Avoid damaged goods in a storage unit by following these simple tips.

How to Avoid Damaged Goods in a Storage Unit

When you put things in storage, especially long term, there’s always a certain risk that they won’t come out of that storage in the same condition. It is a sad but not uncommon fact that things in storage can get scratched, broken or simply lost. That doesn’t mean you should leave everything to chance and hope for the best. There are some things you can do to try to avoid damaged goods in a storage unit. Here are some of our top tips.

Start from the beginning: choose the right storage unit

A lot of the time you can avoid self storage problems in Brooklyn from the start simply by choosing the right storage unit to rent. You want the unit to be safe and protected from thieves and natural elements, in a good location, and easily accessible. But above all, it should fit your specific needs.

How big of a storage unit do you need?

The right amount of storage space for you will depend on two main factors:

  1. how many things you’re storing
  2. whether you want to have access to them while they are in storage

The best place to start is, therefore, an inventory of the items you’re storing. This will help you choose the right size storage unit to fit your needs. It’s important that you don’t cram too much into a space too small. You can avoid damaged goods in a storage unit by renting in the right size or a size higher.

Climate controlled vs non-climate controlled

Whether you choose climate controlled or non-climate controlled storage unit will depend on the kind of things you are storing. Generally speaking, furniture (especially wooden), appliances and other technology, documents and art should all be stored in climate controlled units. This helps keep the moisture out and protects items sensitive to mold and water. Of course, sometimes you cannot afford a climate controlled storage unit or one simply isn’t available. Don’t worry – you can minimize the disadvantages of a non-climate controlled unit with some relatively simple adjustments.

What causes damage to things while in storage?

The main causes of damage to items in a storage unit are:

  • moisture, water, and flooding
  • heat and fire
  • pests
  • improper packaging or organization

Avoid damaged goods in a storage unit

To avoid damaged goods in a storage unit you will want to handle each of the above causes and do your best to protect your items from all possible damage.

Prevent water and moisture damage

If you live in a coastal or low-lying area, there is a very real risk of flooding. This can cause serious damage to your belongings. So when you’re looking for a storage unit, try to find something located on higher ground. For added protection, you can also install shelves inside your storage unit. Just make sure to put them at least a foot above the ground. Place anything of value higher up on the shelves so it will be safe in case there is a flood. Not only will you keep your possessions protected, but your storage unit will be kept neat and organized as well.

Unfortunately, even a little bit of water can give you a headache when it comes to storage. And flooding isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. Moisture of any kind can cause a lot of damage in the long run. And dark, warm, and humid places are breeding ground for all manner of mold and bacteria too. So it’s important to know how to prevent moisture in a storage unit, especially if it’s not climate controlled. You can use moisture absorbers or cover the floor and walls with plastic. Clothes, books, documents, photos, and any kind of technology or appliance should be kept in sealed waterproof plastic containers just in case.

Droplets of water on a flat surface.
Moisture is one of the main problems in storage units.

Avoid fire hazards

While not nearly as common as other causes of damage, fire is certainly one of the most destructive things that can happen to your possessions. And it doesn’t really help that most things you would keep in a storage unit (usually made of wood, cardboard or cloth) are very easy to burn. To avoid accidental fires, don’t store flammable liquids like fuel. And make sure the facility you are using has proper safety measures, enough fire extinguishers that are well placed and easy to access, an on-site staff that can react in a timely manner.

Prevent pest infestations

Mice, lice, rodents, cockroaches, bed bugs, and other pests may be small, but the damage they can bring about is definitely not. To avoid damaged goods in a storage unit you will, therefore, want to fill and cover any cracks in the walls and close any windows to minimize the chances of pests coming inside. Spray for bugs before putting your items in storage. Then come back to repeat the process on a regular basis. Do a thorough inspection and cleaning at least once every two months. And, though this should go without saying, don’t store perishable items.

Hamster looking at the camera.
Rodents are not nearly as cute when you find them in your storage unit.

Properly pack and protect your items

When you’re preparing items for storage, you won’t just need moving boxes Brooklyn. Make sure to also stock up on styrofoam, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, shredded or crumpled paper (or old newspapers), resealable waterproof bags and containers, and plastic bags. These will be used to cushion any breakable items and protect your possessions from water damage.

Keep your storage unit safe

While thieves are far more likely to simply take your stuff than break it, their looting can inadvertently cause damage to what they leave behind. To both protect yourself from losing valuable things and avoid damaged goods in a storage unit, make sure your storage unit is safe and protected from thieves.

Two padlocks keeping a door closed.
Protect your storage unit from thieves.

Get insurance

There are, unfortunately, some things you cannot predict or affect. Natural disasters and outside elements like the weather are sadly outside of your power and can strike at any time. If the items you’re storing hold great value, whether monetary or personal, it is therefore in your best interest to invest in insuring them.

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