There are many reasons why you may need to pack and store clothes. Perhaps you do this seasonally; summer clothes are stored to make room for winter sweaters and vice versa. Maybe you are moving to a new location and need to pack all your clothes up for self storage or for the move. Or perhaps your wardrobe has outgrown your closet and you are looking to store the items you use least often.
Whatever the reason you need to pack and store your clothes, here are a few techniques to do it right:
How to Prepare Clothes for Storage
Take the time to properly pack away your clothes and it will pay off when you bring them out of storage. Always wash clothes before you store them, even if they look clean. Any dirt or stains you can’t see now will be very apparent and difficult to remove after months in storage. Body oils left over on dirty clothes can cause a strong odor that could attract insects or just be generally unpleasant to unpack.
How to Pack Clothes
Store clothing in plastic containers to optimally preserve it. Cardboard boxes are okay if you are storing your clothes temporarily, but can attract bugs if stored too long because of the acidic material. Sealable plastic containers are ideal if the clothes will remain in storage for more than a few weeks. These will better protect your clothes because they are airtight.
Always properly fold your clothes to avoid wrinkles and distortion. Start with heavier items and place them in the bottom of the container. Lighter items should be folded and placed on top. Though clothes are generally light, packing bulkier items (like sweaters or coats) altogether in one container can cause a heavy load. Pack some heavy and some lighter clothes in each container to balance the weight.
How to Store Clothes
The optimal location for long term storage is cool and dark. Hot temperatures can damage clothing fibers and set in any leftover stains, while too much natural sunlight can fade vibrant colors. If you are storing your clothes in cardboard boxes, you also want the location to be dry.
Use moth balls or cedar blocks to kill moth larvae extremely sparingly and only in areas where there is a definite need. These are toxic to humans as well, so never place moth balls or cedar blocks directly on clothing. Remember to air clothes out for a day or two before wearing if it has been stored in areas treated with moth balls.
Whether you are an occasional wine drinker with just a few bottles or a wine connoisseur with a vast collection, you’ll want to pay attention to how your wine is stored. Improper storage techniques can alter the taste and texture of your wine, causing premature oxidation and aging and degrading the general quality. Here are a few storage techniques to keep your wine in optimal condition:
How to Organize Wine
It is best to choose racks, bins, or boxes specifically designed for the storage of wine. The wine needs to stay in contact with the cork at all times, so bottles should be stored on their sides or upside down. This keeps the cork moisturized in order to prevent oxidation from over-drying.
An organizational system for your wine will help you keep track of how long it has been aging. Choose the best organization technique for the size of your collection. Keep a list of wines detailing when each was bottled and purchased. Or, try storing newer bottles to the left and older bottles to the right.
Do a little research on the types of wine you collect to figure out the ideal age of each. Some wines continually improve with age, while others begin to degrade after a certain amount of time.
Temperature and Humidity for Wine
Proper temperature and humidity are very important to keeping your wine optimally preserved. Wine storage temperature needs to be lower, while humidity should be higher.
The ideal temperature is steady and cool, ideally between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping wine in lower or higher temperatures, even for a short amount of time, can alter the taste of the wine or damage the cork and cause leakage.
Humidity should also remain steady at around 70%. Lower humidity levels may cause the corks to dry out and result in oxidation, while higher humidity levels can cause mold growth.
Other Wine Storage Conditions
There are a few other conditions to consider when storing wine. Dark areas are ideal, with very limited exposure to natural sunlight. Artificial light is okay, but too many UV rays can age the wine prematurely and degrade the quality.
Wine is best stored in a still location free of even small vibrations. Excessive movement can damage the wine by disrupting the sediment. Do your best to store wine away from anything with a strong odor. Corks will not prevent the infiltration of strong smells that your wine may absorb.
The temperature, humidity, lights, and other storage conditions are all important to consider when choosing a place for your wine. If you don’t have any place with optimal wine storage conditions in your home, or if your collection has outgrown that space, check out local self storage units. Climate-controlled indoor self storage units are the perfect place to store your wine for optimal preservation.
Despite the technological trends of iPads, Kindles, and eReaders, physical books are still very common. Maybe you like not worrying about charging the battery. Or you are prone to the endless app distractions eReaders provide. Or you want to read outside in the sun, which is difficult to do with a screen. Perhaps you just like the smell and texture of holding a physical book. Or maybe you have upgraded to an eReader, but still own and read physical books from years past.
Whatever the reason, one thing’s for certain: packing and storing many physical books is much more difficult than storing one eReader.
The main problem is that books can be very heavy, so a little planning and strategic packing is needed. Don’t ever try to load all your books into one big box–your back will thank you! Here are a few tips for packing, moving, and storing books:
Preparing to Move
Sort through your books before you move them to your new home or self storage. Are there any you could do without? If you find some you’ve outgrown or don’t think you’ll read again, someone else could possibly make use of them. Look for a local charity or library to donate them too. If the books are fairly recent, you could try selling them at a yard sale or to a secondhand book store. Or you could give some away to friends who might appreciate them. Anything you can do to lessen the load will be helpful.
Choosing a Container
Books are surprisingly heavy. So heavy, that when too many are packed together they can cause injuries to the mover and damages to the box. Ideally, choose small plastic bins over cardboard boxes for your books. These are not likely to rip or tear in transport and will keep your books better protected. If you cannot use plastic bins, find small and sturdy cardboard boxes in good condition.
Book can be fragile and you’ll want to keep your books safe from bending, tearing, and moisture during transport and storage. Pack books either stacked and flat or standing upright. Never pack books spine up and pages down, as this can damage them. If you’re looking for extra protection, use acid-free paper or cardboard as a barrier between books. You can also use bubble wrap and foam peanuts to fill up empty spaces in the box. You want to pack your books securely, but not too tight as this can lead to damages.
If you chose cardboard boxes to pack your books, make sure to securely tape the top and bottom to prevent breakage. Always tightly secure boxes packed with books during transport. These can shift easily and cause damages because of the heavy weight. Label your boxes before transport so you can easily access your books when you need them.
Books can be fragile and should be protected from bending, tearing, and moisture. Store books in a cool, dry place for optimal preservation. Store them in the boxes or plastic bins as long as you packed them appropriately. If the books are valuable or being stored for a long period of time, it is better to keep them in climate-controlled storage unit.
With the popularity of digital cameras and camera phones, storing actual photographs will soon be a problem of the past. However, chances are you still have a bunch of physical pictures from recent years or as historical archives. There was a time before Facebook when actual photo albums were the only way to show off your pictures! So what do you do with them all? If your family pictures are still piled sloppily in a closet, attic, or spare room somewhere, here are some storage tips for optimal preservation.
Organize Your Photos
Store similar pictures or pictures from an event together, depending on the size of your storage containers and the amount of photos you have. For example, you could keep all of your son’s baby pictures in the same container. Or if you have so many baby pictures that you can’t keep them all together, organize by event or time. For example, keep all his baby pictures from his first birthday party in one container.
If you have the time, label the containers with details such as time and place it was taken. This will help you easily find and identify your photos when it’s time to show them off again. If you are labeling individual photos, be sure to include names and ages of people in the photo as well. Don’t ever use a ballpoint pen because this could damage the photographs. Stick with a pencil or permanent marker instead.
Handle your photos carefully. Try to touch the front side of the photo as little as possible because oils from your fingers can deteriorate the photo quality. If you can, use a protective covering or place photos in a album or book.
Control Your Storage Location
Store photos in a safe place for optimal preservation. Temperature, humidity, moisture, and light are important to consider when deciding where to store your photos. A mild temperature, moderate humidity, and very limited light is ideal. Too much light or a high temperature can make your photos vulnerable to fading and cracking. Too much moisture in the air can cause your photos to stick together or mold. Basements, attics, and garages are a bad idea because of the variation in temperature and humidity. The best place to store your photos is a climate-controlled location that stays between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Climate-controlled storage units are the best place to find this.
Whether you choose to have your photos matted, put in a photo album, or stored in a container, make sure these materials are non-acidic. For extra insurance, look for materials that pass the Photographic Activity Test (PAT) which tests whether a material will cause fading or staining.
Always Have a Backup Plan
Always keep backups (negatives or a second copy) in an alternative location if you have them. That way, in case either copies are ever damaged, you will have a backup in a separate location.
Alternatively, if you don’t have backups, scan the most important photos into a computer. You can also pay an office supply store to do this for you if you don’t have the time to do it yourself. They will provide you with a thumb drive so you can access your photos on any computer. The plus side of this is you can then create custom gifts with your photos. You can also print another copy whenever you need it.