As simple and basic as the business concept is, self storage units really are useful and really do provide a service. Whether you are moving, doing home renovations or just have too much stuff to avoid cluttering up your home, storage units provide secondary homes for your things for the short or long term and usually at reasonable prices.
Aside from the obvious items like furniture, tools or old toys, clothing is another item that finds its way into storage units a lot of the time. This may be because you are saving it to hand down, it has sentimental value or you simply have more clothing than space in your home.
Whatever the reason, many people make serious mistakes when it comes to storing clothes in storage units, and the result is clothing that is ruined for anyone to wear again.
Here are 7 tips to follow to give you peace of mind and keep your clothes in perfect condition no matter how long you store them.
1) Wash the Clothes â€“ Make sure you thoroughly wash and dry all articles of clothing that you plan on putting in the storage unit. Dirty clothing, or even clothing that you've worn but doesn't appear dirty may attract pests like moths or beetles. And if you don't completely dry your clothing before storage, the dampness may allow mold to form. Starch can also attract insects, so if you have items that you normally starch, leave it out.
2) No Vacuum-Sealed Bags â€“ Those vacuum-sealed clothing bags that you see on TV are great space savers and the concept seems logical, but they are not useful for storing clothing in a self-storage unit. Clothing needs some sort of ventilation in order to remain in good condition. Without it, mold can grow inside those bags and on your clothing.
3) Preventing Moisture â€“ Moisture prevention is the real key to keeping mold away from your clothing while it is in storage. If you live in a humid area or if there no humidity control inside the unit, your clothing may be at risk.
Keeping them out of the air-tight bags is good, but you may want to go a step farther just to be sure. Store the clothing in plastic boxes / containers that have access to ventilation and toss a few silica packets in each box for humidity control.
4) Cedar Blocks â€“ Adding small, cedar blocks to each container of clothing is another way to keep moths and insects away from your clothing. Cedar blocks would take the place of moth balls and similar products that leave a strong, unpleasant odor or chemical residue in the box. They are basically an all-natural form of pest control while your clothes are in storage.
5) Follow Manufacturer's Instructions â€“ Keep in mind that the manufacturers of various types of clothing provide handling and storage instructions for a reason. Different materials may require slightly different methods in order to keep them at their best while they are in the storage unit. If possible, try keeping all denim with denim, leather with leather and so on to ensure there aren't any reactions, especially if they will be in there for a prolonged period of time.
6) Do Some Research â€“ That storage place down the street may be the most convenient place to keep your clothing, but is it the best place? Not all storage facilities are created equal, and it makes sense to use one that has the care of your possessions on the top of their mind above all else.
Some places suffer a lot of vandalism and theft, some have seasonal flooding, some have rodent problems; you just have to ask around and find out. Affordability is great, but not if your clothing will be ruined or stolen while it is there. At the very least, look for a place with security cameras and some form of moisture control. Security gates with password protection are also beneficial.
7) Visit Your Clothes â€“ This may sound strange, but it only applies if you are leaving your clothing in storage for a long stretch. If you have a lot of items in the unit, keep the boxes of clothing near the front, and every six or eight months, go in there and see how they are doing. Peek in the boxes, lift up a few items and give them the once-over, check for signs of mold or pests, and if everything looks good, pack them up and leave them until the next visit.