Avoiding Common Storage Mistakes

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Four Things People Often Store Improperly

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Moving your things into a storage unit is a task that sounds pretty simple on the surface. However, if you don't store items properly, you'll find that they're ruined when you need them later. This is especially likely if you keep your items in storage for more than a couple of months. There's no point in putting things in storage if they aren't going to remain in usable condition. So, here's a look at four of the top items people often store improperly -- along with tips to make sure you do a better job!

1. Mattresses

Mattresses are more vulnerable than they look. When stored improperly, they can develop mold. The springs can also become compressed or dislodged, making the mattress uncomfortable.

One common mistake people make when storing mattresses is storing them on their sides. This can cause the springs to distort over time. You should always store a mattress laying flat, as if it were in use. Don't put anything heavy on top of the mattress, either, as it may leave a dent.

Another common mattress storage mistake is fully encasing the mattress in plastic. The plastic is not breathable, so it traps any moisture in the air against the mattress, leading to mold growth. Instead of covering the mattress in plastic, place it in a mattress box or cover it with some sheets. Both options keep dirt away while allowing the mattress to breathe.

2. Refrigerators

So many refrigerators are smelly, moldy, and unusable when finally removed from storage units. This is often because owners don't take the time to fully clean them out before placing them in storage. Make sure you empty the water reservoir, wipe down the walls and shelves of the fridge with a mixture of baking soda and water, and let the fridge dry out completely before you move it to the storage unit.

Also make sure you store your refrigerator in the upright position. Storing it on its side may cause the coolant to shift and leak.

3. Wooden Furniture

Wooden furniture is pretty sturdy, but it can become cracked or rotten in storage if you're not careful. Many people forget to polish their wooden furniture before putting it in storage. Applying a good layer of polish is essential since it keeps the wood moist. You should also cover the furniture lightly with a sheet or breathable cloth. This will keep dust off of the furniture without trapping too much moisture against it.

You should also avoid storing wooden furniture directly on the ground. If the ground becomes moist at any point, the wood may absorb this moisture. It will travel up the legs of the furniture and may cause rot. Store the wooden furniture on a pallet or at least a tarp.

4. Upholstered Furniture

Make sure you vacuum all fabric and upholstered furniture before putting it in storage. Chances are, there are some crumbs or other small remnants left behind in or on the furniture, which may attract insects if left in place.

Do not cover your cloth furniture with a colored cloth. It could bleed if exposed to any moisture. Instead, use a plain white sheet or a cover made specifically for the furnishing. As with wooden furniture, make sure you store the furniture on a pallet or a tarp to avoid contact with the ground.

If you store your items properly, they will still be in good shape years from now. If you're not sure how to store a specific item, reach out to the owners or operators of the storage facility you're renting from. They can tell you what has worked for others in the past. For more information, contact companies like National Self Storage - Denver.