Proper preparation and packing of fragile items before placing them in storage is key. A little extra time and care can go a long way in preserving items like fine china, glass and crystal items, or any other breakable things you may need to store.These items are more likely to be broken in transit and while in storage. Follow these tips to increase the chances they’ll stay safe.
General Storage Conditions for Fragile Items
Glass and fragile items are prone to damage through too much fluctuation in humidity and temperature or exposure to the elements. A climate-controlled indoor unit is ideal to avoid this. Choose a unit with a steady, cool temperature. Always store fragile items in container and choose the sturdiest possible. Consider purchasing containers designed specifically for certain items (such as plates or wine glasses), especially if they will be stored long term. Always label all boxes for easier access. You don’t want to have to dig through every container and unwrap a bunch of items to get to that china you need for Thanksgiving! When loading boxes onto moving vehicles and storage units, always place the heaviest boxes at the bottom.
Preparing Fragile Items for Storage
Line the sides of your container with a solid cushion of filler material such as bubble wrap or newspaper. Line the bottom of the container with filler material, packing peanuts, or old towels. Avoid overpacking boxes because weight can easily add up and weaken the cardboard. If you’re storing in plastic, you won’t have this problem, but too much weight could make it very difficult to lift. On the other hand, avoid underpacking because this can cause items to shift and break in transit. Find a medium ground and be sure to fill in all gaps solidly with packing material.
Storing Dishes and Plates
- Avoid placing dishes flat in the box or container
- Place dishes on their sides inside the box or container and use filler material to keep them in place
- You can also purchase cardboard or plastic dividers to keep the plates steady.
Storing Cups and Glasses
- Fill cups with packing materials and wrap in bubble wrap or newspapers
- Place these upright in the storage container, as you would place them on a table
- If storing multiple items in one container, always place cups and glasses towards the top
- Be aware of breakable glass stems on wine glasses.
Moving and storing appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and microwaves can be difficult because these items are heavy and prone to damage in transit. Whether you are planning to store your appliances temporarily while you move or want them in safekeeping for future use, here are some tips for you:
General Appliance Storage Tips
- Check the instruction manual for each appliance if you still have it around. It will often have specific manufacturer’s instructions on how to prepare the appliance for moving and storage
- It’s very important to do a thorough cleaning with mild dish detergent. Any leftover food or bacteria can result in odor, mold, and bugs
- Allow every item to dry completely before storing because excess moisture can allow for odor and bacteria to grow
- If you are moving multiple items, place appliances in the moving vehicle last so they can be removed first
Moving and Storing a Refrigerator
Defrost your refrigerator three days prior to the move. Drain icemakers and water dispensers and allow them to dry completely. Remove all drawers and removable shelves for a more thorough cleaning. Wash the inside and dust the outside. Transport the refrigerator upright, and never on its side, which can lead to damage. Tape the doors shut while in trasport. Once in storage, remove tape and leave door slightly open to prevent moisture.
Moving and Storing a Stove
Remove pans and any removable shelves for a thorough cleaning. If it’s a gas stove, you’ll need to have a professional come in to turn of gas and remove piping. Keep the piping inside stove for easy access. If it’s an electric stove, you can unplug it yourself when you are ready to move it. Tape down knobs to prevent damage in transit. Tape the plug to the side of the stove for safekeeping while in storage.
Moving and Storing a Dishwasher
After cleaning, allow to air dry with door open for at least 24 hours. Remove hoses and clean separately. Wrap hoses in towels or newspaper for protection and place inside dishwasher. Tape cord to side of dishwasher for safekeeping while in storage.
Moving and Storing a Microwave
Remove glass plate or turntable and clean separately. Place the microwave in its original packaging if possible. If not, choose a heavy duty cardboard box and use filler such as bubble wrap or newspaper to prevent damage. Always tape door shut for transport.
It’s often sad to see a season go, but the next always comes with something to look forward to. Summer has sunny beach days and family barbecues, Autumn has back-to-school and warm apple cider, Winter has the holidays and cozy sweaters, Spring offers a fresh start and beautiful flowers. Every new season probably means a visit to your local self storage facility as well.
Changing seasons means a change in your routine and the items you need on a regular basis. Seasonal items can vary greatly depending on your hobbies and preferences. During some seasons you might need to store a ton of items and during others you might need to store very few. Here’s a brief list of some seasonal items you may have:
- Holiday decorations
- Outdoor furniture
- Pool and beach accessories
- Sports equipment like skis, golf clubs, and bikes
- Camping, fishing, or hiking gear
Storing seasonal items can be a bit more complicated than storing other items. Most likely, you are bringing some out of storage as you are storing others. You are probably handling seasonal items more frequently as well. A little organization and planning can make the transition smooth and easy.
First, visit your storage unit and pull out everything you’ll need for the coming season. Make sure to do a thorough check. You don’t want to load all your lawn chairs and beach umbrellas into your unit only to realize you forgot that small box of ornaments now buried underneath. This is also a good time to look around and figure out how much space you have to store last season’s items. You don’t want to waste time and energy packing up your entire family’s bikes only to realize you don’t have the room.
A regular self storage unit is recommended for most seasonal items. Because these items are stored and removed frequently and tend to be bulkier, the ability to drive right up to your unit is key. Spring, Summer and Fall seasonal items are more likely to be designed for outdoor use and won’t be vulnerable to damage by fluctuations in temperature and humidity. You might consider indoor self storage for smaller, fragile seasonal items such as Christmas ornaments.
Wash and completely dry any outdoor furniture or sports equipment if appropriate. This is a good way to prevent rust, damage, and odor. Plus everything will be clean and ready to use when you pull it out again. Stackable plastic storage bins can keep smaller items organized and protected from dust. Make sure to label all bins or boxes with the season you need the items inside. Make a list of everything as you store it, so you can easily remember what you need to pull out again next year. Record the number of boxes you have for each season and list any bulkier items not stored in boxes.
Valuable items are probably the most important thing you will store because they are, well, valuable. So, of course you’ll want to carefully select the storage location and conditions. Some valuables you may need to store include pieces of jewelry, china, silverware or other family heirlooms, inherited or purchased works of art, historical books or documents, antiques or collections you want to preserve and mature for value, or any expensive items you use only occasionally.
General Storage Conditions For Valuables
Whatever type of valuable you need to store, here are some general conditions to keep items optimally preserved:
- Keep a steady temperature around 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit
- Maintain humidity around 35-50 percent
- Choose acid-free containers or wrapping materials
- Keep a record of valuables including brief descriptions and photographs
Best Locations to Store Valuables
The best locations to store valuables include:
- A secure, climate-controlled self storage unit
- A temperature controlled vault or safe in your home
- A safety deposit box
If you want to keep valuables in your home, avoid the garage, attic, or basement because these are prone to humidity and extreme temperatures that can damage items. Choose a cool, upstairs location that remains climate controlled and safe from moisture.
Why Self Storage is Ideal for Valuables
A climate controlled indoor self storage unit is the ideal place to store valuables for a few reasons:
Self storage locations will probably have many more security measures than your home. DAK’s 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
2. Affordable Insurance
Self storage insurance is often much more affordable than insuring items in your home. DAK is partnered with Storsmart and you will have the opportunity to purchase a policy when you sign your storage agreement. Plans are affordable and customized to the value of your items. Even if you choose self storage for other reasons, it is a good idea to purchase insurance on valuable items in the case of unforeseen circumstances. If it’s worth the money to store, it’s worth the money to ensure.
3. Climate Control
You can guarantee that temperature and humidity will remain steady, protecting items from excess moisture. Indoor units generally cost $5-$10 more a month to cover electricity costs. However, the cost will probably be worth it for your peace of mind. You will never have to worry about your items becoming too cold, too hot, or exposed to the elements.