Gym equipment is expensive, and you most likely created your home gym with all the best intentions. Perhaps you were or still are an avid gym enthusiastic, but maybe of late, life has undergone some unexpected changes, and you are now faced with a situation where those treasured items need to be safely stored away.
Whatever your reason for putting your gym equipment into storage, here are some tips on how to do it safely:
- Dust thoroughly
Gym equipment is susceptible to an accumulation of dust and dirt, nothing escapes it, treadmills, weights, exercise bikes, you name it, will accumulate dust over time and before you place any of those items into storage, they first must be dusted down methodically.
You can vacuum those areas that can’t be reached by hand, but whatever you do, do not pack and store any of those items away while still containing dust or debris, because there is a very good chance that they may not work as well again. When it comes to dusting gym equipment, there are certain areas that need closer attention such as: bearings, braking systems, wheels, touchpads & other electronic parts.
- Wash and Dry
Gym equipment is also susceptible to nasty bacteria that will settle into cracks and crevices, unsurprisingly because it has to withstand sweat, which is a thriving bacterial ground. So, once the dust is removed, these items need to be washed and dried afterwards. Before you do it, ensure that you refer to the manufacturer’s instructions because certain areas may not be able to withstand excessive water or cleaning products.
You can use warm soapy water too just as long as remove soapy particles with a clean damp cloth afterwards. Take extra care around areas such as foam padding, handles & pedals, seats, mats and weights, anywhere that is exposed to the chances of getting sweaty. It’s better to avoid bleach or anything that could harm your expensive equipment and stick to soapy water, antibacterial solutions or wipes instead.
- Disassemble if possible
Before transporting these items into their final storage location, try to break down your equipment into smaller manageable parts so that you do not cause injury to yourself. Just remember to keep those parts safe and secure and if possible, with their instruction manual handy, so that they can be easily put back together again, at a later date.
There is the option to hire specialist removals to move your gym equipment into storage but if you prefer to do it yourself make sure that you do not overdo it and get some handy helpers to make the job lighter.
Before placing weights and other equipment into storage, label everything and wrap in protective bubble wrap, where applicable. Some items may be suitable for box packaging but ensure that the boxes are not too heavy by distributing the weight evenly.
A good way to remember how to reassemble parts is to take a picture of your items before breaking them down. Keep bolts, screws and cords and any other small parts in sealed plastic bags with labels on them so that you know where they go afterwards.
- Make sure all parts are secure
Gym equipment tends to have lots of moveable parts, which could cause havoc when lifting. Ensure the safety of the removals team (or yours and your handy helpers) by securing all of those hazardous parts down first.
Pay close attention to areas such as movement arms, leg curling parts and extension pieces which could fall off or swing-out causing injury to a person, or even could cause damage to doorways and walls. Anything which cannot be entirely removed, like belts and cables, should be taped down instead.
- Protect yourself
Make sure that you protect yourself while handling and moving heavy gym equipment because it doesn’t matter how strong you are, they are still very hazardous, and without proper care, it’s inevitable that someone gets hurt one way or another.
To prevent anything serious happening, protect hands and feet with gloves and hard shoes and do not rush it, as rushing is often the biggest cause of accidents. Instead, take time to manoeuvre items safely and securely through hallways and doorways. Use things such as blankets and dust sheets to wrap items while in transit, so that they do not cling together, causing scratches, etc.
- Find a suitable storage location
When it comes to finding suitable storage solutions, there are a few things to bear in mind. Gym equipment may be tough on the outside, but it doesn’t mean it can withstand anything, in fact, it is quite the opposite because things such as temperature fluctuations can cause substantial damage to it, especially to treadmills.
So, the basement may not be your best bet, neither would the garage because those areas can get rather damp and cold during the colder months. The ideal place to store gym equipment is somewhere dry that is able to regulate temperature all year round, so unless you have a suitable spare room which is big enough to house it your best bet might be self-storage.
A climate-controlled unit will keep your gym equipment safe, clean, and in proper working condition until you need it again.