How to Keep Your Items in Good Repair When in Self-Storage

Posted on: 13 May 2016

Keeping your items in self-storage can open up space in your home and even allow you to downsize to a smaller apartment or house; it can also offer more security than your own garage, since many self-storage businesses have 24-hour monitoring and a locked gate around the premises. When you do put items in self-storage you want to ensure they stay in good repair, which will mean doing more than just putting them into the space and locking the door behind you. Note a few tips for ensuring your items are protected when stored.

1. Clean beforehand

It's good to clean out and clean off any appliances you might be storing, as well as pots and pans and anything holding kitchen grease and food particles. Grease, oil, and food parts can easily attract bugs and rodents, and these can start chewing through power cords of your refrigerator or oven, and leave behind droppings and other germs and bacteria. Thoroughly clean and sanitize stovetops, the inside of refrigerators, microwaves, and all your kitchen items before storing them even if you're putting pots and pans in plastic totes and containers, as roaches and other pests can find the tiniest of openings to crawl through when they are searching for a food source.

2. Avoid newspaper

Newspaper may seem like an easy and affordable wrap for your clothes, dishes, knickknacks and other such items, but for long-term storage, you might want to think twice about using it. The ink on newspaper can eventually get transferred to virtually any surface, leaving behind stains. This is especially true in humid areas where the moisture might cause the ink to run. Use acid-free paper for clothes and artwork, and bubble wrap rather than newspaper for other items in a self-storage unit.

3. Check your items regularly

Always check your items in self-storage regularly, no matter how securely they seem to be stored. Note if cardboard boxes seem to be drooping, a sign that they're absorbing moisture and not protecting the items inside. Look for signs of rodents and put down mousetraps if needed, or ask the storage rental agency if they manage pest control. If your clothes start to smell a bit musty, you might want to invest the time to unpack them and have them laundered, and then repack them. This will keep them from allowing mold and mildew to grow and having the items ruined over time.