Self-storage facilities are great places to keep seasonal belongings when not in use — winter belongings in summer, summer belongings in the winter. Not having to keep everything you have is a huge luxury, especially if you live in an area of the country where the four seasons change drastically from one to the next. However, if you are storing things in a self-storage unit over the winter, particularly if the winters can be harsh where you live, there are some things you need to know. Below are tips to help you securely store your belongings in the winter.
Clean your items. It is always a good idea to make sure that anything that goes into your storage unit is clean and ready to be taken out the following seasons. Not only will avoiding entering dirty items minimize the chances that you cross contaminate everything else, but letting dirt or grime sit on paint or fabric for months on end will cause the items to deteriorate over time.
Use cotton or wool as covers. Vinyl or plastic often damage items when used for storing things for long periods of time because they are trappers of water and moisture. Using moving blankets, especially during the winter when precipitation is often at its highest, are better options for long-term storage.
Climate-controlled units. Not everything can be stored during the winter without some sort of artificial temperature control. Many self-storage facilities offer climate-controlled units to help ensure that anything that could potentially be damaged if left out in the cold remains at a safe temperature while you have it in storage.
Keep electronics off the ground. If you are storing anything that has an electrical component to it, it is important to keep those items off the ground, even in a climate-controlled environment. The ground will be much colder than the ambient temperature, and electronics or batteries left sitting on cold concrete for months on end tend to have a bad habit of not working or not working as well, when they are removed the following season.
Protect your car. One of the most common items that people keep locked up in a self-storage unit over the winter is their fun summer vehicle. Whether this is a dirt bike, motorcycle, lawnmower or car, emptying the tank of gasoline, removing the battery, removing any coolants and fluids and protecting the vehicle with an appropriate tarp are all necessary steps to protecting a big investment.
Storing your belongings in a self-storage unit over the winter can be great peace of mind, and mean a lot less clutter for you, knowing that you can simply rotate seasonal items in and out of an offsite space. Keeping in mind the above storage tips will allow you to go about your life during the winter without worrying that your belongings are suffering winter’s wrath in a place you have no control over.