If you have any fur or leather items in your closet, you might have thought about putting the high-priced items in cold storage during the summer months.

Unlike regular storage, which is used while moving and for regular overflow, cold storage is used to protect furs and leather from the environment, especially the summer's excessive heat and humidity, which can lead to the drying out of oils in the garments. If you live in an area of the country that has hot, humid summers, cold storage might be a good choice for you.

Because of extra security, you can expect cold storage to be more expensive than regular storage. You will usually have the choice between full-service and self-service storage companies. It's important to remember that because of the high-priced nature of the items, you will want to look into getting your own insurance and not depend on the storage company coverage.

If fur suffers prolonged exposure to hot, humid weather, molting and in some cases, molding, can occur. Leather can crack and peel in humid conditions.

Many reputable fur and leather storage companies feature a series of large, enclosed rooms. The lack of bright light and, more importantly, direct sunlight protects the furs from color fading and discoloration.

If you leave your coat in the closet, moths can do some real damage to a fur in just a few months. In addition, if you leave the coat in the closet and the door is open, one arm of the coat may end up lighter in color than the other due to oxidation.

Besides being dark, professional cold-storage rooms also have strictly-controlled temperature and humidity levels that are monitored constantly.

Obviously, you’ll want to find a reputable business to work with. The best place to start is to take to the internet, find a list of places near you, then visit. You can also contact the retailer where you bought the item. They will usually have a list of storage facilities on hand.

Many businesses, especially dry cleaners, have set themselves up as specialists in fur storage. Although some may be, most are not. If your dry cleaner takes your coat from you for storing or cleaning and puts in a plastic bag, get out of there. This is an absolute sign that they have not been trained in handling fur garments.

What to look for in a storage facility:

  • Check out how items are stored. Fur garments should never be hung too closely to each other in order to prevent crushing; each garment should have plenty of room and be hung correctly by the shoulders from the hanger.
  • Check whether temperature and humidity controls are in place and how these are monitored.
  • Look at the storage security set up. You want to make sure your stuff is safe.
  • Ask to see the pest control log books, which show how regularly the vault is sprayed and if there have been any infestation issues in the past.

The difference between a 10-year-old coat that has been stored and one that hasn't is usually obvious, even to someone who doesn't know furs. The fur coat exposed to heat and humidity will be slightly stiffer, since its leather has lost some of its natural oils and dried out a bit. Eventually this drying will lead to cracking, tearing of the leather and excessive fur loss due to shedding.

The best advice is to lock ‘em up boys.

Related Articles:
Storage Insurance
Storage 101: What You Need to Know
Need Storage? Nine Questions You Must Ask