photo © 2006 Crystal | more info (via: Wylio)
I was pointed to an LA Times article from a few months ago that profiled a company called Garde Robe. The Manhattan-based company offers storage and valet services to people with expensive wardrobes and money to burn. For a small fee of $350 a month, customers receive a rack that will store 50 garments, 10 custom shoe boxes and one accessories box. This package is known as the “endless closet” and includes something called a “cyber closet” which means Garde Robe employees will, take photos of your entire wardrobe (on mannequins, not on themselves) and catalog the photos for easy searching online.
Of course, most people do not have the luxury of this kind of private service, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have plenty of clothes that you care about and, assuming you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with seasons, you have at least one reason to store some of them. Whether that will mean putting them in boxes in the basement or keeping your Christmas sweaters next to the artificial tree in your storage unit, you can still apply some of the Garde Robe principles to your own wardrobe.
1. Keep them dry
This goes without saying, but a mildewing pair of snow pants can sure put a damper on that first trip to Big Bear. Make sure clothes are clean and dry when you put them away, and avoid keeping them in sealed plastic bags or other airtight containers as that can promote moisture. Instead, a ventilated trunk or cardboard boxes will do the trick.
2. Keep them organized
If you have time to take pictures of all your clothes that are going into storage, you can easily start your own cyber closet. If not, just make a descriptive list so you know which clothes are in which boxes so that you can easily get them out when needed.
3. Keep them properly shaped
Not only does keeping your clothes flat take up less space, it keeps them from creasing or stretching, if you were to keep them hung up. If you are putting your clothes in a storage unit, you can keep them inside the drawers of a a dresser or armoire you may also be storing. This site has some great specific tips on how to store different items and materials of clothing (e.g., store silk flat, but roll linen)
But don’t try to flatten your shoes! Instead keep balled up paper in the toes of boots and shoes so that they keep their shape while they are going unworn.
4. Keep them out of sight
One of the neatest features of Garde Robe that is easily replicated with a storage unit, is that your clothes are out of sight. This means when you see them again, either presented to you by your stylist (I wish) or unpacked from their boxes in your drive-up (more likely) they seem new again! Everyone gets tired of wearing the same things over and over but putting your seasonal items in storage is much cheaper (thought slightly less satisfying) than completely redoing your wardrobe.
In most parts of the country, you’ve probably already unpacked your parkas, so you do with your seasonal clothes?
- Laundry Organization For Small Spaces (apartmenttherapy.com)
- Where to donate winter clothes in Chicago: 15 charities with clothing drives (timeoutny.com)
- Tuesday Tip: Lose the Mothballs (stacksandstacks.com)