infuse your whole wardrobe with a musty smell, which is not in line with impeccable clothing storage.  Give yourself the time to wash, dry, and even iron clothing, bedding, and other textiles that you will be storing away for a while. As you do this you can organize the clothing into different categories for storage.

Suitable places for storing clothes

Clothing does best in storage in a dry, dark, and cool environment. Bright light will cause the fabric to fade.  As moisture, dampness, and humidity are the enemies of your stored garments, using a climate-controlled storage unit has its benefits.  If you are storing in an attic, basement, or garage, be aware that extreme temperature changes can affect the contents of your storage cache. Using professional storage services can ensure that you have the optimum conditions to preserve your stored items.

Seasonal clothing switches

Space is a valuable commodity these days and that includes space on clothing rails and coat hangers. Switching your wardrobes out each season can mean you have more ease and less confusion when figuring out what to wear. Even if you are just switching a summer wardrobe for a winter wardrobe, a couple of handy storage boxes and a place to conceal them will free up space on your current clothing rail. Plus, when you unearth your winter wardrobe in September, you have the added excitement of seeing all your old clothing allies you had forgotten.

Packing clothes in plastic boxes

Plastic boxes with sealable lids that stack on top of each other are worth the investment. Although they are plastic, if you invest in good quality boxes you will be able to use them repeatedly. For unstructured clothing like T-shirts, leggings, sweatpants, and hoodies it is easy to roll these clothes for packing and store them inside. Rolling clothing is on trend, as it maximizes space and avoids heavy crease lines that come from folding.  Clear plastic boxes mean you can see what is inside, but making an inventory list is always genius. Labelling boxes will help you to know where to find what if you need to access something once you have forgotten about it.  Grouping types of clothing together helps to set up a system for labelling and locating at a later date.

Packing clothes in vacuum bags

Vacuum bags can be a great space-saving way to store away clothing, particularly if your storage space is small or in an awkward shape.  Particularly good for storing duvets and bedding short term, the vacuum bag is a great way to reduce volume when storing fabrics, pillows, and bed covers. However, for long-term storage vacuum bags are not recommended as they can damage the clothing or fabrics inside over time. Permanent creasing can be the result of long-term vacuum packing, and the lack of breathability in the bag is detrimental over time.  There is a time and a place for a vacuum bag, but it is not for the long term. Once the seal on the bag is broken, they are then no longer useful and not necessarily easy to recycle.

Packing clothes in breathable tote bags

Depending on the conditions of your storage space and the length of time you want to store, you may prefer to use breathable tote bags. These are easy to store and cram into a small space, but the problem is they are not resistant to moths and other pests that could damage your clothing if it is stored long term. Moisture and moths are the enemy of clothes in long-term storage.  If you are storing clothes temporarily in tote bags, know it is for the short term, and be aware of the conditions in your storage area.

Packing suits and dresses for long-term storage

For preserving suits, fur coats, and other heirlooms, as well as a dress collection you may need to invest in a wardrobe box.  For prize garments, wooden or padded hangers are recommended as they do not cause the fabric to stretch and do not rust.  Plastic covers for suits are not recommended for long-term storage, instead, it is better to use a cotton sheet to cover and serve as protection for these items.  For fur coats, you may want to use crumpled paper to fill in the sleeves.  Strong wooden hangers are essential for furs which also benefit from being wrapped in cotton sheets. A wardrobe box contains a hanging rail, so depending on your storage space and the length of your storage period you may need several, to ensure that your clothes have enough space in the box.

Packing shoes for long-term storage

For leather shoes, it is always good to clean and polish them before they go into storage. Inserting cedar shoe trees will help them retain their shape over time.  Instead of these, paper will help to dry up any excess moisture if you insert balled up paper inside your shoes. Placing them in a cotton or felt bag will prevent them from drying out over time.  For all kinds of shoes, making sure they are clean and dry before storage is essential. Anti-bacterial and fungal spray may be helpful to keep shoes fresh over time, and using paper to keep their shape is advised. If you can place them in cardboard boxes it is ideal, or cotton tote bags is another option.

Storage with Green Man and Van London

If you are considering long term storage because of a home move or change in direction, Green Man and Van can assist with our storage packages. We can supply materials, pack, create inventories, safely store, and redeliver on your behalf as required. Our removals and storage team can adjust to your needs and our rates for long term storage are competitive. Get in touch with our team today to discuss options going ahead.