How to Store Baby Clothes

Three Parts:Choosing a Storage ContainerPreparing the Clothes for StorageKeeping the Clothes Clean and Neat

Most parents end up with an abundance of baby clothes due to the fact that children grow so quickly when they are little. Although some people choose to sell the clothes that no longer fit their child, there are others that prefer to store the clothes for future children, or even grandchildren. However, if the baby clothes are not stored properly, they can end up damaged and unable to be worn when they are needed.

Part 1
Choosing a Storage Container

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    Store baby clothes in a cardboard box. Most people that store baby clothes prefer to put them in a cardboard box, as these are easy to label, stack, and move around. However, they are not a guarantee that the clothes will be in perfect condition when they are removed from storage.
    • Cardboard boxes need to be placed in a dry area with low humidity so that the cardboard does not deteriorate from moisture or develop mold that could damage the clothes.
    • It is not a good idea to line the inside of the cardboard box or tub with a plastic bag because it can also hold in moisture that will eventually cause the growth of mold.
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    Use plastic tubs to store your baby's clothes. Like cardboard boxes, plastic tubs (with lids) are great options for storing baby clothes, as they are compact and easy to transport. A few things to keep in mind when using plastic tubs include:
    • The plastic tubs need to be kept out of sunlight because the sun's rays can cause the exposed parts of the clothing to fade over time.
    • Although the plastic tubs keep air and dust out, they also keep moisture in. Therefore, it is important that the baby clothes that are stored in plastic tubs be thoroughly dried before storing them this way.
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    Consider storing the clothes in the spare drawer of a dresser. If there are spare dresser drawers, the baby clothes can be stored there. Unfortunately, most people do not have a great deal of extra dresser drawer space and those that do might have it spread over several different rooms which makes it difficult to organize the baby clothes.
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    Hang up baby clothes that cannot be stored in boxes. Hanging up a year’s worth of baby clothes can take up quite a bit of space since they are so small and the hangers are rather thick. This method should only be used to store some items that would not do well being stored flat in a drawer or a box.
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    Place the clothes in vacuum-packed plastic bags. Plastic bags are practical for storing clothes, especially when vacuum packed. Vacuum packed clothes are well-protected from dust and moisture, and take up less space than boxes. However, the clothes may be extremely wrinkled when you unpack them.

Part 2
Preparing the Clothes for Storage

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    Decide which clothes are fit for storage. Go through all of the baby clothes before packing them away, and dispose of any that are overly worn or stained. You should only store clothes that are well-preserved.
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    Make sure to clean all clothes before storing. Storing clothes that have not been thoroughly cleaned is almost guaranteeing disaster of one kind or another The dirty baby clothes, especially ones that have food on them, could attract a variety of bugs that might eat the material, nest in it, or leave droppings all over it.
    • Mice, rats, and other larger vermin might come to eat the bugs or the food on the clothes if they are stored in a garage, storage unit, or attic where people do not go often.
    • Additionally, any type of dirt on the clothes can cause stains to develop over time.
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    Wash the clothes according to the instructions on the tag. All baby clothes should be washed and dried according to the instructions on the tag of the clothes. If there is no longer a tag, then it is probably safe to just wash and dry the article of clothing along with others that are made of the same type of material.
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    Decide whether or not you want to iron the clothes before storing. Ironing clothes before storage is optional, because the clothes are likely to become wrinkled over time anyway (even if they are hung in a garment bag). There are also some vermin that might be attracted to the scent of sprayed starch if it is used on the baby clothes during ironing.
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    Remove any metal buttons from the clothes. Over time metal buttons can corrode and leave stains on clothing. Therefore you should remove them and store them in a separate box. Keep this box in a safe place, so you can re-attach the buttons in future.
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    Sort the baby clothes into separate bags/boxes. It's a good idea to sort the baby clothes into different categories so you can easily find what you're looking for in future. You can sort the baby clothes by size (0-6 months, 6-12 months, etc) or by season (summer clothes and winter clothes).

Part 3
Keeping the Clothes Clean and Neat

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    Lay the clothes out flat, if possible. Although it might be possible to fit more baby clothes in a storage container when they are folded, it is better if they are laid flat in the storage container, so they are stored with a minimal amount of folds. This is important as the pressure of folded clothes stacked up together over time can cause creases that are very difficult to remove.
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    Fold clothes in places where the creases will be less noticeable. If you must fold the clothes in order to fit them into the storage container, try to fold them in places where the creases will be less noticeable.
    • Dresses or tops of any type can be folded at the shoulder where the sleeves are sewn on and at the waistline.
    • Pants should be folded lengthwise. Dress pants should be folded seam to seam because the crease is often already there.
    • If possible, the folds should not be made at high stress areas, like the knees, because it could cause them to wear out faster.
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    Prevent pests from destroying the stored baby clothes. To help keep pests like insects and vermin away from stored baby clothes, a few moth balls or special cedar wood pieces can be stored with the clothes. Both of these have an odor that is offensive to most pests.
    • When placing either of these pest deterrents in the cardboard box or plastic tub, it is important to make sure that they are not actually in contact with the clothes because they could leave stains on them over time.
    • Instead, the baby clothes can be covered with an old towel and the pest deterrent can by placed on top of that in such a way that it can’t reach the baby clothes.
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    Choose the place where you will store your clothes. The place where you store your baby clothes needs to be dry and dark place, so the clothes do not get damaged by moisture or light. Moisture can cause the occurrence of mold, and light may cause clothes to fade.
    • Avoid locations with extreme temperature differences as attics or garages.
    • It is best to choose an interior room, away from heating ducts or exterior walls to prevent damage to the clothing. For example, leave the clothes under a bed or at the top of a closet.
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    Check on the baby clothes every six months. Even though all of the above safeguards are done to ensure that the baby clothes will be in good shape when they come out of storage, it does not mean that some peculiar circumstance won’t end up ruining the clothes. Therefore, it is very important to check on the condition of the stored baby clothes once in a while.
    • Knowing how often to check on the stored baby clothes is hard to determine, but most problems are likely to show signs within the first few months.
    • After that time, checking the condition of the stored baby clothes every six months should be fine.

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Categories: Home Organization & Recycling