Whether you’re a student, amateur, professional musician, or just play as a hobby you’ll want to ensure you instruments stay in the best shape possible. Musical instruments can hold sentimental and monetary value and should be stored the right way. The wrong storage conditions can cause instruments to stop working properly. Here are few tips to follow when placing clarinets, flutes, violins, guitars, or other instruments in self storage.
First, consider having your instrument appraised and insured if it particularly valuable. As a general precaution, you should always keep a record of items you place in storage, including a photo and description.
Preparing Musical Instruments for Storage
- Clean, polish, and inspect it as needed
- Be sure to remove any accessories and mouthpieces and loosen any strings
- Place tissue paper in any openings to keep out dirt and insects.
- Find the proper case and/or cover
If you are storing this instrument for a family member, it’s best to have them complete this step. It’s easy to damage an instrument when cleaning if you don’t have adequate knowledge of how it works. If you need to store a large instrument such as a piano or harp, it is recommended to consult with a professional.
Once you’ve found the original case or purchased a new one specifically designed for the instrument, make sure it’s in good condition. For an added layer of protection, you can also cover string instruments with a cloth inside the case. Other instruments can be placed inside a polyethylene bag as a barrier to humidity. Large instruments should be covered with sheet or tarp to keep off dust.
Proper Storage Conditions for Musical Instruments
- Climate controlled indoor storage
- Steady temperature and humidity
- Store away from windows, doorways, and off the floor
- Avoid placing anything on top
- Take precautions against dust
All musical instruments are sensitive to environmental factors such as extreme hot and cold temperatures, dust, or too much humidity. Brass instruments will expand and contract excessively when exposed to frequently changing temperatures. Wood instruments can be warped and dried out by too much humidity. Electric instruments are negatively affected by dust.
Climate controlled indoor storage is recommended for musical instruments because these tend to be valuable and easily damaged. Even when storing at home, it’s best to keep these away from windows and open vents. Always keep small instruments off the floor and refrain from placing anything on top of large ones.
When removing your musical instrument from self storage, remember to clean and tune it.
You probably spent a ton of time, effort, and money in finding the perfect wedding dress, so of course you want to keep it around. Read on for tips on how to store your wedding (or any other formal) gown.
Wedding Dress Storage Conditions
Too much sunlight can damage the gown, yellowing lighter fabrics and fading darker ones. However, avoid attics or basements because too much humidity can cause mold and mildew. If storing at home, the best options are under a bed or in a dry closet. Plastic or padded hangers are okay for transport, but the gown should not be kept on a hanger long term. The fabric can easily become stretched and distorted from the hanging weight. Avoid plastic covers because these can trap moisture and lead to mold and mildew. It’s best to find a wedding chest, which is a box specifically designed to store the dress in. It will probably come with a viewing window, so you can see the dress without opening the box.
- Cool, dark, and dry environment
- Relative humidity of 50 percent at all times
- Keep out of direct sunlight
- Ensure all storage materials are acid-free
- When covering, choose a cloth cover over plastic
- Climate controlled storage recommended
Preparing Your Wedding Dress for Storage
Proper cleaning is of utmost importance when preparing your gown for storage. When left untreated, visible stains, hidden stains, and body oils from normal wear will expand and set over time. While you can clean your dress on your own if you’d prefer, it is highly recommended you take your dress to a preservationist. They will expertly clean and prepare the dress for storage. This can cost roughly $250-$500, depending on dress fabric, decoration, ornamentation, and visible staining. It’s worth the cost to have your dress professionally cleaned and prepped for storage. Plus, a wedding chest and storage materials will likely be included in the cost.
If you are reading this before the wedding, research preservationists in your area ahead of time. Ask your bridal shop, wedding consultant, or recent brides for recommendations. If possible (and especially if there are any visible stains), have someone from the wedding party take the dress to the preservationist while you are on your honeymoon. Stains can be most thoroughly removed when they are fresh.
Though most dry cleaners will clean wedding dresses, they usually don’t specialize in this area. Avoid taking your dress to a dry cleaners unless the clean upwards of 100 gowns a year. If you choose to clean the gown on your own, don’t do so without thoroughly researching proper methods for the specific fabric of your dress. After cleaning, wash your hands before or wear cotton gloves when handling the gown.
‘Tis the season to pull your holiday decorations from self storage and fill your home with Christmas spirit. But untangling lights and preparing to hang them probably isn’t your favorite part of the festivities. Your first step is to put on your favorite holiday music to make this chore more enjoyable. Next, follow the advice below on untangling, checking, and hanging lights.
Untangling Christmas Lights
It’s tempting to just buy new lights if yours look like one frustrating tangled mess, but that can get expensive and excessive if you do it every year. Try these tips first instead, and remember to properly organize your lights when placing them in storage for next year.
- Find a fairly open space to allow room for the strings of lights to stretch out on the floor. Also, make sure you’ve got an outlet near by to plug in and test the bulbs.
- Gather all your strings of lights. If you were organized last year before placing them in self storage, hopefully they are concentrated in just a few boxes or bins. Separate them by location: inside or outside the house.
- With everything unplugged, find a free end and get to work. Undo knots by stringing the free end through the tangles. Be careful not to rush or may break bulbs. Once you’ve made some progress, watch where you place the untangled piece so it doesn’t become tangled again.
- Plug in the untangled strands to test them. Check for broken bulbs and sockets, frayed cords, burned out lights, and loose connections.
- For bulbs that won’t light, it may only be a matter of tightening the bulb. If this doesn’t work, you can purchase a simple light repair kit from any home improvement store.
Christmas Light Safety
- Always read the manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands it is safe to connect. Generally, this is three strands for mini string lights and up to 50 bulbs for the screw-in lights.
- It is recommended to plug in no more than three lights sets/strands per extension cord
- Check if each set of lights is intended for indoor or outdoor use. Only use lights intended for outdoor use when decorating the outside of your house. These are specially prepared to be exposed to rain and snow.
- Always wrap connections with electrical tape
Hanging Lights on the Tree
- A general rule is 100 lights for every foot of tree height
- Practice teamwork when hanging lights on the Christmas tree. Have one person arrange the lights on the tree while the other holds the other end of the strand and feeds it to keep it untangled.
- For evergreen trees, start at the top and wind through the center
- For deciduous trees, start at the bottom and work your way up
Dak Self Storage supports the local economy and encourages Berks County residents to shop local whenever possible. Small businesses and local entrepreneurs bring innovation and a stronger sense of community to our towns. We are happy to offer affordable self storage solutions to entrepreneurs near Leesport, PA.
If you work out of your home…
Getting your company off the ground can be complicated and frustrating process. We know that keeping costs down is always important to any business, but especially so in the early stages of small business. You need adequate and immediate resources handy to operate on a daily basis, but can’t afford to spend all of your profits to do so. You have limited cash, limited space, and limited inventory, so you must spend as wisely as possible.
That’s why you probably started your business out of your home. This was the best choice financially in the beginning, but now you’re ready to expand. You are starting to see some success and need more space than your home office can offer in order to continue to grow. Renting a professional office space can be a very expensive, time-consuming, and risky move. If you’re not quite ready to take that step financially, self storage can offer the ideal solution. A self storage unit is much more affordable than office space and you can use it to keep any resources you need for your business.
If you have a professional office space…
Maybe you already have a professional office space or storefront, but need to expand. Maybe you need room for additional desks to accommodate new employees or have secured a great deal on bulk orders of products or components and need somewhere to store it. Relocating to a new office can interrupt business and come with high costs: physical moving costs, the printing of new business cards and letterhead, setup of new phone and computer systems. Save your budget and rent a self storage unit. You can move office supplies, inventory, product samples, and business records to the unit to make more room in your office. You can easily move your stuff to larger unit onsite as you grow.
When you move excess resources to a self storage unit, you can create a much more productive space. It can be tempting to store at home, but it may be overwhelming to have your work clutter follow you there. You already work hard enough; a relaxing home environment is essential. Renting a self storage unit can be beneficial to your small business in Berks County. It is a safe, clean, secure, and very affordable way to prevent your home office from overflowing or to declutter a professional office.