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.
Maybe you’re moving to a new place and need to store furniture temporarily, or redecorating but figure you might need some old pieces in the future. Whatever the reason you need to store furniture, your best bet is self storage. It is difficult to store furniture anywhere in your home simply because of the bulkiness.
Regular self storage units will provide a safe and spacious home for your furniture. At Dak Self Storage, we offer a wide range of unit sizes: appropriate for a small sofa (unit size 5’ x 5’) to those large enough to fit five bedroom sets (unit size 10’ x 20’).
If the furniture pieces are especially valuable or sentimental and will be stored for an extended period of time, consider climate controlled indoor to keep them optimally preserved. Indoor units give you full control over the environment that your furniture stays in and may prevent potential damage from overheating.
The most important thing to do when storing furniture is a proper cleaning. Furniture that is not thoroughly cleaned is more likely to have bacteria that can cause mold and excess moisture. Any hidden stains will expand and set while in storage and become very difficult to remove later, especially in a unit that gets heated. Any invisible body oils left over on furniture can cause odor and even attract bugs.
Start by dusting or vacuuming the entire piece to remove any loose dirt particles. Be sure to take off cushions or other removable pieces to do a thorough job.
Next, find a cleanser made specifically for the type of fabric or material of each item and wash it with a cleaning brush or rag. The wrong cleanser can ruin a piece; Wooden furniture is especially prone to being damaged by the wrong cleanser, or too strong of a cleanser. A soap and water solution may be sufficient for some items. It is always a good rule of thumb to begin with the weakest cleanser you can find, and upgrade to stronger cleansers if stains or uncooperative.
Let the cleanser soak for few minutes before going over the item again with a slightly damp brush or rag. After cleaning, make sure to allow pieces to completely dry in an open area. Any leftover moisture or residue can damage or discolor items while in storage. For wooden items, use a clear coat seal to preserve.
Consider taking apart furniture pieces that can be disassembled. Remove cushions from couches, legs from tables, and drawers from dressers. This will make the furniture lighter to allow for easier transport and storage. However, if furniture will only be stored for a short amount of time, it may be more of a hassle to disassemble it just to assemble it again soon after. Choose the best option for your situation.
Don’t use plastic materials to cover furniture because theses will restrict air flow. Too little air flow in your unit can cause excess moisture and odor. Sheets, blankets, and cloth covers are recommended to prevent dust but allow for circulation.
Choose a large enough storage unit to allow for adequate space in between items. This will provide proper air flow that will help prevent damage. Plus it will make furniture easier to move out later if your unit is not packed to the brim.
There are many reasons why you may need to pack and store clothes. Perhaps you do this seasonally; summer clothes are stored to make room for winter sweaters and vice versa. Maybe you are moving to a new location and need to pack all your clothes up for self storage or for the move. Or perhaps your wardrobe has outgrown your closet and you are looking to store the items you use least often.
Whatever the reason you need to pack and store your clothes, here are a few techniques to do it right:
How to Prepare Clothes for Storage
Take the time to properly pack away your clothes and it will pay off when you bring them out of storage. Always wash clothes before you store them, even if they look clean. Any dirt or stains you can’t see now will be very apparent and difficult to remove after months in storage. Body oils left over on dirty clothes can cause a strong odor that could attract insects or just be generally unpleasant to unpack.
How to Pack Clothes
Store clothing in plastic containers to optimally preserve it. Cardboard boxes are okay if you are storing your clothes temporarily, but can attract bugs if stored too long because of the acidic material. Sealable plastic containers are ideal if the clothes will remain in storage for more than a few weeks. These will better protect your clothes because they are airtight.
Always properly fold your clothes to avoid wrinkles and distortion. Start with heavier items and place them in the bottom of the container. Lighter items should be folded and placed on top. Though clothes are generally light, packing bulkier items (like sweaters or coats) altogether in one container can cause a heavy load. Pack some heavy and some lighter clothes in each container to balance the weight.
How to Store Clothes
The optimal location for long term storage is cool and dark. Hot temperatures can damage clothing fibers and set in any leftover stains, while too much natural sunlight can fade vibrant colors. If you are storing your clothes in cardboard boxes, you also want the location to be dry.
Use moth balls or cedar blocks to kill moth larvae extremely sparingly and only in areas where there is a definite need. These are toxic to humans as well, so never place moth balls or cedar blocks directly on clothing. Remember to air clothes out for a day or two before wearing if it has been stored in areas treated with moth balls.