Don’t ruin your things when you put them in storage? Here’s the best proper packing to avoid ruining everything.
People usually choose to to rent a self storage unit for one of two reasons: You’re moving or you have too much stuff for your current home. Don’t put your stuff in storage just to ruin it!
Storage is generally safe for your things. But if you pack improperly, you could ruin everything.
We often see people rush to put things in their self storage unit and that can definitely lead to problems.
Never store anything wet.
We get it, nobody wants to be moving in the rain. The temptation is to just throw things into your unit as fast as possible and then get out of the storm. The problem is putting wet things into a dark, enclosed space is just asking for them to grow mold and mildew. Once you leave, your unit is a dark, enclosed space.
Make sure everything you put in your storage unit is dry. If you have to move in the rain, bring shop towels or something else to dry your items. Then, take the wet towels with you when you go. Even things like metal furniture should not be put away wet because it will rust.
Rust, mildew and mold will ruin things in storage quickly.
When you store things that are wet, they will almost definitely ruin everything else.
Add a desiccant.
If you are storing here in Pennsylvania, you probably want to include a desiccant in your storage unit.
What’s a desiccant? A desiccant is a substance meant to absorb water from the air and keep it from settling on your stuff.
Proper packing to avoid ruining your things means including a desiccant in your storage unit. Dry, clean clay kitty litter works or there are commercial desiccants available at more big box stores. A small investment will help keep things stored in an unheated storage unit from drawing moisture.
Things are ruined in an outdoor, drive-up storage unit when the tenant didn’t take into consideration the climate of the region. Here in Phoenixville, it’s not unusual to see temperature swings of 40 degrees in a single day. As the unit cools down in the evening, the water vapor in the air condenses and creates dew on your stuff. After a few weeks of spring or fall, your stuff will start to smell like mildew.
Don’t use cardboard.
When you are moving, it can be tempting to throw everything into whatever boxes you can find. Grabbing boxes from your local stores or recent Amazon deliveries is fine short-term, but long-term can ruin your stuff. But proper packing to avoid ruining everything means being a lot more selective with your packing materials.
If you are positive, your stuff will only spend a few days in those boxes, then choosing whatever you can find is fine. That’s both the cheapest and easiest way to pack for moving.
However, using cardboard in an unheated self storage unit is a recipe for quickly ruining everything.
Cardboard is a problem in storage units for two reasons: it attracts moisture and it draws rodents.
If you ever left a cardboard box outside overnight, you know that the box quickly gets soggy. When the barometric pressure changes and condensation begins, cardboard acts like sponge. It pulls that moisture out of the air and puts it right next to your stuff.
Perhaps worse yet, field mice and other small rodents love cardboard as a nesting material. It’s great for helping to keep their babies warm.
So rodents will seek out cardboard and chew through it. Mouse droppings are a sure way to ruin your things.
Proper Packing to Avoid Ruining Everything
- Make sure anything you bring to store is clean and dry.
- Wrap anything cloth, including furniture, clothing, or mattresses in plastic to keep moisture, insects and dust from destroying them. In addition, especially in moist climates, these things are better off stored in a climate controlled storage unit.
- If you are storing machinery, bicycles, metal furniture or tools, consider giving the working parts a light coat of machine oil before putting them in storage. Light oil will help repel moisture and prevent rusting.
- Store everything in plastic tubs or bins. This will help prevent rodent and dust damage as well as minimizing the impact of moisture.
- Store heavier items on the bottom of your unit so they don’t crush other items.
Spacemall Storage can help you choose the best storage solution for your stuff.
Need help with the best options for proper packing? Just ask us!
Spacemall’s friendly staff will happily help you decide if your stuff is safe in drive-up storage or if you need climate controlled storage. We can also help you determine what size unit you need. Then, we’ll get you the best priced storage in Phoenixville.