Friday, 4 April 2014

Cosplay Storage Ideas and Tips

Ok so one of the things we all can probably agree on is that after a few years of cosplaying, storing it all sucks! I have a costuming habit that goes back to circa 1994 so I built up A LOT of stuff. Sadly I moved house many times to increasingly smaller houses. Houses in the West Midlands are TINY compared to back in Wales. I used to have a spare room back home with a room just for music and costumes and it was full! That's pretty much the only thing I miss about Wales though lol! So sadly most of my costumes like Excaliber ended up in the bin *sob*.

Four years ago we managed to scrape enough money together to buy our own house and now there are 5 of us squeezed into a small three bedroom ex-council house. We all have hobbies and there is simply not enough space to store everything we want to. The house was beginning to look like an episode of Hoarders so a mad binning everything spree went on for a while. Then I had the idea of putting in a big loft hatch! This cost me about £300 with installation fees. I did this a couple of years back but when we had the house rewired the electricians ballsed up and didn't put a light up there so it's just been used for Christmas decorations since then.

However I figured it was time to make use of the space! One day I hope this will be my cosplay HQ...but that costs a lot of money so meh. But I headed to B&Q and bought a single pack of loft boards and stuck a few down. I, of course, did this all wrong....learn from my fail folks! You are supposed to cut the boards down so that they end on the middle of a joist, so the next ones are also starting on the middle of a joist. Seems bloody obvious now, eventually I will pull them up and do it properly but for now it's going to have to do. I just laid and nailed 4. The rest I've just stuck over the joists to store boxes on.

But just these 4 boards allowed me to put a rail in the loft. I got a rail from Ikea for £6 and some dress bag covers and hangers for a few pounds too. I also bought an XL dress bag on ebay for my red ballgown as there was no squeezing it in a standard one, this cost me about £8 but was well worth it to have the dress stored properly. Having everything on a rail is so much better than having everything squashed in bags on top of the wardrobe! I need to get a couple more long bags for coats though.

I also saved this chest of drawers that was getting thrown out. I have accessories and masks in the top drawer, wigs in the second, corsets in the third and the bottom one for skirts. 

I've also put some hooks up for weapons and other bits and pieces. A good tip is to save the zip up bags from pillows/bedding ect for cosplay items, these are really great as they keep the dust off, have a handle for carrying and a clear panel so you can see what's inside. 

The last thing was I picked up a clip on light from Asda for under a fiver so I can actually see everything without finding a torch.

This space is definitely not pretty and is a little on the hazardous side but it does make everything organised and easy to find. It's like my own personal cosplay shop.

I'm going to work on eventually boarding the whole attic floor and once I've done that I can put a table up there and have my sewing machine on there. Once I have this little bit of dedicated space in the house I'd be able to do some big projects so the sooner the better!

Top tips for storing cosplay

First think if you really need to keep it - if space is an issue and if you are not planning to wear it again it's better to stick it on ebay and use the money for your next project. 

Keep all the parts of your costume together where possible- I put little bags with the accessories in on the hangers inside dress bags. 

Make sure your storage area is dry - be careful with attics or garages that are in any way damp, natural fibers and papier mache love to rot and grow mold if there is moisture. 

Keep it organised - no point keeping stuff if you can't actually find anything. If your stuff is in an awkward place consider taking pictures of what's inside the box or bag before it gets stored away.