5 Steps To Preparing Your Items For Long Term Storage
If you intend to store your items for the long term, then the first thing you need to do is get a long-term storage unit. If you’ve already done that, then congratulations, you’ve already accomplished 50 percent of what needs to be done. What about the other 50 percent?
For the other 50 percent, you have to follow 5 simple steps to prepare your items for long-term storage. Why go through these steps? Different people have varying materials, including clothes, furniture, and antiques. If you don’t prepare these items for storage, they may lose their quality.
Furniture in particular that has gathered a lot of dust may become scratched. Exposure to moisture may destroy the quality and condition of your leather furniture, shoes, or other items. All in all, it’s very important that you prepare your items before self-storage. So, let’s get to the…
Steps You Should Follow to Prepare Your Items for Long-Term Storage
The first few steps will revolve around cleaning and while the latter steps will revolve around packing, and moving. We’ll also talk about some things that you need to account for before moving your belongings into storage. That’s enough dilly-dallying for now. Let’s get on with the steps.
- Analyze Your Belongings
- Clean Your Items
- Protect And Pack
- Label Every Box
- Protect Against Moisture And Temperature
Step 1 – Analyze Your Belongings
By analyzing, we mean taking stock of the things you’re storing. Categorize your items. If you’re downsizing, then use some good tips for downsizing your home. Once you understand what you need to store, try to understand the materials you’re working with. If you have furniture, look up the material they’re made of. Is it hardwood, particleboard, MDF, pure lumber, veneer sheets, or anything else?
If you’re storing electronics, then take account of what your electronics include. Do they contain flammable liquids (Like Batteries), or any other reactive metals? If you’re storing fabrics or shoes, then understand what they’re made of. Is it leather, cotton, or silk?
Here’s a quick list of questions and resolutions that you should address for each type of item.
- What is the item made of? You can do a reverse image search on Google, or just use the product’s name. If you’re storing clothes or other everyday items, then just check their tags. Most items come with a tag that explains the materials they’re made of. Knowing the material type will help you with Steps 2 and 3.
- Is the material fragile, like glass? If yes, then you’ll need to take extra care in the packing process. The last thing you want is to damage your pristine chinaware or antiques while storing them.
- Can you disassemble the items? Most large furniture items can be disassembled with a bit of effort. It makes packing easier and prevents items from being damaged. All it takes is twisting a few screws, and turning some bolts.
- Have you emptied the things that need to be stored? Empty the drawers, pockets, and other compartments of your belongings before storing them. You don’t want to accidentally store your wedding ring with your overcoat in a storage unit for two years!
- Does the item include any abrasive or fire-hazard materials?
If any of the items that you’re putting in long-term storage include any flammable items, then remove those components. For example, removing the battery or oil from an old lamp. It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s a necessary step that you need to take. Now, onwards to…
Step 2 – Cleaning Your Items
You need to clean your belongings before storing them, for several reasons. You can’t store dirty clothes and shoes straight in storage, because they’re going to smell like a medieval battlefield by the time you take them out.
If you don’t clean your furniture for storage, it could develop some stubborn stains and lose its luster. If you don’t clean your refrigerator or rubber materials, they could develop mold or mildew. Trust us, it’s a good idea to clean before storing items long-term.
The important question is: How do you clean your belongings? This is where your analysis comes into play. If you know the materials your belongings are made of, you can easily find and use the right materials to clean them.
If you weren’t able to find the material type, don’t worry, we still have a few solutions for you. Start your cleaning process with dusting and drying. Irrespective of the material type, dust and dry them thoroughly. Let no speck of dust remain under your watchful gaze.
Once you’ve done that, move on to the actual cleaning bit. Bear with us, it isn’t that hard. In fact, we’ll make it even simpler:
- For Wooden Furniture: Use a weak or mild cleaning solution. You can buy a cleaning solution and dilute it in a bucket of water (Deionized, preferably). Use a soft cloth and your diluted solution to rub off any stains on your furniture.If the stains persist, add a bit more of the cleaning solution to the bucket to make it more concentrated. Repeat the cleaning process until all of your furniture is spotless. Once that’s done, use a sealing or protective coat on your furniture. You can get any XYZ sealing coat from your mall or hardware store.You should also learn more about How Long Can You Store Furniture in Self Storage. It will help answer most of your questions if you’re planning to store a lot of furniture.
- For Leather Materials: If you have leather shoes, belts, or furniture with leather parts, clean them with an adequate mild cleaning agent. It’s important to keep leather away from concentrated solutions because it could reduce the quality or damage the material and color.Furthermore, never use a washing machine to wash leather-based materials. Different types of leather require different cleaning methods, and we recommend more research before jumping to a conclusion.
- For Fabrics: You need to be careful about sterilizing and cleaning, to store your clothes for a long time. Clothes and other fabrics are generally easier to clean. You can use the tags attached to the cloth to identify the materials they are made of. Most tags also include information about optimal cleaning and drying conditions.Ideally, you should separate them by color before washing them. Use a light detergent, and press them according to the optimal conditions. If you don’t want to go through the extra laundry day, just give them to some good dry cleaners.
- For Electronics: Naturally, you can’t use water or classic cleaning solutions to sanitize your electronics for long periods of storage. The first thing that you need to do is remove any batteries; otherwise, you might be in for a SHOCKING surprise.Use a soft cloth to clean the insides of your electronics. Use cotton swabs to remove dirt and debris from narrow nooks and crannies. Refrigerators have sealing rubber around the doors, please clean them, to avoid mold formation.
Step 3 – Protect and Pack
Cleaning is an important preparation step, but so is packing and protection. If you have any fragile items like glass, chinaware, or marble, use bubble wrap. We also recommend using bubble wrap to cover any sharp edges, to prevent chipping. Use a plastic or fabric cover for larger materials.
If you have large items that can be disassembled, then take them apart. Having smaller pieces means it’ll take less storage area, and will be safer to transport and store. Usually, you just have to use some standard handy tools and instruments to remove the nuts and bolts. Place the nuts, bolts, and screws in a zipped bag and label them.
Store smaller items in adequate packing boxes. And please don’t keep sharp objects in a box without covering them. We’ve seen our fair share of clothes, shoes, and glasses, scratched and torn because of forks, knives, and other sharp tips. Moreover, we do not recommend using plastic bags for packing.
Typically, it damages the shape of the products, and is prone to tearing. If you don’t have the right boxes, containers, crates, or packaging materials, don’t worry. STORED offers packing materials, that you can get for a small extra price. Our team of experts can also help you pack your items properly.
Step 4 – Label Every Box
Numerous people don’t label their boxes, and it leads to confusion down the road. Please label each box according to the content inside it. If it has fragile materials inside, then label it accordingly so that the movers handle it will extra care.
And while you’re labeling and packing your belongings, make a list of everything you’re moving into storage. It will help you keep track of things and will serve as a sort of improvised inventory. It isn’t necessary and won’t change things significantly, but having an inventory can still help.
You can use your list to double-check the items you’re storing. Retrieve anything that you may have added into a box accidentally. You can also compare your list with STORED’s online inventory, to double-check what you’ve entrusted to us.
Step 5 – Protect Against Temperature and Moisture
If you intend to store your items in a classic self-storage unit, then please ensure that you take the necessary steps to protect your items from the elements. Long-term exposure to extreme heat and moisture can lead to items being damaged. Metal items can develop rust, while plastics can deform.
For moisture, you can opt to use a tarp. Cover the concrete floor of your self-storage unit with a tarp to minimize moisture seepage. As for the heat, you can’t do much about that. Most traditional self-storage units are alternative ovens because of their metal roofs.
The only thing you can do realistically is to take advantage of a climate-controlled storage unit. We at STORED offer climate-controlled storage units because we know how damaging a few extra degrees can get. With STORED, you can get the peace of mind you want, need, and deserve.
We control the moisture and temperature of the interior, to keep your belongings secure, safe, and in good condition for a very long time. We also keep your items safe from pests, and other vermin.
Choose STORED For Long-Term Storage
STORED isn’t your conventional storage company. We at STORED have developed a model that takes the “self” out of self-storage. What’s the point in doing all the heavy lifting alone, when you can have a team of experts do it for you? How does it work?
- Use our online booking feature to choose a storage unit based on your needs. We have a visualization tool that can help you select the right unit based on your needs.
- Select your storage plan, and book a time slot for pickup. Our two-person team of expert movers will show up at your doorstep to pick up your belongings.
- They can help you pack things, and even give you the correct packing materials. Once, everything is packed, they will move all of your belongings safely to our super-secure units.
- You can use our online inventory tool on your dashboard to keep track of everything you’ve stored with us.
- Whenever you require something back, just place a retrieve request, and we’ll send everything back to your desired address. If you’ve moved abroad, then we’ll arrange an international relocation solution just for you.
That’s all it takes to store your items in the safest and most secure way possible. If you require any information or help, please reach out. Our friendly customer support would be glad to help you. So contact us today, to get your precious belongings STORED the right way!
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