If you have a big family, it's often difficult to keep your clothes closets and drawers under control. Kids in particular seem to accumulate a lot of clothing since clothes get passed down or given to you by other family members. You may have to store the clothing for months or years until one of your kids grows into them. Add that to managing your own accumulation of seasonal clothing and it's easy to see how closets get out of hand. One solution is to rent a storage unit. Having a storage unit helps you get clutter in your home under control and it gives you extra space to sort and store all your family's clothing. Here are a few tips on how to store clothing properly.

Clean Clothes First

Be sure the items you put in storage are clean and ready to wear. Kids' clothing with food stains or dirt may attract pests which do damage to the fabric. Not only that, but if a stain sets for months, it may be very difficult to remove when you take the item out of storage. But most of all, it's nice to grab things from storage and have them ready to use rather than having to wash them first to get rid of stains and odors.

Consider Climate Control

If you plan to store vintage clothing, furs, expensive evening wear, or a wedding dress, you should talk to the storage facility about a cold storage unit. Clothing is preserved best in a dark, cold environment. However, for everyday clothing, you can probably get by with a typical storage unit as long as you store the clothes properly to allow air circulation, which prevents mold and mildew. You could also opt for a climate-controlled self storage unit so your clothing is kept in a temperature and humidity controlled environment while you still have free access to your belongings.

Hang Clothing To Preserve Shape

Some fabrics store better when the clothing is on hangers rather than folded into boxes. Be sure to choose plastic or fabric lined hangers so you don't have to worry about rust or rough edges altering the shape of your clothes. You can install a wardrobe unit with hanging racks or you can buy a wardrobe moving box that allows you to store clothing on hangers inside it. Be sure to leave space between items so air can circulate through your clothing freely.

Avoid Plastic Bags

It's best to store folded clothing in plastic bins rather than bags. Bags with a tight seal may encourage the growth of mildew. Plus it is difficult to prevent wrinkles when clothes are put in bags. You might want to use vacuum sealed bags for seasonal items or for big things like comforters, but vacuum bags are probably not the best solution for long-term storage since the bags distort the shape of clothing and deprive the fabrics of air.

In addition, you should also avoid cardboard boxes since these do not protect clothing. The glue in cardboard attracts insects, and if the storage unit gets wet, the cardboard will soak up the dampness and your clothing could be damaged. Instead, place folded clothes into plastic storage bins with the heaviest items on the bottom to avoid wrinkling and compression.

You can arrange your storage unit just like a closet if you want, so you can see everything at a glance. If you need to conserve space, then be sure to label all your storage bins so you don't have to dig through them to find a particular sweater or other item of clothing when you want it. Contact a company like Foothills Storage for more tips.