Before you put anything into storage for any length of time, you should make sure that it’s clean and dry. This prevents any mould from forming, either from residual dampness in the air or from other particles left hanging around. The two main culprits for this are clothes – which are often stored either dirty or not completely dry (leading to mildew or a bad smell), or kitchen items, which are often caked in food or grease. Left in a dark storage unit for a long time, this can lead to a widespread mould problem, which can not only ruin the things in your unit, but it presents a pretty significant health hazard to anyone else in the area. So before you store anything, make sure it has been thoroughly cleaned and completely dried.
Properly packing your belongings is the first step to making sure they’re secure while you’re away. The last thing you want is your boxes caving in, or your clothes to be eaten by mould or moths while you’re away. So, try to avoid packing things in plastic bags, as plastic can induce moisture build-up inside the bag, and you could end up opening up a bag of mildew when you come back. Instead, opt for strong and secure boxes that can be stacked without damaging their structural integrity. Make sure every item you pack is packaged securely to prevent damage, and is stored in an appropriate solution. A few kinds of item will need some extra attention.
Delicate items: Delicate items will need to be wrapped carefully in bubble wrap, newspaper or packing paper, and placed in a box that’s then filled with filler material so they don’t roll around and get damaged. Make sure these boxes are on top of the stack, and not shoved near the bottom.
Clothing: If you’re storing a large number of clothes, it’s worth buying a specific clothing box or wardrobe box for them. These allow you to hang your clothes in garment bags, rather than shoved into a box or binbag. Storing clothing in bin bags allows moisture to build up, and will result in damp, mould, and ruined clothes.
If you’re storing items for a long time, then you need to consider every part of the environment – including the floor. The flooring of most self-storage units will be concrete, which not only makes it cold, but means it won’t absorb any spillages, sweat or condensation that gathers in the unit. So to ensure your items are properly protected, we recommend you cover the floor with a canvas tarp or a sheet to keep them separated from the floor. You can also install shelves and store your items above the ground, if you have the space to do that. This allows for airflow to continue throughout the unit and around your items, as well as keeping items off a damp floor.
The good thing about self-storage is that once you’ve moved in you can just lock your unit and leave it alone for as long as you like (as long as your bill is paid). It allows you to put the items out of your mind, and focus on other things. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about it altogether. You should still be periodically checking in on your unit and making sure that everything is as it should be. This doesn’t have to be a big job – just open up the unit and take a quick look around, make sure nothing is damaged or damp, and then lock it back up again. If you’re storing because you aren’t in the country for a while, it’s a good idea to ask someone you trust to check in on your belongings every now and then, so you can be sure your belongings are safe and sound.
At Blue Box Self Storage, we are always happy to help you work out what storage solution is right for you. If you would like to know more about long-term storage, or just want some advice on storage, we would love to hear from you. Just get in touch today to arrange a chat with one of our team.