Get A Room

While relatively new to the storage auction game, Candy Olsen and Courtney Wagner have definitely left their mark on “Storage Wars: New York” with their banana-yellow van and by bringing a sophistication and beauty to what can be normally be a rough and tumble scene.

The long-time friends tend to keep their focus on vintage clothing, which they then sell from their C&C Pop-Up Shop.   They’ve become such a phenomenon on the A&E TV program, they even have their own line of storage auction themed shirts suggesting everyone follow their example and “Get a Room.”

The hipster scene in many big cities has made the wearing of vintage clothing fully en vogue, but if you’re like Courtney and Candy and run your own vintage clothing store or are just looking to preserve some clothing items, you’ll need to know how to properly store them so as to avoid wear, tear, fading and other damage. Here are some basic tips for the proper long-term storage of clothing:

  • The most important thing to remember when storing clothing is to make certain it is clean. Check the label of each article of clothing for proper washing instructions. If a clothing item is clean, but smells musty, allow it to air out before storing it. Dust can be blown off with a hairdryer on its lowest setting.  After washing, make certain each items is dry before putting it into storage.
  • Have plenty of acid-free paper on hand. Paper should be placed inside each article of clothing (including sleeves and pant legs) so that no two layers of fabric are in contact with one another.  Obviously, paper should be used as a buffer between separate articles of clothing as well.
    &bull Folds can wear out fabric over time, so when choosing storage boxes, look for those large enough to allow for storing your items completely flat. If that isn’t feasible, lay your clothing on a piece of acid-free paper and then roll it up rather than folding it.
  • When choosing storage boxes, wicker is ideal, but acid-free cardboard is okay. Avoid using plastic as stored clothing needs air circulation.
  • If you’re storing any wool garments, you’ll want to include mothballs in the box, but do not allow them to come into direct contact with any clothing item. Mothballs can also be toxic to pets, so keep any boxes containing mothballs where your animals cannot get into them.
  • Leather and suede items should be kept on padded hangers and covered with un-dyed muslin (available at most fabric or craft stores).
  • Your boxes of clothing should be stored out of direct light (keeping them in the dark is ideal) and in areas of moderate temperature and humidity (so avoid basements and garages).  A climate-controlled storage unit would be ideal for the storage of vintage clothing.
  • Check on your stored clothing items every 6 months to 1 year. Tend to any stains or items in need of repair. Allow for all items to air out before placing everything back into storage.

Follow these helpful tips and there’s no reason you can’t follow in the footsteps of Candy and Courtney and become a specialist in the world of vintage clothing yourself.

See Courtney and Candy in this episode of Storage Wars: New York on A&E as they visit StorageMart self storage facilities in New York City area.