Okay, storing belongings isn’t exactly rocket science. But there are some basics you’ll need to know to keep your things in good working order. Here are super simple tips to make planning, preparing, and storage as easy as possible.
- Sketch out the space and how you’ll use it. Don’t worry; you don’t need an art degree. But sketching out the basics, such as where you’ll put that massive dining table, can help you get the most out of your space.
- Determine if any furniture can be broken down. For example, can the legs be removed from a table or will the top section of the bureau come off? Some furniture can be too weak for the boxes you’ll want to put on top of it. By breaking down the furniture when possible, you create more space.
- If your space is large, consider planning for a walkway that allows access to all areas.
- Invest in good quality storage boxes with the strength to stand up to packing, moving, stacking, and unpacking.
- Label boxes in large, easy-to-read print so you’ll spend less time playing hide-and-seek in dozens of boxes. Don’t just label boxes by their individual content either. Save hassle when it’s time to move things back into the house by labeling them with name of the room they belong to.
- Pack boxes to their capacity. A partially empty box might collapse under the weight of other items, while an overly full carton makes it harder to stack additional boxes on top of it.
- Avoid a corroded mess by removing batteries from battery-operated items.
- Some items need special care before storage. Here’s a guide to preparing your valuables:
Appliances - The most important thing to remember when storing appliances is to ensure they’re clean and dry. Damp or wet appliances can easily attract mold and mildew. Remember to remove water from the hoses and internal parts of fridges, clothes washers, dishwashers, etc. You can also ensure good air circulation by securing an appliance door so it’s ajar slightly. Don’t forget to remove fragile pieces such as glass shelves in fridges, too.
Computers, TVs and other electronic equipment – Protect your electronic investment by packing these items carefully—ideally in their original cartons. The best way to protect TV’s and other equipment is by wrapping each item in bubble wrap before placing it in the box. Pad the box further by filling in any gaps, including those at the top and the bottom, with packing material or clean linens.
Clothing – Pack clothing in sturdy boxes with mothballs or a similar product to keep them safe and secure. If you’re hanging garments, choose non-rusting hangars and keep plenty of space between items to allow for proper air circulation, which is very important when storing natural fabrics like cottons, linens, and leather.
Dishes and glassware – Very fragile items should be individually wrapped in packing paper or bubble wrap. You can also place felt or packing paper between dishes to provide an extra cushion. Save space by nesting cups, bowls, and other stackable pieces when possible.
Furniture – Prevent rodents from taking up residence by vacuuming crumbs from underneath cushions as well as inside drawers and cupboards. Protect chair and table legs by wrapping them in bubble wrap. Also apply leather conditioner to leather items and furniture polish to wood furniture before storage.
Metal items – Say “no” to tarnish by wrapping silver in non-acid paper or in plastic bags. A light coating of machine oil will retard rust on chrome or cast iron items.
Mirrors, windows, artwork and other large breakables – Newspaper wrappings just aren’t enough protection for these delicate items. Invest in bubble wrap or a specially-designed flat-pack box. Don’t store these items in a flat position; instead store them in an upright position. Remember to mark them “Fragile” so in six months you don’t use them as a stepstool to reach a box on the top of a pile.
Mowers and other machinery – Protect your belongings from leaking and damage by draining fuel and oil from machinery.
- Consider which items you may need to access regularly or in the near future. Make sure those items are in the front of the space for easy access.
- Make the most of your investment by stacking all the way to the ceiling.
- Place the heaviest items on the bottom and in the back of the storage unit.
- Remember to use ladders or step stools to reach the top of the stack.
- Do not store any goods that are illegal, stolen, or perishable. Do not store goods that are explosive, toxic, hazardous, and that are risk to the property or any person (e.g.: gas, chlorine, acid, paint, petrol, or anything that can leak.) Do not store items that will attract vermin or insects.
- If you have more questions about maximizing your storage space, contact the C US 4 UR Storage team.