It is a good idea to visit your storage locker at least once a month, just to make sure nothing has shifted or accumulated mildew. While there, why not take some steps to keep things clean? Here’s a checklist to keep your unit looking (and smelling) great.
Consider Purging Unused, and Aging, Items
Many items do just fine in long-term storage, but some can degrade. Vintage clothing, especially if not stored in vacuum bags, can lose its value by accumulating mildew. Stuffed toys can eventually become un-donate-able due to the risk of infestations. If you notice a fabric item that you have not taken out in over a year, consider selling or donating it while it’s still useful. This will also make it much easier to clean your storage.
Organize for Cleaning
The best set-up for cleaning is to push furniture near the walls, and use it to hold boxes. Ideally, shelves with a lot of space to sweep at the bottom should also be used. This will make it as easy as possible to access boxes and move them around.
Dust the Outsides, Inspect the Insides
Take each box, dust it with a rag, and take a look inside to make sure moisture has not gotten in and caused havoc. Dust your shelves and cloth covers as well. Dust accumulated on the outside of containers will not damage your stuff, but it can add up and make your unit dirty and unpleasant.
Sweep the Floor, or at Least Some of It
Sweep as much of the floor as you can. This is ground zero for dust, and can even become a breeding ground for mites. Although it’s not necessary to move your furniture out to sweep the whole floor every month, it’s probably a good idea to do it every year.
It’s good to get a head-start on reducing odors in your unit and furniture. Spray Febreeze or a similar anti-odor product on upholstery when you visit, whether there is odor or not. This will keep your unit smelling fresh well into the future.
Replace Aging Cardboard
Cardboard will usually get musty faster than whatever you store inside it. If a box smells off, consider replacing it with a more durable and lasting plastic bin.
If this sounds like too much work, try it first on a less intensive schedule, say, once every two or three months.