At StorageMart, we call our property managers “storage experts.” That’s more than a marketing ploy—the employees who make our stores run smoothly really do know the storage industry backwards and forwards. They also know all about moving, packing, their hometowns, and a host of other things that come in pretty handy.
Tom Olson, property manager at our NW Outer Road location in Blue Springs, Missouri has been with StorageMart since 2014. He’s learned quite a bit about the do’s and don’ts of storage in that time. Recently, he sent me in his top tips for ensuring that your belongings stay in great condition while in storage.
According to Tom, preventing moisture accumulation is an important step to protecting those belongings, especially if you’ll be storing your goods longer than three months. Items particularly susceptible to moisture damage include photos, electronics, clothing, furs, wood, leather, and mattresses.
Just a few preventative measures to limit the level of moisture in your storage unit can go a long way.
Properly Pack Your Belongings.
Making sure all your possessions are adequately packed and protected is an important preventive method in limiting possible damage. Wrapping all furniture and mattresses with moving blankets and then covering with mattress or furniture bags to keep out moisture is a good preventative measure (never place plastic directly against furniture). Clothing and furs should be cleaned before going into storage and can be hung inside wardrobe boxes for extra protection. Dishes and other fragile items should be packed securely using packing paper, bubble wrap, or partition kits for extra protection.
Never Store Anything That’s Damp.
Before packing your belongings away in your storage unit, verify that everything is dry and free of dampness. If you wash your clothes prior to placing them in storage, check to make sure that they are completely dry. Before packing away any aquatic equipment (surfboards, scuba gear, wet suits, bathing suits, etc.) confirm that everything is thoroughly dried and free of moisture. Anything wet or damp that is placed inside your unit will contribute to the moisture level in the air.
Use a Desiccant Pack.
A desiccant pack attracts excess moisture in the air and prevents mold and mildew by eliminating the excess moisture that allows it to grow. It is recommended that you use one desiccant pack for every 50 square feet of storage area. Desiccant packs will need to be replaced or refreshed every 60 to 90 days to provide maximum effectiveness. Moving blankets and protective pads also work well as a good second option to prevent condensation.
Use Climate Controlled Storage.
The best way to protect your goods in a storage unit is to rent one that’s climate controlled. If you will be storing a lot of items that are especially susceptible to damage due to extreme temperatures or humidity, you may want to consider this option. Some of these belongings include electronics, vintage clothing and furs, antiques, and leather or wood furniture.
About Tom Olson
A lifelong resident, Tom lives in the Kansas City area with his wife and their five-year-old daughter. He’s a big fan of science fiction, comic books, and all things nerdy. He also donates his time to the L.M. Alcott Arts Center Foundation when possible.