Storing Blankets and Pillows for Long-term Storage
So...you are in the process of moving and you are trying to empty the current house a bit at a time. You have chosen to put those items that you can live without for awhile into a storage unit. Or, you are redecorating and need to move lots of your belongings into a storage unit in order to make room for the re-modelers. One of the things that gets moved out first are extra bedding and decorative pillows. It may seem logical to just throw everything into a giant plastic bag and toss it into the back of your rented storage space. The standard materials of bedding include: linens, bed covers, comforters, pillows and cushions, and a few side linings and foot linings. Preparing blankets, quilts, comforters and pillows of all kinds will take the right kind of supplies and preparation of the bedding for the long term. What you will need is a few large boxes, packing paper or newspaper, plastic sheets or bags (large) and packing tape. Special care needs to be done in order for the bedding to stay in perfect condition while it is being stored. Even if you are just storing things for a season as you pack up a vacation home or for months at a time as you store away for the summer, or even just getting it out of your way and moving it to the attic, you need to choose carefully how you are going to store bedding and what your are going to use for the storage container.
Begin by arranging the items properly. Remove the pillow cases and stack the pillows to one side. Stack the cushions together as well. If you comforters have covers, remove those too. Wash and dry everything thoroughly before packing.
You have many choices on what you can use for packing bedding. First thought is large plastic vacuum bags. Huge vacuum bags have become extremely popular and very affordable as they can be found at all of the dollar stores. You can put an enormous amount of blankets and quilts into one bag, suck out all of the air with your vacuum cleaner and have a much smaller item to store than you started with. Vacuum bags are perfect for pillows too and they do an great job for protection and reducing space. A vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment can create an airtight seat to keep dirt, bugs and mildew and even odors out of your fabric bedding while they are in storage. All you have to do is clean your bedding first in the washer or at the dry cleaners. Make extra sure that everything is thoroughly dried and then place the folded items inside the bag and seal the opening. Put the hose from the vacuum cleaner into the valve opening on the bag, turn on the vacuum and watch as the bag shrinks and shrinks shrinks no more removing all of the air. After there is no more air to remove, just close up the bag’s valve. You can also do the same thing with regular everyday household garbage bags. Put your pillows or comforters into the garbage bag and gather up the opening into a tiny hole. Put the vacuum cleaner nozzle inside the bag, turn on the cleaner and wait until all of the contents are compacted. Close the bag with packing tape or tie a knot in the open end.
Next, you can store bedding in the traditional cedar chest. Blankets and pillows store perfectly in a wooden chest full of the sweet smell of cedar. The oil in the wood is a natural moth and insect repellant so it is perfect for vintage coverings like collectable quilts. In order for the box to be effective, it needs to be care for every year by rubbing down the inside with a fine sanded paper and gently wiping it down. The scent and the oil will stay strong and reliable forever.
Plastic bins with lids are also perfect for blankets. These pieces will stack easily also so that you can store them altogether in the same area. These are also good for storing synthetic blankets and fiber stuffed pillows. The plastic will keep things clean and dirt and dust and allergy free. Free. They come in a wide variety of sizes and work perfectly for under bed the storage. And they can be found everywhere from the dollar store to large hardware stores.
Using large cardboard moving boxes to store bedding is also a good choice. These boxes can be very large so you can pack everything into one huge box. You will have to pack each cleaned blanket and pillow separately in plastic bags, but they can all be gathered together. If this is your choice for packing, make sure to secure the bottom of the boxes by taping the bottom flaps from the outside. Once the bottom is secure, start sealing the box from the inside using plastic sheets. Fold a piece for the bottom making sure that a fair amount of it rises to the walls. Use a few more sheets to seal the walls of the box from the inside. Use packing tape to hold the plastic in place. The purpose of the plastic is to prevent moisture from the outside spoiling the bedding. If you put packing paper on the bottom of the inside of the plastic bag, this will help with absorbing any moisture. Once everything is in the bag and in the box, close the bag as tightly as possible and seal it well.
As mentioned earlier, it is important to launder all of your blankets, comforters, quilts and pillows before they get packed and taken to storage. Even seemingly harmless substances such as body oil can permanently discolor or damage fabrics. Properly cleaned and packed bedding will be fresh and ready for use after long-term storage. Put down-filled blankets and pillows in breathable cotton bags or rolled in a large sheet for storage. Make sure your storage unit or other facility or location is as dry as possible so that you don’t get mildew. In damp areas, place storage containers on a freestanding rack or plastic sheeting. Make sure that everything is thoroughly dry before packing and storing.
Make sure that as you are putting bedding into the initial bags, that you fold all the linen and stack it in piles up to five. Fold the pillow covers and bed covers. Folding the comforter can be a bit tricky because of the trapped air inside it. The comforter is responsible for the hard-to-pack look that bedding has. Fold the comforter neatly, pressing out air gently with each fold. Place the comforter inside first, easing it gently and pressing to force the air out. This will create more space. Place the bedcovers and linen next followed by linings and top up with the cushions and pillows. Place a sheet of paper and plastic on the top before closing and sealing the box.
Storing bedding for the long term is not difficult, especially if you follow a few of these suggestions. Remember, if packed properly, when you reopen the stored box, your bedding should come out smelling and looking as perfect as a warm summer day!