By Alyssa Cody, Storage.com

Most knitting or quilting hobbies begin as a way to pass time and avoid idle hands. Soon enough, there’s an overgrown collection of yarn or fabric around your home, and you can’t find anywhere to keep it. Before the producer of TLC’s Hoarders comes knocking on your door, you might want to consider a new place to store additional knitting or quilting supplies—like mini storage.

The materials you purchase for knitting and quilting are investments that require a safe storage environment in order to maintain the quality of the yarn or fabric. There are several environmental risks that could potentially damage yarn or fabric, including pests, mold, and mildew. Fortunately, a storage unit with the proper setup can shield your materials from those risks.

Protecting Your Supplies from Pests While in Storage

Clothes moths and carpet beetles are a danger to your knitting or quilting supplies because they eat holes in protein fibers, which are present in both yarns and fabrics. How can you stop these pests from destroying your materials in mini storage? Kevin Hauerwas, general manager of Scott County Mini Storage, suggests a unit with climate control.

Pests tend to favor environments that are warm and moist. Since you’re able to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level in your storage unit with climate control, it’s easy to keep pests out by creating an atmosphere that’s cool and dry.

“You should also ask your facility about their pest control,” Hauerwas says. “We hire a company to spray for pests on a monthly basis to take care of everything from insects to mice.”

Don’t just leave the pest control to the storage facility, though. You should be proactive about preventing them from getting to your items. Caroline Duecy, collection curator at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, Neb., sets up pest traps that are monitored regularly.

“If there’s just one [pest] in the trap, I’ll pay extra close attention for the next month,” says Duecy. “If there are more, I’ll immediately call pest control.”

Setting traps around the walls of your storage unit should do the trick. And with regular monitoring, you’ll be able to address any issues you come across with the storage facility operator or manager.

The Best Temperature and Humidity Levels for Yarn and Fabric

So you know you need climate-controlled storage to protect your knitting or quilting materials from pests. However, climate control is equally important for creating a storage environment that prevents mold and mildew growth.

When it comes to finding a good temperature for yarn or fabric storage, Duecy says the museum maintains temperatures in the 65-75°F region. “But we strive for 68°F as the optimal temperature,” she adds.

But it’s humidity that’s the main worry with mold and mildew growth, as poor circulation paired with warm, moist air can cause these issues to appear. Duecy advises keeping humidity levels between 45% and 65% to prevent this. Also, she suggests using a dehumidifier in your unit if the humidity levels struggle to remain below 65%.

Everything from climate upkeep to pest prevention is necessary to consider when you store knitting or quilting supplies. Being thorough with storage can prolong the life of your supplies until you’re ready to craft your next masterpiece.

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Alyssa Cody is a member of the content team at Storage.com, producing blogs to help storage renters make the most of their storage experience. Alyssa often writes about hobby-related storage topics, from yoga to knitting. In her spare time, you can find her nose deep in a good book or finding new running trails in the Lincoln area.