During the off-season, you may want to consider storing specific clothes at a self storage services center to free up some extra space within your home. However, since clothes are made out of a variety of absorbent fabrics, they are at particular risk of becoming damaged by water, pests, and mold growth while sitting idle in a storage unit. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to protect your clothing from any potential damage so that they are as good as new when you take them out again next year.
The best, and also the easiest, way to ensure that your clothes don't grow mold or mildew while in storage is to make sure that they are completely clean and dry before you pack them away. This will also help prevent any sort of stale smell from setting into the fabric over time.
Proper Packing Materials
While cardboard boxes may seem like the best option for storage, cardboard offers very little protection against the elements or determined pests, as it can easily be eaten through or fall apart. Instead, you'll want to invest in more durable plastic storage boxes, available at most hardware and storage supply stores. These boxes are waterproof, and while slightly more expensive, ensure that you won't have to worry about the lost value of damaged and ruined clothes a few months down the road.
However, since plastic storage boxes aren't breathable, you need to make sure that your clothes are completely dry before you put them in storage, since any residual water or moisture can cause mold to start to grow.
Depending on the value and amount of clothing that you are putting into storage, you may want to consider renting a climate-controlled unit that will maintain a moderate level of humidity within your storage unit, making mold growth much less likely. Further, since climate-controlled units are interior units, they are also much less likely to suffer from pest infestations.
You can purchase a multitude of different types of chemical pest repellents from most hardware stores that you can apply to your clothes or storage containers to keep pests away. However, since the smell of such repellents can be quite unpleasant, you may want to choose to use natural alternatives instead. Chips of cedar are naturally pest repellent and smell both natural and pleasant. Scattering these chips within your boxes can prove to be effective at repelling insects like moths and cockroaches, but if you don't want your clothes to smell like cedar, spreading them out loosely around your boxes can also prove to be effective.