If you’re downsizing or living somewhere temporarily, you may need to keep some of your items in storage. But not every item is right for storage. When you retrieve your belongings, you want to see them in the same condition they were in when you first placed them in your unit.
Which items are okay to store, and which aren’t? And what can you do to ensure they stay intact? Below, we provide the answers.
If you’re not careful, humidity can cause your books to mold. Dry weather can hurt books, too, by causing the paper to become brittle. To prevent either situation, keep your books in a climate-controlled storage unit.
The box you store your books in is important as well. Choose boxes free of acid and lignin, which can damage your books.
Finally, don’t place your books directly on the floor, where they’re most susceptible to water damage. Instead, place boxes of books on top of wooden pallets.
Storage units are secured and protected. Even so, they’re not the safest places to keep your cash. Instead, deposit the cash at your bank or place it in a safe deposit box.
Clothing should hold up well in a storage unit. Make sure to place the clothes in a plastic storage container or a suitcase rather than a cardboard box. The acid in cardboard boxes could damage your clothes, and insects could chew the cardboard.
Make sure your clothes are completely dry before storing them, since bacteria and mold could grow on damp clothing.
Most storage companies do not allow you store firearms or explosives in your storage unit, as they could set off and damage the unit. Instead, keep your firearms in a gun safe at home.
The same no-storage policy applies to hazardous or flammable waste like lead paint, petroleum, propane, gasoline, kerosene, and asbestos.
Food quickly spoils in a storage unit, growing mold and bacteria and attracting insects. However, canned food is okay to store.
For the most part, your furniture should be safe in storage. But unprotected furniture can sustain damage from moisture, dust, and light, so cover it with moving blankets or furniture pads.
Wood furniture is the trickiest to store. Wood can dry out while in storage, so you should add furniture polish before placing it in your unit. Avoid stacking wood furniture on top of other objects, because your furniture could cause them to crack. However, you shouldn’t place it directly on the floor either, since it could sustain water damage. Your best option is to place your wood furniture on top of blocks or planks.
Paper and Documents
You should keep sensitive documents such as passports and social security cards in your home, preferably in a safe. This method ensures you’ll be able to get to them quickly in an emergency.
But what about less-important documents that you still want to save? Place the documents in a locked document storage box, file cabinet, or safe and then place that container in storage. A climate-controlled unit will protect your documents from damage.
Photos can easily fade and crack while in storage. Your best bet is to scan each photo and save the digital files on your computer.
You can store the original photos if you place them in an album or another photo storage container. Choose a photo container that’s passed the Photographic Activity Test, meaning it’s built to stay intact in different temperatures and climates.
Don’t put rubber bands or paper clips over your photos, because they can damage your photos.
If you follow these guidelines, you can keep your belongings in optimum condition. If you have questions
about whether to store a particular item, talk to Midway Moving & Storage.