At Garde Robe, we understand the importance of taking proper care of your wardrobe, even when you are shipping your items to our offices. We have compiled a set of packing tips, presented in a series of blog posts over the next few weeks, to give you the best possible guidelines for caring for your garments in transit. This week, we are starting with Best Practices, from how to tape your boxes together to how to make a tissue paper “arm” to stuff sleeves of jackets and shirts.

When shipping items to Garde Robe for cataloguing and storage, you may have questions about safely transporting your items. For your reference, Garde Robe has compiled this set of guidelines for packing and shipping garments and accessories.

You will need supplies including: hangers, tissue, tote bags, garment bags, and wardrobe boxes. Garde Robe is happy to provide you with packing materials in advance, but it may be easier for you to source the wardrobe boxes locally. We are eager to assist you in any way we can.

You may already know some of these tips and tricks for garment packing, but reviewing best practices ensures that your personal effects will remain safe while in transit. Please follow up with one of our team members by phone or email if you have further questions.

BEST PRACTICES: Boxes

When you pack items in regular moving boxes, please triple tape the outside of each box across the top and bottom seam in a wide band. Then tape a cross piece perpendicularly across the box in order to prevent the top and bottom from opening. You may already do this, but we have noticed boxes with only one piece of tape tend to open during shipping, creating opportunities for damage. Fill additional space in regular boxes with crumpled tissue paper, bubble wrap, or other packing materials,  in order to stabilize the items and prevent shift during transit.

For standing wardrobe boxes, Garde Robe recommends ordering from Uline.

Make sure to select the Standard 24 x 20 x 46” size, as the larger sizes can lead to exorbitant freight charges. The boxes will arrive in quantities of 5 on a pallet, so if you cannot get to a freight elevator in your building or have easy access from your home, you may need to make other accommodations. Please let us know if we can be of assistance.

Assemble double wall, sturdy standing wardrobe boxes according to directions, and triple tape as needed. Secure the hanging bar, and once the box is full, please tape down the hangers onto the bar so they do not fall off during transport.

Mark each appropriate side of your boxes with ↑↑THIS SIDE UP ↑↑and FRAGILE as needed. Always prepare boxes while thinking proactively to protect the items during shipping.

BEST PRACTICES: Clothing

Prepare a clean, flat surface to work on, and always wash your hands before handling textiles. You can also wear nitrile or cotton gloves while packing your items, if you prefer.

Use a generous amount of tissue while packing. Always place heavy or bulky items in the bottom of the box, progressing to lighter, more delicate items on the top.  Separate dark from light colors and suede from denim wherever possible to prevent dangerous color transfer.

Garde Robe recommends caution for garments made of more delicate materials that may need their own bag or a few sheets of tissue between garments within a bag for added protection. Particular care should be taken with suede, leather, patent leather, and velvet. Please be aware that not all materials will travel well in a tightly packed box, and delicate materials such as these are more prone to surface indentations.  

If hanging clothing needs to be folded down and included in the regular packing boxes, not the standing wardrobe boxes, we recommend that you remove the hangers so they do not puncture or otherwise damage the fabric. Keep extra layers of paper or tissue or even light cardboard between the garment bag of hanging items and the tissue wrapped folded items.

We do not necessarily need to have the items packed and shipped with their hangers. You may decide whether to store your items on your personal hangers, or to have them switched over to Garde Robe archival hangers. Once you have prepared your items, carefully bag them in the appropriately sized garment bag, and slide them into the hanging wardrobe box

PACKING: Using Tissue

Use tissue generously throughout the packing process to protect your items. You should layer tissue between garments to prevent color transfer and snags. All accessories should be wrapped thoroughly to prevent scuffs and other damage.

Ensure that accompanying items which might have sharp ends, such as brooches, belts, and other attachments, are removed from garments and tissue-wrapped, with a note informing us to which garment it belongs. You can crumple tissue into loose balls to fill space and provide support to boxed garments.

Using an accordion folding method, you can create a tissue “arm” to stuff out the sleeves of blazers, dress shirts, and long sleeved tops.

Your Wardrobe Manager will initially follow up with you upon your items’ arrival at Garde Robe. Once the items have been inspected, catalogued, and photographed for your Cyber Closet, your Wardrobe Manager will follow up again with a detailed Pick Up Verification email.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any further questions you may have, and we look forward to hearing from you once your items are packed and ready to ship!

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