8 Ways to Protect Your Belongings in Self Storage in Cold Weather Climate
April 18th, 2023
Self-storage is definitely a convenient and cost-effective solution for individuals and businesses that need extra space to store their belongings. However, if you live in a cold weather climate like we do, storing your items in a non-climate-controlled storage unit requires some extra precautions to ensure that your belongings are not damaged. In this article, we'll provide some useful tips for packing and storing your items for indoor self-storage in a cold weather climate that is not climate-controlled.
Choose the Right Storage Facility and Storage Unit
When selecting a storage facility and unit, make sure to choose a location that is not prone to flooding, as water damage is one of the biggest threats to stored items. Also, whenever possible, it's a good idea to choose a storage unit at the facility that is elevated and has good drainage to minimize the risk of water damage from snow or rain. Consider renting a unit with a high ceiling to give you extra vertical space to store your items up away from the floor, and make sure the unit is clean and free of pests before moving your items in. Small animals such as mice seek out warm, dry spaces when the weather turns cold, so you want to be sure to select a facility that is maintained.
Choose the Right Items to Store
When it comes to storing items in a non-climate-controlled storage unit in a cold weather climate, it's important to choose the right items to store. Items that are sensitive to temperature fluctuations or humidity, such as electronics, artwork, and antiques, may not be suitable for storage in a non-climate-controlled unit. Instead, focus on storing items that are more durable, such as furniture, clothing, and sporting equipment.
Drain Water from Items and Carefully Store Containers with Liquids
Drain any fluids from appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines, and clean them thoroughly before storing them. Also, if you plan to store containers with liquid in them, be sure to store them in a plastic sealed tote just in case the container bursts open from extreme cold or heat. We recommend not storing any aerosols, cleaning supplies, bug spray, etc. that may freeze and expire due to the extreme cold.
Pack and Seal your Items Properly
Proper packing and sealing is crucial when storing items in a non-climate-controlled storage unit in a cold weather climate. In a cold weather climate, moisture and humidity can be a major concern for stored items. It’s very important to choose the right containers. Store all your items in sturdy containers or plastic totes. If you choose to use cardboard boxes, make sure they are very sturdy and in good condition. Plastic containers with tight-fitting lids are a better choice however, as they are less likely to absorb moisture or be affected by temperature fluctuations than cardboard boxes. To prevent moisture and humidity from damaging your items inside the containers, use desiccant packs or moisture absorbers to remove excess moisture from the air. Silica gel packets are a common type of desiccant and can be purchased online or at many hardware stores. Place a few packets in each container to help keep your items dry. Make sure to seal all boxes and containers with packing tape to prevent moisture from seeping in. Also, we suggest using high-quality packing materials such as plastic wrap, packing paper, and bubble wrap to protect your items from moisture and temperature fluctuations. Use furniture blankets or moving pads to wrap large items that could potentially warp or crack.
Store Items Off the Ground and Away from the Door
To protect your items from damage in a cold weather climate, it's very important to keep them off the ground. This is because the ground can be damp and cold, which can cause moisture to seep into your containers. Place pallets or wooden boards on the floor of your storage unit to elevate your items and place a tarp or plastic sheet over the pallets to protect against moisture. You can also use shelving units to elevate your valuables off the ground. Using one of these storage methods will help keep your items dry and prevent damage from flooding, leaks or moisture. We highly recommend that any items that may be impacted by moisture be stored towards the back of the unit space, away from the door. At Storehouse, we work hard to keep snow, ice and water away from the indoor storage units but Minnesota can throw some tough weather at us and snow can blow in through cracks if the wind is blowing hard enough. Also, if it rains hard, it’s inevitable that some water may seep under or around the rubber door seal.
Store and Stack Your Valuables Carefully
As you move your valuables into your storage unit, stack all containers carefully to maximize the use of vertical space. However, make sure the boxes and totes are strong enough to support anything stacked above them. The moisture and weather fluctuations can cause cardboard boxes to soften and give way to any weight put on top of them. Keep this in mind as you load up your storage unit with all your possessions. Also, it’s helpful to label all boxes and containers clearly with the contents to make sure that anything fragile or susceptible to weather is stored on top and not under the weight of other containers. This will also make it easier to find and retrieve your items later.
Check on Your Items Regularly
Even though you may not be able to control the temperature and humidity in a non-climate-controlled storage unit in a cold weather climate, you can still monitor the condition of your items. Check on your items regularly, especially during extreme weather conditions, to make sure they are still in good condition. If you notice any signs of damage or deterioration, take action immediately to prevent further damage.
Finally, consider purchasing insurance for your stored items. While a non-climate-controlled storage unit in a cold weather climate may not be ideal for sensitive items, it can still provide a safe and secure storage solution for many items. However, accidents can still happen, and insurance can provide peace of mind knowing that you're covered in the event of damage or loss.
In conclusion, packing your items for indoor self-storage in a cold weather climate that is not climate-controlled requires some extra precautions to protect your belongings from damage. By following these tips though, you can help protect your stored items and ensure that they remain in good condition for when you need them.