We are having our first child, and to prepare for that we have to move a lot of stuff to storage. The storage we have is not heated or otherwise temperature/humidity regulated. This means that temperature will change from around -15°C to +25°C (extremes are around -20°C to +35°C) during the year, and relative humidity will be anywhere from 20% to 100% I assume. The storage is well ventilated.

We are storing mainly clothes/fabrics and papers/books, but I am concerned about the environmental effect on our stored items. Currently we have been packing clothes/fabrics in air-tight plastic boxes, and paper/books either in air-tight plastic boxes, or just normal moving boxes. But I am becoming unsure if it is a good idea to store clothes/fabrics in air-tight boxes, as the humidity in the air cannot escape when the temperature goes down.

My question is, under the above mentioned environmental conditions, how do you best store:

  1. Clothes and fabrics?
  2. Papers and books?

3 Answers 3


I can offer my suggestion for storing clothes and fabrics, but not books.

When my wife and I had to store a TON of clothes, towels, sheets, jackets, sleeping bags, pillows...you get the idea....we used vacuum storage bags. Everything sat in a storage facility for over 2 years, the facility was unheated in the winter and zero air con in the summer.
Being in the northeastern united states the temperature band is pretty broad.
The VSB's worked awesome, no bag failed, everything came out clean and did not have a musty odor. The only issue was items were very wrinkled, but unless you plan of storing a wedding dress or items that you do not want smooshed, you should be fine.

Other factors that we liked, easy to find items since the bags were clear. Easy to stack and carry. The bags were really cheap in comparison to other alternatives.
They also provided basic water proofing, as the day we put it all into the storage facility it rained.


You should be just fine storing these in airtight containers, but ONLY if you are absolutely sure they're airtight. Airtight ideally means that there's no transfer of air between contents and the outside.

If your plastic boxes are truly airtight, there's no air transfer happening, in either direction. Inside humidity at the point in time that you sealed a box up would stay more or less the same, accounting for water absorption by the box's contents.

Temperature change would probably not matter much, since that would be gradual and not sudden.


What kinf of storage area is this? If there's such a big fluctuation in temperatures and humidity levels, you may want to consider some self storage options which are a little more regulated. Especially if you intend to preserve these items and use them again at a later date! It'll be a big waste if the items put in storage are ruined after a little while in there.


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