5 Tips for Preparing Your Belongings for Long-Term Storage
Storing some of your possessions in a storage unit should be on the top of your to-do list when going overseas for a long time. Whether you will be staying in a different country due to a job transfer or temporary assignment, to set up a business, to study, or to take an extended holiday, as long as you still have plans to come back, selling or giving away many of your belongings isn’t the best idea.
By renting the right storage rental unit, you will have a place where you can safely keep the items you need when you come back home. You can also store those possessions that you simply can’t part ways with because of sentimental reasons in your unit.
Securing Your Items for Long-Term Storage
Since you won’t be able to check your unit and items at least yearly or possibly even for a number of years, you need to ensure they will still be in good condition and be functional once you take them out.
You can do this by following these long-term storage tips:
1. Choose which items to store and make an inventory
Storing all your possessions in a storage unit would be impractical. As such, you have to carefully choose which of your items to store. These have to be things you really need to see and use after your sojourn overseas.
Once you have selected which items to store, take an inventory. Although this may seem like a tedious task, making a list of everything going into storage will help you remember exactly what these items are. This list will also come in handy when you get insurance for your things. Keep a copy of this inventory and place another one in the storage unit.
2. Clean and prep all items to be stored
Whether you will be storing furniture, kitchen appliances, gardening equipment, or clothes, make sure they are clean and properly prepared for extended storage.
Start laundering clothes, beddings, and other washable items you plan on storing. Ensure they are completely dry before packing them.
For furniture pieces, remove the dust from the wooden or metal parts and wipe them clean. Wash all removable fabric parts if possible. For non-detachable fabric parts, wipe them with a clean cloth. You can spray the furniture with a fabric-safe, non-corrosive disinfectant to get rid of germs.
Make sure all items made of or with fabric are dry before preparing them for storage as well.
For appliances and other items made of metal, use an appropriate cleaner that won’t corrode the metal. You will also need to wax or oil some items to ensure they won’t crack when stored for a long time.
3. Pack and store all items properly
In order to ensure your stored possessions will withstand the ravages of time, packing should be done with care and attention, and with the right materials.
- Use high-quality cardboard boxes or airtight plastic containers for storing your valuables.
- Wrap breakables in bubble wrap or soft paper and arrange them carefully in their containers.
- Label all containers and boxes properly so that you know which items they contain quickly.
- Avoid using plastic bags since plastic traps moisture inside. The trapped moisture can cause molds to grow inside the plastic bag.
- If you will be storing mattresses, use mattress bags to cover them.
- Cover upholstered furniture with white cotton sheets to allow moisture to escape. Plain white cloth is best since it will prevent any color from bleeding onto the upholstery.
- Use pallets or shelves to keep boxes, containers, and furniture off the floor. By doing so, you allow the air inside the unit to move freely on the floor. The pallets and shelves will protect your items from possible water damage as well.
4. Dismantle large and bulky items
Your furniture and kitchen appliances will eat up lots of space in your unit. To have enough room for all your items in your rental unit, disassemble large furniture pieces and appliances that can be dismantled.
This means dissembling bed frames and removing the legs from tables, chairs, and sofas. Place the screws, if any, in a small zip-lock bag and tape them to the furniture. Pack or place the furniture pieces together so that you can assemble them quickly when you’re ready to use them.
Don’t forget to arrange them properly in the unit so that you can maximize every available space.
5. Get additional storage insurance
If you are not satisfied with the insurance your storage provider offers, look for additional coverage. This will help put your mind at ease since you are sure your items have additional protection.
Storing your items in a self-storage unit will give you peace of mind that all your valuable possessions are safe in a secure place. By following the tips above, you will get an additional assurance that can be ready for use once you return from your stay overseas.
Chris Humphrey is the General Manager of Easytruck Moving & Storage. In 2013, the company combined their expertise in professional moving services and storage to create an entirely new approach to the business – and mobile storage was born! Easytruck now operates over 30,000 sq.ft. of air-conditioned facilities in three convenient locations in Dubai and is the only Mobile Storage operator in the UAE.