There are many reasons you might find yourself in need of a storage facility. Whether you’re a pack rat, a collector, or just out of space, here are our tips to make sure you are storing your items safely and efficiently.
Finding a storage facility with proper security is the first step in keeping your belongings safe. When shopping around for self-storage make sure the facility has the following security features:
- Monitored intrusion alarms.
- Superior lighting
- Emphasis on pest control
- Property fully fenced with electronic security gate
- Personalized key code access to property
- Video camera surveillance
- Frequent security checks
- Emergency electrical backup system
Even the cleanest, most secure self-storage facility cannot protect you from many potential threats to your belongings. In general, the biggest threat is moisture. Moisture is the enemy of just about anything you might want to store, from furniture, to clothes, documents or art. The reason for this is that moisture provides the perfect opportunity for mould and mildew to thrive. When left unchecked this can cause irreparable damage to your goods.
Your best defence against moisture is to find a climate-controlled facility or at least a facility that offers climate-controlled units. This is the only fail-proof way to prevent mould and mildew.
If for some reason you cannot find a climate-controlled unit, keeping your space as “airy” as possible will assist if there is moisture in the unit. Avoid cramming your unit full of items and instead allow space between each box or item. This allows humidity and moisture to remain low, as it will keep air circulating. You should also keep items away from the walls or leaning directly into each other. You can also place items on pallets instead of directly on the floor, which also helps to keep air flowing.
When storing fabric items such as clothing, linens, and curtains, make sure they are completely dry. Instead of storing and stacking these items in boxes, choose wardrobe boxes that allow you to hang them. Even your linens and bedding can be stored on hangers. This will allow air to circulate. If by chance you have a dresser in your storage unit, store your items inside. This will help protect them from moisture while freeing up space in the unit.
One final concern is refrigerators and freezers. It is very important to ensure they are completely defrosted and cleaned before moving them into storage. Wipe them down completely and ensure every inch is dry and free from all traces of food to avoid pests being attracted to your unit. Finally, place something in the door so it remains slightly ajar to help prevent moisture build up. You can also use your fridge or freezer to store some boxes to free up more space!
Packing and Storage Prep Tips
To make the most of your storage space you’ll want to be as efficient as possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is to invest in good storage boxes of the same size and shape. The reason for this is that:
- They will be stronger to protect what’s inside
- This makes them safer to stack and unstack
- They fit together better so you save space
If you don’t have the budget to invest in proper storage boxes
, another trick is to make sure you fill each box to capacity, but not to the point where you can’t close the lid flat. Having full boxes with lids closed flat, will make it easier to stack them without the boxes collapsing.
Look for items that can be disassembled, such as larger pieces of furniture, to help maximize the space. This can also help prevent damage if you are filling the unit because it will keep items out of the way. When possible stack chairs to free up space. This also helps to protect them.
If you have books to store, they are best packed in smaller boxes or they will be too heavy to lift. Don’t store books on their spine, instead, they should be stacked flat to avoid damage. Paper should also be stored flat to avoid curling and dog ears. Boxes with paper items should always be sealed with moisture-resistant tape to ensure all openings are sealed. Finally, store files in traditional cardboard “bankers’” boxes for easy access.
Specialty Items Tips
You might also have some specialty items that require specific instructions. Some of the most common stored items include:
Make sure you lubricate the chain and derailleurs before storing a bike. You will also want to opt for a low-humidity storage unit if possible, to avoid rust. Take the pressure off the tires to avoid a permanent flat spot. Store the bike upright and if you pull out the seat to save space, plug the hole.
Climate control is important for electronics storage as contraction and expansion can cause damage.
- Metal items
From furniture to hand tools, anything metal has the tendency to rust over time if exposed to moisture. To avoid rust and corrosion lightly oil metal items with machine oil.
Nest lampshades and place them in a box if they’ll fit as it is very easy to damage the fragile wireframes.
Mattresses should be clean and dry and do well when wrapped in plastic. You can also just throw a sheet over them.
Lean mirrors on their edges and cover them with a protective blanket. To avoid damage, make sure you clearly mark that it is a mirror to help people avoid bumping it or handling it a little too rough.
- Power Tools
Make sure you thoroughly clean your power tools, taking extra care to remove all traces of sawdust and dirt. Sawdust attracts moisture which of course can cause rust and corrosion. You can also lubricate key joints and moving parts if you usually do this as part of tool maintenance and ideally store them in their original plastic case.
These tips will help you maximize space in your storage unit, protect your belongings from damage and also make your packing more efficient
For more tips and information about storing your belongings, call Abacus Storage on (289) 807-0981 or contact us here
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