Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Options for Storing Clothing

It's almost fall!! My favorite season. Soup, jeans, sweaters, boots, pumpkin. Ahhhh. I'm feeling cozy just writing this.   So, before I go get a blanket and snuggle up with a cup of tea...

System 1: Trash Bags

1. Cheap. Enough said.
2. Easy to transport/lend out. Just hand them the bag.

1. Hard to store. The picture above is a client who had her kids' clothes in bags. The solution was to get them off the floor and put together in order of size.
2. Hard to label. I love Sharpies, I do. But not to write on plastic trash bags.   

System 2: Diaper Boxes

1. Cheap to free. If you can come across diaper boxes (either you have a baby, get them from friends who have had a baby, or ask for some on Freecycle).
2. Holds quite a bit of clothing. 

1. May not stack well. I had different brands, thus different size boxes...that may have been my problem.
2. They wear out. After 3 kids, the boxes got a little worn out. Some tore.
3. This is just me being picky. But, I like my labels to look nice and be easy to read. Not possible on a diaper box.

System 3: Banker's Boxes

1. Looks great (insert bias here since this is my system).
2. Labels are easy to read and are uniform.
3. They aren't big and bulky. Which makes them easy to get off the shelf without having to see a physical therapist.

1. They don't hold a ton of clothes. So, this system is great for little people clothes, but not adults or teens.
2. Costs money.
3. Shouldn't be stored where they'd get damp. They are made out of cardboard.

System 4: Plastic Bins

1. Looks wonderful (minus the mom jeans).
2. Labels are easy to read.
3. Stacks beautifully.
4. Holds a ton of clothes. This is really the best option for adult and teen clothing.
5. If clear, you can see what's inside. 

1. Can be costly.
2. Can be heavy. Especially if you get the huge ones and stack them on top of each other.

System 5: Vacuum Sealed Bags

1. Saves space.
2. It's clear, so you can see what's in it.

1. Costs money.
2. Hard to get in and out of. It'd be a hassle to add anything to the bag once it's vacuumed.
3. Although it saves space, they may be hard to stack.

Whatever Your System:
  • Label well.
  • Organize like season clothing in the same bins/bags/boxes.
  • Put a moth repellent in - especially if stored in garage, attic, or basement.
  • Be creative about space. I have this wonderful thing under my bed. I love it because it's clear, has wheels, and is hinged at the halfway point, so I don't have to slide the whole thing out to get something. So, think under beds, behind shoe racks, unused closets (yes, I live in dreamland), unused hope chest, shelves in the laundry room, and even unused luggage that you don't ever use. You get the picture. Be creative with storage. 
  • Don't hang sweaters and knits...distorts their shape. Always fold these.
  • Wash them all before you wear them. I once opened a box to find a spider crawling out. Would have hated to put that on my kids.
  • Purge as you unpack or pack. Chances are, if you didn't wear it this year, you won't wear it next year. Now's a great time to donate what you don't use. Remember: Simplify your life. Don't keep things you don't use...especially clothes. 


    1. Julie,
      Love the pro and con lists. I use plastic, see-through bins that stack. I'd also advise to wash everything before you store them. Stains you can't see can attract insects.
      Tom has discovered that some critters--moths?--have eaten holes in the wool slacks and sweaters he hung in the closet upstairs.(Not enough room to store everything in bins.) We'd put moth blocks in there, but I took them down because of the too-strong smell. Have you had this problem? Any advice?

    2. RE: System 4, Con 2 - you always told me that's what husbands are for; as a matter of fact you are waiting for me to get one such bin of small maternity clothes from the shed right now! :)

    3. Peggy, if the smell is in the clothes, wash them with vinegar. It may take a few washes, but that should do the trick. I've also heard that there are some natural scents that are also repellent: lavender, mint, and rosemary. Let us know if you try any of those herbs to see if they work!