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Downsizing? Need extra space for your belongings?
Renting a storage unit might be the solution. If you’ve never used a storage unit before, here are some Dos and Don’ts to ensure your experience is hassle-free.
DO look into climate-controlled units
You might be tempted to go with a cheaper storage unit that does not offer climate control; however, having a consistent temperature in the unit will help protect your things from getting damaged. For example, if you have any wood furniture, high temperatures and/or humidity can cause the wood to deteriorate. Furthermore, electronics and anything else with metal components is prone to rust and malfunction when not stored in a dry, cool area.
DO organize a list
Once you’ve found a storage company that fits your needs, make two lists. One is for thinking about your new place and what items you’ll definitely be taking with you. This could be a mix of your current things with new purchases.
The other list will have everything that is going in storage. Your storage list may include bulky furniture that’s too big to move, or pieces that you are considering letting go of but are not entirely ready to give up. Seasonal decorations, clothes, and sports equipment are also great to stow away, and you can easily swap out items during the appropriate season. Once you have these lists written out, it will reduce some stress when the time comes to move everything.
DO protect your furniture
When storing your furniture, you should always protect it in some sort of wrap or film. It’s usually easiest to disassemble larger furniture pieces (i.e. tables, chairs, patio furniture) and wrap the individual components. StoreSpace recommends the added precaution of laying down a plastic sheet to prevent any dirt or dust from getting onto the furniture during the wrapping process. It’s also a good idea to give your furniture a nice deep clean before storage (though be sure that all furniture is completely dry to prevent the spread of mold).
DON’T put valuables in storage
Never put your valuables in storage. This includes any important documents, memorabilia, family heirlooms, or anything else that you’d be devastated to lose. Putting your belongings in a storage unit is not risk-free, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Moving.com says it’s not always just a matter of safety or liability; there is always the possibility of an unforeseen event that could happen on the premises that could destroy your items, like a fire, flooding, or robbery.
DON’T store plants
This might seem obvious, but it’s a good reminder. Storage units have no source of light, water, or fresh air – the essentials for a plant to thrive. Plants can also be the source of unwanted pests in your unit, so better to donate or take your plants with you. Not sure how to pack your plants? We broke it down in our “How to Move Plants Long Distance” article, which gives you all the tips and tricks you need to transport your plants safely.
DON’T store your bed without a cover
When asking people for their thoughts on what to avoid putting in storage, many advised against storing mattresses. But if you absolutely have to put your mattress(es) or box spring(s) in a storage unit, be sure to heed the following tips:
Deep clean your mattress before putting it away!
LifeStorage suggests sprinkling baking soda on the exterior to absorb any lingering odors, then vacuuming up the excess.
Once it’s completely clean, cover your mattress and/or box spring with a breathable plastic or secure mattress bag.
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