Whether it’s Halloween or a cosplay event, everyone loves to dress up. Halloween costumes make almost $9 billion every year in the United States. Cosplayers also tend to spend a pretty penny on their costumes. With all that doe dropped on looking the part, the big question for many people is how to store costumes safely during the year. Some costumes use materials that can’t take the heat or cold, and some are much too big to store in an apartment. Also, they need to stay dry, which makes the typical American attic or basement a lousy choice.
While there are methods to store that Joker or Pennywise costume at home, we suggest a climate-controlled storage unit. Tons of people store their costumes in small, climate-controlled self-storage units. Storing your outfits in a storage unit will keep them pristine throughout the year. Whichever method you choose, this article is full of Halloween costume tips. So follow along and avoid a scary mess next year.
Before You Store: Clean And Prep Your Costume
Depending on how much fun you had at your particular celebration, your costume might have gotten sweaty, dirty, wet, or even filthy. That’s why, before you put it in storage, you should clean it thoroughly. That includes removing any new stains, so they don’t become permanent. Also, give them 2 or 3 days to dry out completely before you put them away for the year.
If you have an adult costume made with fine materials, you might consider having it dry cleaned. Otherwise, you can hand wash most custom materials and let them air dry. Remove any stains on masks or gloves (unless they’re on purpose, of course). If you have costumes made of nylon, acrylic, or polyester, you can use your washing machine on cold. You can then air dry them or dry them in the dryer on a low setting. (Most children’s Halloween costumes fall under this category.)
Use an Acid-Free Storage Box
If you’re buying a plastic container to store your costume, request one that’s acid-free. (The acids in regular plastic can discolor your costume’s fabric.) This will protect the different costume materials much better. Acid-free containers look like regular plastic containers (just FYI). If you can’t find an acid-free box, you can use acid-free tissue paper in the layers of your costume. This will also serve to help your costume keep its normal shape.
Stuff Your (Fake) Heads
Masks, helmets, heads, and anything else made to for your head should get support, if possible. You can stuff them with wrapping paper or bubble wrap. You can also get a mannequin (just the shoulders and head should be fine) and place your helmet or mask on it.
Some people consider purchasing an entire mannequin. This helps support their costume, preserve its shape, and keep it pristine throughout the year in self-storage. If you have several costumes you’ll need several mannequins, of course. (Storing them in a climate-controlled self-storage unit would be a great idea.)
Say ‘No’ to Plastic Bags
Many people make the mistake of storing their costumes in plastic bags. The problem is that moisture can get trapped in a plastic bag quite easily. Over time, that moisture can cause fabrics and other materials to rot and warp.
Use a Garment Bag
If you have several costumes or ones with ornate decorations, storing them in a garment bag is also a great choice. However, be sure the garment bag is acid-free. It will help them keep their shape, protect them from dust and grime, and keep them fresh too. You should only put 2 or 3 costumes in each garment bag so that the materials don’t get ruined.
Don’t Forget the Accessories
Whether swords, magic wands, jewelry, or eye patches, the accessories complete a costume! Make sure to store those away also. The same goes here as far as acid-free plastic containers go. Also, make sure the accessories are all clean and dry before storing them.
Don’t Store Your Child’s Halloween Costumes
Here’s a hot take; kids love costumes, and they’ll wear them even when it’s not Halloween! So don’t spend time wondering how to store kids’ costumes. Many kids love to play dress-up, and having a costume of their favorite character to use is fantastic! Plus, many children’s costumes are less expensive than adult costumes. So rather than storing your children’s Halloween costumes, leave them out for your child’s playtime! When they’re not using them, you can simply store them like regular clothing in a dresser or the closet.
The Best Place To Store Costumes
Sure, you can store your Mardi Gras, Halloween, or St. Patrick’s day costumes anywhere you like. But if they’re big, ornate or you have a lot of them, iStorage is your best bet. We offer safe, clean storage units at prices that won’t scare your wallet. We also provide climate-controlled self-storage for fragile or valuable costumes. No matter the heat or humidity, your Halloween or cosplay outfit will stay clean and pristine.
Have more questions about where to store your costumes (or anything else)? Chat with a friendly iStorage manager right now and get the answers you seek. Whatever the occasion or celebration, we can help you store the costume so you can enjoy it again next year.