If you’re interested in self storage it’s best to understand these common problems and how to avoid them:

apartment clutter1. Problem: Not Enough Space

If you’ve got a lot of stuff and a small unit, you need to maximize your space. How to Avoid:

  • Get a shelving unit or bookshelf for small items.
  • Take advantage of hollow objects, such as dresser drawers and garbage cans for storage space.
  • Vacuum seal clothing and bedding.
  • Disassemble beds and tables.

2. Problem: Pests

Pests such as insects, spiders, moths, and rodents are creepy, can chew or damage your stuff, and cause unpleasant odors. How to Avoid:

  • Use dryer sheets to deter pests. Who would’ve thought they dislike the pleasant odor? Place dryer sheets in unit corners and inside boxes and replace once a month for best results. Bonus: These will keep your unit smelling fresh!
  • Tape canvas drop cloths (available at any home improvement store) to the floor and walls. These will provide a barrier much sturdier than plastic covers.
  • Clean everything! Leftover crumbs and food particles attract pests faster than anything. Be sure to get in between the sofa cushions and empty the vacuum bag.
  • Make sure your storage provider actively checks for pests and takes action against infestation (DAK Self Storage does this).

clothing storage container3. Problem: Moisture and Humidity

Moisture and humidity can easily degrade more fragile items and antiques, and can lead to mold. How to Avoid:

  • Choose plastic over paper. The material of cardboard boxes is easily broken down by excess moisture and humidity. Avoid cardboard especially for long-term storage, and keep the boxes off the ground if you must use them.
  • Charcoal absorbs moisture in the air. Put it in a saucepan and keep it in your unit.
  • Allow for proper ventilation and airflow by leaving  adequate space in between your items. Filling your unit to the brim may help you maximize the space, but it isn’t the best way to prevent moisture.
  • Put baking soda on any items you clean with water after allowing them to dry completely. Use baking soda especially on items that frequently come into contact with water (such as washing machines and outdoor equipment).

4. Problem: Inaccessible Items

You need to have easy access to all items at all times. How to Avoid:

  • Make an aisle in the center of your items.
  • Clearly label everything.
  • Use furniture sliders for heavy items.
  • Always keep an inventory of stored items. This is handy for locating everything easily as well for insurance claim purchases in case anything is ever damaged.

storing fragile items5. Problem: Damaged Items

There’s not point in storing items just for them to break! Follow these tips to keep everything in one piece. How to Avoid:

  • Bubble wrap, bubble wrap, bubble wrap fragile items. Bonus: It’s reusable and easy to see through to identify items.
  • Fill all boxes adequately, so items don’t shift in transit and break. Be careful not to overfill, however, because items can be more easily crushed. Use crumpled newspapers to fill in space between items.
  • Label fragile boxes clearly. Place them in the unit last and without anything on top.