Garde Robe’s Top Tips for Garment Storage
If you notice any kind of stains, body odor (even perfume), or when in doubt if the item has been worn, it’s typically best to send the piece to be cleaned prior to storage. Bacteria, body oils, antiperspirant, hair spray, or cologne could permanently damage the fabric if left untreated for several months.
The supplies you use, as a general rule, should be breathable, stable materials, and free of added chemicals or dyes. ALWAYS remove plastic dry cleaner bags before storing items. These are not intended for storage. Use breathable garment bags instead for hanging garments. For any folded items, accessories, or handbags use canvas boxes and archival preservation boxes. Acid-free tissue is also great to use as a support material for any item that needs more internal support.
The type of hanger you use can make a big difference in preserving your client’s clothing pieces. It may look better to have uniform hangers in the closet, but you should have many types at your disposal, and preferably made of polypropylene or polyethylene plastic as these materials are long-lasting and inert. Use varying shoulder widths on hangers or padded hangers depending on the shoulder structure and weight of the garment. NEVER use wire hangers as these are not meant for storage and be wary of slimline hangers that may not be supportive enough for heavier garments and may crease the shoulders of certain items.
4. Folded and Boxed Items
All knits should really be folded regardless of weight. Ideally, whether a T-shirt or a cable knit sweater, we recommend using acid-free tissue to support and separate folded items. Make sure there is ample space for folded items with embellishment or beaded evening wear that needs to be folded too (be on the lookout for heavily beaded garments that cannot be properly supported on a hanger). These items should be stored in breathable boxes and acid-free tissue is also a perfect material to use for wrapping or stuffing as needed.
5. Storage Location
Your client’s delicate garments’ worst enemies are frequent changes in temperature and humidity, sunlight, moisture, and material-damaging pests (think clothes moths, silverfish, etc.). Always store clothing in a clean, dry temperature and humidity-controlled environment. Avoid basements, attics, cramped closets, infrequently visited second homes, and rooms with skylights or windows.
Also, develop a pest management system with traps that are regularly checked. Of course, for any infrequently worn or special occasion items that need to be stored off-site, there’s always Garde Robe!
It’s a good idea to have an itemized lists of your client’s valuable items in general, but don’t forget about your their clothing items too! This is great to have on hand if a client is moving, has multiple homes, and for insurance purposes.
For especially valuable items, Garde Robe has partnered with AIG to create Couture Insurance to help protect items that are not adequately covered by home owner’s insurance.
You can also read more about the value of insuring your clothing items in this article by Berkley One.
Would you like to share your blog here? NAPO members can sign-up to become a NAPO blogger.
Need help getting organized? Visit NAPO's Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultant Search Tool to search for professional organizers or productivity consultants in your area.
Not a NAPO Member yet? Join Today!