Easy and effective long-term storage solutions

Finding room to organize your things — whether it's in closets, the garage or kitchen — can be a challenge. These are some ways to maximize your space and keep your items safe.

Easy and effective long-term storage solutions

Common fabric fumbles

Haphazard clothes and linens storage can lead to disastrous, sometimes unsalvageable, damage from mildew and insects. But if you follow these basic fabric storage rules, your clothes and linens can last for years.

  • Only store freshly cleaned linens and clothes, and store them in a clean container or storage area. Perspiration, food or dirt on stored clothes attracts insects.
  • Insect eggs love light, so keep your fabrics somewhere dark.
  • Avoid storing clothes in unventilated areas where temperatures and humidity are uncontrolled. A damp basement promotes mildew growth.
  • Don't use plastic bags or other airtight containers, which tend to trap mold-feeding moisture.
  • Pack loosely so that air can circulate around folded items in the storage area.
  • Forego starch, fabric finish or sizing on any clothes or linens before storing. The stiffeners can damage fabric over time.
  • Use a chemical desiccant, such as silica gel or calcium chloride packets, to absorb moisture. Just be sure to keep them off the fabrics directly.
  • Ventilate storage areas when the weather is dry and cool.

Closet conundrums

If your closet simply cannot contain all your clothes or household items, consider these alternatives:

  • Set up freestanding closets, freestanding stackable baskets or wire baskets on rollers in your bedroom, a spare room or the basement.
  • Use sturdy under-bed boxes made of plastic or laminate for blankets and extra bed linens.
  • Make a storage corner in your bedroom or the guest room, then hide the stacked boxes with a decorative screen or curtain.
  • Stylish storage, like trunks or decorative boxes, add stylish storage space to a room, and can serve as tables or footrests.

Storing items properly will extend the life of many of your possessions — from wool sweaters to claw hammers — and give you peace of mind, because you'll know exactly where each item is whenever you need it. With these solutions, you can stay organized and even add some stylish additions to your home.

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