How To Store Garments Long Term - A Guide

Our guide combines practical advice with sustainable solutions, ensuring your cherished clothing withstands the test of time.

February 8, 2024
min read
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In this article:

In the pursuit of maintaining a timeless and well-preserved wardrobe, the art of long-term garment storage becomes paramount. This comprehensive guide is your roadmap to safeguarding your cherished clothing items for the years to come. From decluttering and cleaning to incorporating cedar for freshness, each chapter is a step towards ensuring your garments withstand the test of time

Sort and Declutter Your Clothes

Embarking on the journey of long-term garment storage begins with the fundamental step of sorting and decluttering your wardrobe. This process not only streamlines your collection but also allows you to assess the items worthy of enduring the test of time. Start by categorizing your clothes based on season, occasion, or usage frequency. As you go through each piece, consider parting ways with items you no longer wear, creating space for the garments that truly matter.

Once sorted, decluttering becomes an art of mindful organization. Donate or repurpose clothing that no longer aligns with your style, and ensure that the remaining pieces are neatly arranged. This initial step not only prepares your wardrobe for storage but also serves as a refreshing exercise, allowing you to rediscover forgotten favorites and streamline your collection.

Make Sure They Are Clean and Dry

Before your garments embark on their long-term storage journey, meticulous attention to cleanliness is paramount. Properly washing and drying each item ensures that they enter storage free from stains, odors, and any potential contaminants that could compromise their longevity. Be mindful of the specific care instructions for different fabrics, employing appropriate detergents and washing techniques.

The drying process is equally crucial. Ensure that your garments are thoroughly dried, as residual moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth during storage. Sun-drying or using a gentle tumble dryer are effective methods, but always adhere to the care labels to prevent unnecessary wear and tear. By starting the storage process with impeccably clean and dry garments, you lay the foundation for their optimal preservation.

neatly folded woolen sweaters

Fold and Pack to Prevent Damages

Mastering the art of folding is more than just a space-saving technique; it is a method to prevent wrinkles and creases, preserving the integrity of your garments. Begin by selecting appropriate folding techniques based on the type of clothing – delicate fabrics may require different folds than sturdy ones. Invest time in this process, as the effort put into proper folding will pay off when you retrieve your garments in the future, finding them in impeccable condition.

Selecting the right packing materials is equally crucial. Opt for acid-free tissue paper or breathable garment bags to shield your clothes from dust, light, and potential damage during their time in storage. Delicate fabrics such as silk benefit from additional layers of protection. When packing, consider the weight of each item to prevent excessive pressure on delicate fabrics. The goal is to create a storage environment that not only saves space but also safeguards your garments against potential wear and tear.

Repair Any Damaged Items Before Storage

Before garments enter long-term storage, it's essential to address any wear and tear they may have accumulated over time. This proactive approach ensures that minor damages are repaired, preventing them from worsening during the storage period. Begin by carefully examining each item, paying attention to loose buttons, unraveling seams, or small tears.

Repairing these damages can be a rewarding and often straightforward process. Invest time in sewing loose buttons back into place, reinforcing seams, and patching small tears. For more complex repairs, consider seeking the assistance of a professional tailor. By addressing these issues before storage, you not only extend the life of your garments but also retrieve them in a wearable condition when it's time to reintroduce them to your wardrobe.

Store Them in a Cool Dry Place

The choice of a storage environment significantly impacts the longevity of your garments. Optimal conditions involve a cool and dry place, free from excess moisture and temperature fluctuations. Excessive heat and humidity can lead to mold growth, fabric deterioration, and unpleasant odors, making it crucial to select a storage space that mitigates these risks.

Start by identifying areas in your home that meet these criteria. Closets, under-bed storage, or dedicated wardrobe spaces are excellent choices. Ensure that the storage area is well-ventilated to prevent the accumulation of moisture. Implementing climate control measures, such as dehumidifiers or moisture-absorbing products, adds an extra layer of protection. By choosing a cool, dry storage space, you create an environment that promotes the preservation of your garments throughout their extended resting period.

woman storing clothes in a wardrobe

Don't Use Vac Pac for Long-Term Storage

While vacuum packing has its merits for short-term storage, employing this method for long-term garment preservation requires careful consideration. Vacuum-sealed bags can compress fabrics, potentially leading to wrinkles and distortion of garment shapes over extended periods. Delicate fabrics may be particularly susceptible to damage from prolonged compression, impacting their original form and structure.

Additionally, the airtight seal created by vacuum packing may not be suitable for all materials. Natural fibers, such as wool or silk, benefit from breathable environments to prevent moisture accumulation and maintain their integrity. It's essential to assess the specific needs of your garments before opting for vacuum-sealed storage. In this chapter, we unravel the pros and cons of vacuum packing, allowing you to make informed decisions based on the fabric composition and storage duration of your garments.

You Can Store Shoes and Boots

Extend your expertise in garment storage to include footwear. Shoes and boots, like clothing, benefit from proper care and storage practices to maintain their shape and condition. Start by cleaning each pair thoroughly, removing dirt and moisture that may have accumulated over time. Use appropriate shoe cleaning products based on the material, whether leather, suede, or fabric.

Consider investing in shoe trees or boot shapers to maintain their form during storage. These accessories prevent creases, wrinkles, and distortion, ensuring your footwear emerges from storage in top condition. Finally, choose an appropriate storage location – a cool, dry place with ample ventilation to prevent odors and mold. This chapter guides you through the nuances of storing shoes and boots to complement your long-term garment storage strategy.

Add Cedar Pieces and Sachets to Keep Them Fresh

Elevate your garment storage strategy by harnessing the natural power of cedar. In this chapter, we explore the benefits of incorporating cedar pieces, including blocks, rings, and sachets, into your long-term storage routine. Cedar not only acts as a potent moth deterrent but also imparts a pleasant, natural aroma to your garments, keeping them fresh and free from unwanted odors.

Learn about the science behind cedar's moth-repelling properties and discover strategic placement techniques to maximize their effectiveness. Whether you're safeguarding wool suits, delicate silk dresses, or cherished vintage pieces, cedar provides a sustainable and aromatic solution. This chapter delves into the versatility of cedar, offering insights into how these simple additions can elevate your garment storage experience.

Exploring the Versatility of Cedar Blocks:

Cedar blocks are a classic and timeless choice for moth prevention. These solid pieces of cedarwood release natural oils over time, creating a protective barrier against clothes moths. Their versatility allows for strategic placement throughout your storage space, whether hung on hangers, nestled among folded clothes, or tucked into drawers. Not only do cedar blocks safeguard your garments, but they also contribute to a fresh and inviting closet environment.

The Elegance of Cedar Rings:

Cedar rings combine functionality with elegance, making them a practical and visually appealing addition to your garment storage arsenal. These circular cedar pieces are designed to slip easily onto hangers, providing an aromatic shield for hanging garments. Beyond their moth-repelling properties, cedar rings add a touch of natural sophistication to your closet, enhancing the overall ambiance of your storage space.

Crafting DIY Cedar Sachets for Personalized Protection:

For a personalized touch and a delightful DIY project, consider crafting your own cedar sachets. Creating cedar sachets allows you to tailor the size and aesthetics to your preferences while enjoying the process of making a sustainable garment protection solution. Simply gather cedar shavings or small cedar blocks, place them in breathable fabric pouches, and distribute these sachets strategically among your stored garments. This not only enhances the cedar's effectiveness but also adds a touch of craftsmanship to your storage routine.

Strategic Placement for Maximum Effectiveness:

Understanding where and how to place cedar pieces is crucial for maximizing their effectiveness. For cedar blocks and rings, focus on areas where garments are densely packed, such as closets, drawers, or storage bins. Hang cedar rings on hangers alongside your clothes, allowing the aromatic oils to permeate the surrounding space. For cedar sachets, strategically position them in areas where moths are likely to be a concern, such as within suit pockets or between layers of folded garments.

Refreshing Cedar's Aroma:

Over time, the potency of cedar's aroma may diminish. However, refreshing cedar blocks and sachets is a simple process. Gently sand the surface of cedar blocks to expose fresh wood and rejuvenate the release of aromatic oils. For sachets, give them a gentle squeeze to reactivate the fragrance. This periodic maintenance ensures that your cedar pieces remain effective in both moth prevention and imparting a pleasant aroma to your stored garments.

Cedar as a Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Choice:

Beyond its practical benefits, cedar stands out as a sustainable and eco-friendly choice for garment storage. Unlike traditional mothballs containing chemicals, cedar provides a natural and non-toxic alternative. It is renewable, biodegradable, and sourced from responsibly managed forests. By choosing cedar, you contribute to a greener and more environmentally conscious approach to garment care.

Enhancing the Longevity of Natural Fibers:

Cedar's benefits extend beyond moth prevention to the preservation of natural fibers. Fabrics like wool, silk, and cotton benefit from cedar's ability to repel moths and protect against potential damage. Unlike synthetic materials, natural fibers thrive in a well-ventilated and natural environment, making cedar an ideal companion for maintaining the longevity and quality of your garments.

Cedar for a Fresh and Inviting Closet Environment:

The aromatic qualities of cedar go beyond moth prevention, contributing to a fresh and inviting closet environment. The natural fragrance creates a pleasing atmosphere that transcends the functional aspect of moth deterrence. Experience the joy of opening your closet to the earthy scent of cedar, transforming your storage space into a haven of freshness and natural beauty.

A Holistic Approach to Garment Storage:

Incorporating cedar into your long-term garment storage routine is not merely a functional choice but a holistic approach to caring for your clothing. From its practical benefits in moth prevention to the aesthetic and aromatic enhancements it brings to your storage space, cedar becomes an integral part of a comprehensive strategy for preserving your wardrobe.


As we conclude this comprehensive guide on how to store garments long-term, you now possess the knowledge and insights to embark on a journey of mindful preservation. From decluttering and cleaning to folding, repairing, and selecting the optimal storage environment, each chapter contributes to a holistic strategy for maintaining the longevity of your cherished wardrobe. By incorporating these practices, along with the aromatic benefits of cedar, you ensure that your garments stand the test of time with grace and resilience.

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About Wood Blocks

Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge to curate a wardrobe that not only reflects your personal style but also aligns with environmentally friendly practices. From exploring the wonders of natural mothballs and sustainable garment storage to diving deep into DIY solutions and green living, we're here to guide you on a journey towards a more eco-conscious, stylish, and intentional lifestyle.

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