As it gets cooler and cooler outside and the season turns to autumn, we’ll all probably be spending less time outside. Can our outdoor and patio furniture take the exposure to low temperatures and moisture? It depends on the type of furniture and whether the pieces have been prepared to take the extreme conditions that autumn and winter may bring.
It’s important to maintain proper care for your wicker, wood, and metal items to make them last for years to come. This blog will let you know which furniture you need to bring inside or place in storage and how you can weatherize the rest.
Winter Care for Outdoor Wicker Furniture
- Synthetic wicker furniture can be kept outdoors
- Natural wicker furniture needs to be stored indoors
- Storage area with low sunlight, humidity, and moisture recommended
The first thing you need to do is find out if your wicker furniture is made of natural or synthetic materials because care instructions will vary between the two. Check any packing materials you may have or evaluate it yourself. Synthetic wicker will feel and smell similar to plastic. Natural wicker is like a woven fiber.
Synthetic wicker furniture is considered strong and sturdy. You can leave it on the front porch in almost any weather conditions and will continue to stand without trouble.
Natural wicker furniture, on the other hand, is extremely sensitive. It can easily become damaged, worn, and cracked over time, especially in poor weather conditions. Too much direct sunlight and water will harm these pieces.
It’s important to bring natural wicker furniture inside or place it in self storage for the winter season if you want proper preservation. Keep them in a room with low sunlight and low humidity or a climate controlled indoor self storage unit. Garages or basements are not recommended because the furniture could still be exposed to moisture and humidity.
Winter Care for Outdoor Wood Furniture
- Wooden furniture can be kept outdoors only if cleaned and sealed
- Use a water sealant for extra protection
- Place indoors or in storage if it will not be used
Wood furniture can be kept outside during the colder months if you clean and seal it properly. Any wooden furniture that won’t be used much at all during the winter is better off being brought indoors or kept in a self storage unit. However, if you do plan on using these pieces outside, here’s how to properly protect them:
First, identify the wood type and make sure to select the proper cleanser as wooden materials can be sensitive to strong chemical solutions. Always test a small area before continuing as the wrong cleanser can ruin wood material. Sometimes it’s better to start with water and a mild soap and work your way up from there if a deeper cleaning is needed.
Next, dust off the piece before gently cleaning with a cloth, then seal with a protective finish. The clear seal will make sure it stays preserved throughout the colder months. For extra protection, you can also add a water sealant to keep out moisture.
Winter Care for Outdoor Metal Furniture
- Metal furniture can be kept outdoors only if sealed properly
- Use a sealant designed to keep out rust
- Place indoors or in storage if it will not be used much
The main issue with keeping metal furniture outdoors throughout the colder months is rust. Moisture from rain or snow mixed with wind can easily degrade the quality of metal items. The same rule applies as for wooden items: If you will not be using it often, it’s better to bring it indoors or place it in a self storage unit. However, it can be used outdoors all winter with the proper protective measures. Make sure to clean and seal it with a product to prevent rust and it can stay outdoors all winter long.
Outdoor Furniture Storage Near Reading, PA
Our tenants at DAK often store indoor and outdoor furniture. In fact, it could be one of the top categories of items we house. Seasonal self storage is a great solution for patio and outdoor furniture during the colder time of the year. If you won’t be using your furniture much during the winter or don’t want to take the time to seal it, bring it over to DAK and we will keep it safe and secure. Our units will provide the extra space you need and climate controlled indoor units can keep it extra preserved if needed.
DAK Self Storage supports local entrepreneurs and small business owners. As a small business ourself, we believe that locally-owned companies can provide quality service and a stronger sense of community. We encourage Reading and Berks County residents to support the local economy by shopping small whenever possible. This includes boutiques, clothing stores, and consignment shops. If you sell clothing and accessories nearby Leesport, PA, we are happy to offer an affordable solution to your storage needs.
Benefits of Self Storage for Boutiques and Clothing Stores
Clothing boutiques excel by offering unique, quality items to customers with personalized service. Some boutiques focus on the cutting edge of fashion and consistently update the selection of products. Others prefer to seek specialty items to stock the shelves. However you choose to operate your shop, you are likely to have inventory storage and stocking issues at one point or another.
Storage at a storefront location can be difficult and expensive to come by. Any extra space often needs to be devoted to a dressing room, cash register, or back office. This can be especially problematic when you are just starting out or are located in a big city. Prime boutique locations on Penn Street, for example, are compact and come with a high amount of rent. In addition, small business owners often want to invest the most in a quality product and find other ways to cut costs. The best clothing and accessories can come at a high expense and will take priority over a large storefront.
Solutions for Extra and Offseason Inventory
If you have too much inventory to display or need to take seasonal items off the shelves, consider self storage for the extra items. It can be tempting to store excess products at home, but this can only be a temporary solution. Eventually the items will outgrow the space or become overwhelming to family members. Plus, when you work hard during the day, you don’t want your work following you home. Another easy option is to keep merchandise in the back office for a time. But this can quickly become too cluttered and stressful. A productive work space is one that is clean and neat.
Some boutiques try to mimic corporate stores by placing offseason items on sale just to clear them out quickly. However, big businesses are in a much better place to take a loss than local entrepreneurs. If you’d rather not lose money, self storage is a convenient solution to stash items until they come back in season.
Self Storage Near Reading, PA
Renting a self storage unit can be beneficial to small boutiques, clothing stores, and consignment shops in Berks County. It is a safe, clean, and secure, way to declutter and storefront and accommodate excess or offseason merchandise. Self storage can also offer a location for sales documents and other recordkeeping materials.
DAK Self Storage offers affordable storage to clothing store owners in Berks County. Contact us today to rent a unit and provide a secure, local space for your inventory. Be sure to read up on the proper way to store clothing when renting your unit.
Fall is one of the busiest seasons. Transitioning from an easygoing summer into a scheduled back to school time full of activities and events. The most difficult thing may be establishing and adjusting to a different routine. One thing that can help make that a smoother process is making sure your home is organized and ready for the new season.
Find time in your daily routine to organize and complete some of the following tasks. Even just 15 minutes a day to devote to organization can be enough. Think about this process in tiny increments rather than all at once so it does not become overwhelming. That idea can be carried over and practiced during the entire season: Why not clean for just a few minutes each day rather than spending an entire Saturday straightening up? In the long run you will save time and effort spent sorting through clutter to find the things that you need. Check out these simple home organizing tips for fall.
Outdoor Fall Preparation Ideas
The outdoor area of your home will need to undergo some easy changes to transition from summer to fall and winter. You’ll probably be spending more time indoors as the cold weather comes in and should prepare the exterior of your home for that.
The first thing to do is pack up or winterize patio furniture. Any soft furniture should be put in self storage, but certain wooden, metal, and wicker pieces can be kept outdoors with the proper preparation. Clean, weatherize, and make any repairs to the deck and exterior of the home if needed. Clean out the garage if it has gathered clutter over the summer months. Move any stuff to self storage so you have space to park your cars once the cold moves in. Now is the time to do this while the weather’s still nice and before snow and sleet arrives.
You can get extra festive with a scarecrow, pumpkins, a fall wreath, or other decorations. Seasonal autumn plants will also add a nice touch.
Indoor Organization and Decor Tips for Fall
Another thing to consider is whether you want to change up your home decor for fall. Nature-inspired themes and warm colors such as different shades of orange, red, and yellow are a classic choice for this season. For a more modern look, incorporate this year’s trends of neutrals, dark purples, metallics, and animal prints.
For the living room, bringing out warm blankets, switching out throw pillows, and updating other accessories are easy ways to get in the fall frame of mind.
The bedroom can be updated with fall-inspired bedding and heavier blankets. If you don’t already, keeping two different comforters (one for fall, one for spring) and changing them seasonally can help keep your decor fresh.
Moving into the closet, transition your warmer weather clothes to colder weather clothes and sort through your wardrobe while you are at it. It’s a convenient time to donate anything you haven’t worn in a while so you don’t have to waste space storing it. Everything’s that left can be placed in self storage for the winter.
Fall Organization Tips for Children
Transitioning to fall with children can be even busier because of school schedules. You need to organize your home and life to prepare for fall while also getting kids back on their school schedules. Set up a designated area for children’s backpacks so that these are easy to find in the morning to make things go a little more smoothly. This could be hooks near the front door or a basket in the laundry room. Choose an area that will be convenient and useful for your family and home set up. Pick out one area for homework and school projects, such as their bedroom or a study. That way everything will be in one place and easy to gather in the morning. It’s the worst when a child forgets a textbook or an assignment they worked hard on!
Seasonal Self Storage in Berks County, PA
As you prepare your home for autumn, you will probably come across some items you won’t need to use for a few months. Summer sports equipment, outdoor furniture, and warm weather clothing are just some examples. Anything that is taking up extra space in your home can potentially disrupt your schedule and add to the stress. DAK Self storage is a convenient and affordable solution to your seasonal storage needs. We are located in Leesport and easily accessible for residents of Kutztown, Reading, and across Berks County. Please contact us with any questions or browse available units today.
DAK is a privately owned self storage facility, not just a franchise in a large chain. As such, we know what it means to care for the belongings of entrepreneurs who store with us. Our security features include:
- Fence enclosed facility
- Accessible by keypad gate only, during operating hours
- 24/7 video surveillance system that uses over 20 cameras
- Every storage unit protected by a tamper resistant lock
- Additional keypad access on indoor units
- Affordable self storage insurance
Entrepreneurs in Berks County can be confident that we take as many precautions as possible, including offering independent storage insurance. However, how you organize and pack your items for storage is up to you. Some items can be prone to damage if the proper attention is not given to store them correctly. We offer our best advice and tips to store merchandise for optimal quality and preservation.
Clothing and Garment Storage
- Avoid plastic bags
- Choose plastic or padded hangers over wooden and wire
- Keep fabric away from light and heat
- Always clean before storing
If your merchandise is shipped from a manufacturer, it probably comes in plastic bags. Remove the items from the packaging as soon as possible because plastic bags trap moisture that can cause mold, smells, or discoloring.
Avoid cardboard boxes in less you are storing items extremely short term (a few days to a week) as this material is acidic and can attract bugs. Place clothes that can be folded neatly in a sealable plastic container or bin to avoid distortion. Balance the weight by keeping some heavy and some light items in each bin as the weight of large sweaters and coats can quickly add up. Arrange heavier and bulkier items in the bottom and lighter items on top. Choose plastic or padded hangers for other garments because wooden and wire hangers can stretch and misshapen. Wrap particularly fragile items in unbleached muslin or sheets of acid-free tissue paper.
Keep garments out of the light and away from heat. All storage are units are windowless, but some outdoor units may be exposed to heat. Choose indoor units when storing long term, during the hottest time of the year, or particularly fragile items. Indoor units allow you to control the temperature and humidity level to keep garments optimally preserved.
Clean items before storing if you operate a consignment shop, vintage store, or produce your own items. Any stains or leftover oils that appear invisible can spread or darken during the time in storage.
Homemade Furniture Storage
- Rent an indoor unit to stop heat damage
- Properly clean furniture before placing in storage
- Avoid using plastic covers on furniture
A common mistake people make when storing furniture is not cleaning it first. Storing furniture that hasn’t been cleaned has a greater chance of growing mold, causing odor, and attracting bugs. This happens because of bacteria and body oils leftover on the furniture.
Use sheets, blankets, and cloth covers to protect your furniture from dust. Using plastic materials to cover furniture will minimize airflow and cause moisture and odor.
Airflow around furniture is very important in preserving it and preventing damage. For best results, make sure your storage unit is large enough for there to be walking space between each item.
Secondhand Book Storage
- Use plastic bins to transport books
- Pack books by stacking them or standing them upright
- If using a cardboard box, tape the top and bottom to prevent breakage
- Store in cool, dry environment
When transporting or storing two or more books, it is best to use small plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes. By using plastic, you avoid the possibility of the box breaking from the weight of the books and the books will be better protected against damage.
To protect your books from bending and tearing during transportation, pack them by stacking them on top of one another or by standing them individually up right. To stop books from moving around, fill up empty space with bubble wrap or foam peanuts. You can also use acid-free paper or cardboard as a barrier between books to prevent rub off damage or dents.
If you don’t have access to plastic bins and are limited to a cardboard box, you want to securely tape the top and bottom of the boxes to make them stronger and help prevent the books from falling through.
For optimal preservation, store your books in a cool, dry environment. If your books will be stored for long term, you should consider keeping them in a climate-controlled storage unit.
Tech and Electronic Merchandise Storage
- Keep items upright and against a wall
- Cover with a sheet or blanket
- Never lie flat or place anything on top
Computers, televisions, DVD players and other electronic items are fairly easy to store. Generally this type of merchandise is fine in an outdoor unit, but use your discretion. Items that are sensitive to heat or will be stored long term should be place in an indoor unit. Place merchandise towards the back and up against a wall if possible. Position items upright and avoid placing anything on top. Cover with a sheet for protection.
Fragile Merchandise Storage
- Choose a climate-controlled indoor unit
- Use sturdy containers and wrap items
- Don’t overpack but fill empty space with material
Choose the sturdiest container possible and consider purchasing bins specifically shaped for this type of item. For regular plastic containers or boxes, line the sides with a filler material such as bubble wrap, newspaper, or tissue paper and line the bottom with packing peanuts or towels. Cardboard or plastic dividers can help keep items steady. Wrap items and place upright in the container.
Be careful not to overpack containers as the weight can add up. At the same time, fill any empty space with material to avoid balance issues or items that shift in transit.