If you are storing items for a relatively short period, then you can afford to be a little haphazard when preparing. However, long-term storage is a different ball game.
If you don’t take the right approach to long-term storage, then when the time eventually comes around to retrieve your goods, you can be in for a nasty shock.
This article helps you prepare for long-term storage by listing some of the hints and tips we have learned from our years of helping people with their storage needs.
How to prepare your furniture and belongings for long-term storage
There are many reasons that you may need to place your belongings in storage for a long period. It could be that you are emigrating, have to move for work purposes, or simply have a surplus of belongings.
Whatever the reason, you must pay some care and attention to your belongings before you store them and in how you store them to ensure they are in perfect condition when they come out of storage.
Here are our top tips for storing furniture and other belongings for long periods.
1. Only store what you need to
The first step in successful long-term storage is to ask yourself a simple question – What do I really need to store?
Remember that if you are booking a storage space, then the larger the unit, the more you will pay. While self-storage units are cost-effective, a few extra Euros per week or month quickly add up over long-term booking periods.
Cast a practical eye over your belongings. Perhaps some of your goods would be appreciated by friends or family in your absence. Also, consider donating items you are unlikely to use again to charity shops or other worthy causes.
2. Make sure everything is clean and dry
This is important for any length of storage but is particularly essential when it comes to long-term storage.
Patches of dampness in soft furnishings and materials can quickly become mould and mildew, and this spreads like wildfire through all your belongings. Similarly, belongings that are stored without being thoroughly cleaned can stain, cause odours, and attract vermin and pests.
Making sure all your belongings are as clean and dry as possible is essential.
3. Use high-quality storage boxes
Flimsy and cheap boxes may just about handle a short period of storage, but if you intend to store belongings for any lengthy period, then choosing boxes that are robust and rigid is essential.
The importance of this point cannot be overemphasised, cheap boxes will inevitably fail if you have to stack boxes and to make the most out of a storage unit, most people will end up stacking boxes.
4. Use breathable covers and dust sheets
Larger items can be protected with dust and cover sheets. However, for long-term storage, breathable fabric covers are preferable over plastic sheets, which can trap moisture and dampness and ultimately damage or destroy valuable belongings.
5. Plan your storage space
It could be that you may need to retrieve some important items before others. This is why careful planning should always be used in long-term storage. Planning your space optimises its use, and if done properly, then belongings that you need to access first should be somewhere they are easily accessible.
In effect, what this means is planning in what order to place items in the unit. Generally, this will mean heavier and bulkier items are stored at the back and floor level of the unit.
It is also recommended that boxes and furnishings are kept off the floor, this can be accomplished with a few cheap palettes, or even just a sheet of plastic will help keep your belongings in good shape.
6. Select someone to periodically check on your belongings
Even if you take all the care in the world, things can still go wrong. Ask a friend or relative if they wouldn’t mind sticking their head in now and again to make sure that your goods are just as you left them. If nothing else, this will give you some extra peace of mind that your belongings are as safe as when you left them.
If prepared for correctly, long-term storage is a safe and secure way of keeping your valuables in perfect condition while you are absent. At U Store It, our clean, dry and secure self-storage facilities can go a long way to helping you achieve this.
If you need any further advice about long-term storage, then why not contact us and speak to our storage experts, who will be delighted to help with any queries.