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Tips for Preparing for Long-Term Storage

How To | October 1, 2015

Businesses, homeowners and renters rent storage units for a variety of reasons and needs.  A storage unit can be rented for short term needs such as moving or storing items during a remodeling project. Or a storage unit can be rented for long term needs such as military deployment, an extended out-of-town job assignment or a college student requiring long term furniture storage for studying abroad for a year.

Long Term Storage Facilities

The first thing that needs to be decided when using long-term storage is to figure out what you need to store. Do you need to store the entire contents of your house or apartment while you are away or do you just need to store a few items?  Deciding on what you need to store will determine the type and size storage unit that you will need. Military personnel or business people who will be away from home for a longer period of time might need to store their vehicles, so they would need to find a self storage facility with vehicle parking and storage capabilities. If you will need long term furniture or electronic storage then it is recommended to rent a climate controlled storage unit.

Long Term Storage Tips

When storing belongings for long periods of time, consider taking extra steps above and beyond normal packing .

  • Use new sturdy boxes for long term storage.
  • Avoid packing items in plastic bags as plastic can induce moisture build-up inside the bag.
  • Wrap fragile items carefully in bubble wrap or newsprint and make sure to fill the box up with filler material.
  • Make sure to label boxes with the contents and create a master inventory list of items that you have in storage. Keep a copy of the list inside the storage unit.
  • Take extra precaution and thoroughly clean appliances before moving and storage. Add bleach or baking soda in the cleaning mixture to make sure it is extra clean. Leave the door for the appliances slightly ajar when storing.
  • Cover the floor with a canvas tarp or sheet or place items above the ground on shelving units or pallets.  This will allow for airflow to continue in the storage unit around the boxes and furniture as well as help keep the items off of a damp floor.
  • Before placing your furniture in long term storage, vacuum the furniture with a brush to remove any excess dirt and then apply furniture polish. This will seal the wood and slow the advances of mold.
  • Cover the upholstery on furniture with clean 100% cotton white sheets. Do not use dark colored sheets as these could bleed color onto the stored items if there is moisture in the storage unit.

Self storage is a great home storage solution for short-term and long-term storage needs. By properly preparing your items for storage, you will be able to keep the items in good working order. Stop by any of the 48 ezStorage self storage locations in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. areas to see how we can help with your storage needs. We have a variety of storage unit sizes to fit household goods, clothing, appliances, furniture and vehicle storage.

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