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Clean Your Belongings Before Storing
Give your own belongings, especially upholstered items, a good clean before bringing them into storage. Furniture, clothing, and kitchen items that don’t see frequent use can bring in bugs, mould, and other foreign substances into a storage room. Over time, these tiny storage invaders can cause big problems.
Gather Your Packing Materials
To make your packing go as smoothly as possible start by gathering proper packing supplies. Buy good quality sturdy boxes and packing materials and remember box strength degrades with use. Although you can recycle free boxes from your local shop, it’s often best to purchase boxes that are similar in size and in good repair. They will be easier to stack and access—and your items will be safer over the long term. Other items you’ll need include tape, bubble wrap, markers, labels and scissors.
To avoid breakages, fill boxes to capacity wherever possible. Boxes that are only partly filled may tip over or collapse and are more difficult to carry. Don’t be tempted to fill large boxes with heavy items such as books as they’ll quickly become impossible to carry and may break. If you do pack heavy items in a large box put in a few and then fill the box up with lighter items. Don’t make them too heavy though as you’ll have to lift them!
Dry It Out
Make sure all household appliances and things like garden hoses are drained completely before storage. Always wipe down the interiors well with something like baking soda or bleach. This will ensure you have no issues with dampness or mould in your unit. Leave the doors ajar and wrap the cords carefully. Mould brought in on appliances can spread to other items in storage.
Wrap It Up
Prevent fragile items from getting damaged by taking the time to pack and wrap them properly. Wrap all delicate or breakable items separately such as glasses, dishes, ornaments, etc. Bubble wrap is really worth the investment, but you can also wrap things in towels, dishtowels, placemats or other soft items. Mark ‘Fragile’ on any boxes containing breakable items to make sure whomever is moving the box takes extra care. Remember not to put too much weight on top of delicate and fragile items. Furniture should be covered with blankets or moving pads to protect from tears and scratches. As mattresses contain moisture, it’s really important to wrap then in proper mattress covers to avoid them going mouldy and spreading mould to other items in your storage room. Vacuum-sealed bags are great for storing your clothes or valued curtains. They also help protect against damages. Criss-cross masking tape over the glass on mirrors, artwork and photo frames. Use bubble wrap and protective cardboard, or protective corners for art. Remember to store mirrors and artwork vertical in your storage room.
Label, Label, Label
Clearly label each box with its contents and keep an inventory. Also label it on more than one side so you can quickly see what’s what. Chances are that if you’re using self storage, you don’t intend on using your items for at least a couple of months. And even though with your photographic memory you swear you’ll remember where everything is, you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget once it’s boxed and sealed. By labelling your boxes the unpacking process will be so much more efficient and less stressful. Don’t forget to face box labels towards the aisle of your storage room so you can easily read them and find your things.
Think creatively when it comes to storage. Use furniture drawers as extra boxes (these are especially good for fragile items) and use the inside of wardrobes to store boxes. Kitchen appliances such as stoves and fridges can also be used. Just make sure you leave the door slightly open for circulation. Empty bins can work to store items such as garden tools.
Reach Up High
Our storage units are between 8 and 10 feet high. Make the most of this space by stacking boxes to the ceiling. Place the heaviest boxes towards the bottom, with the lighter boxes on top. This helps stop items from breaking and boxes from crushing each another. Also store larger items vertically. A folding step stool can come in handy when accessing items stored above your head height.
Create a Pathway
Leave a pathway from the front of the unit to the back if you can so that no item is completely out of reach. You never know when you’ll need to access your items during the storage period, so organise everything in a way that makes it easy to access – just in case.
Think About Placement
Store items you’re more likely to need towards the front of your storage room, and things you know you’ll be able to live without for a while in the back. This will help you easily locate and grab them on your next visit.
Make a basic map that shows the locations of different boxes in your unit such as toys, books, winter clothes, kitchen stuff, etc. Then stick it to the wall of your storage unit.
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