Items That Require Extra Protection During Long-Term Storage

Whether you intend to move to another part of the country or you no longer have room at home for all your possessions, you may have thought about placing a variety of objects in storage. However, if you plan on storing certain items for an extended period, you may need to take some extra steps to protect them.

Once you understand the sensitive nature of certain kinds of items, from media to furniture, you’ll know how to select the right storage facility and amenities to keep them safe, clean, and functional until you decide to remove them. Take special care with the following five types of possessions.

1. Computers

Before you even pack your computer for moving and storage, make sure you’ve backed up all your data and removed any external cables or drives. Ideally, you can pack the computer in its original box, complete with cushioning styrofoam. If not, put it in a box of the right size and cushion it with packing peanuts or air pillows.

Think about how you’ll position your computer within your storage unit. You don’t want to place it on the floor where it might succumb to an unanticipated water leak, nor should you position it in a high, precarious place from which it might fall. Set the computer on a stable surface for long-term storage.

2. Furniture

Large pieces of furniture can prove cumbersome to move into a storage unit. Before you rent that storage unit, plan how you will stack the furniture so you’ll have a better idea of how much cubic footage you need. Where possible, break down the furniture into its component parts so you can take full advantage of available space.

The wood and fabrics in many kinds of furniture can fall prey to mold, dry rot, and other forms of natural deterioration, especially in humid environments. Spend the extra money to rent an air-conditioned storage unit that can keep moisture levels under control.

3. Vinyl Records

Even if you’ve largely moved on to optical or cloud-based media, you may have a lot of treasured memories associated with your vinyl record collection. Unfortunately, dust exposure can harm these fragile records. High temperatures may also cause vinyl records to warp, spoiling their ability to reproduce sound accurately.

To protect your collection, store vinyl records vertically instead of stacking them on top of each other, which might cause damage due to the weight pressing down on the records toward the bottom of the stack. Use open-ended bins that permit air circulation. A climate-controlled storage unit can prevent heat-related damage.

4. Paintings

Art collectors and casual art enthusiasts alike may worry about moving or storing their valuable works of art. If you have original paintings that hold either financial or sentimental value, you need to take special precautions to keep these delicate works of art as safe as possible.

Temperature swings can cause changes in a painting’s canvas and frame, while excessive moisture can cause mold to develop on the painting’s surface. Put climate control at the top of your priority list when choosing a storage unit for paintings so you can keep the temperature and humidity levels as consistent as possible.

Like vinyl records, paintings can sustain damage if they sit on top of each other for too long. The simplest solution to this challenge involves leaning the paintings upright against a wall. If you want to stack them horizontally, ask a moving and shipping provider about a special rack that can hold them in that position safely.

Despite every safeguard, artwork can sustain damage during moving or storage due to unforeseen accidents. Make sure your mover’s or homeowner’s insurance includes coverage for these and other valuables before you pack them up and transport them to a storage unit or any other destination.

5. Musical Instruments

Finely-crafted vintage musical instruments often count as works of art in their own right. However, whether you own a priceless violin or a favorite cheap guitar, you need to protect that wooden instrument from the ravages of heat, cold, moisture, and vibration. These forces can cause wood to swell, shrink, warp, or crack.

Before storing stringed instruments or drums, loosen the strings or drumheads to prevent stretching or warping. Always choose a climate-controlled unit for any wooden musical instrument. If you plan on storing a woodwind instrument with metal keys, insert tissue paper between the keys and the body to protect the keys’ pads.

Once you’ve made these initial preparations, pack your instrument properly in its case. This step not only offers additional protection against the elements, but it will also safeguard the instrument from bumps, drops, and abrasions as you move it to and from the storage unit.

If you need a storage facility that can provide delicate items with an extra degree of care, safety, and security, turn to North Star Mini Storage. We offer solutions ranging from climate-controlled units to individual alarms and video surveillance technology for your peace of mind. Contact us today at any of our locations.