October 30, 2018
11 Useful Tips for Storing Stuff for Winter
When storing your summer stuff for winter you’ll need to protect it, even if it’s going to into a clean, dry self-storage facility. The cold and lack of use of certain electronic devices and other items can inflict severe damage if they aren’t stored properly.
This is the second part of our autumn blogs reinforcing why prepping your items for storage is a good idea.
Cold and lack of use can hurt your belongings. Protect your treasured possessions by protecting them before winter storage. Use these helpful tips to prevent harm and keep your stuff in pristine condition. Start early so you have plenty of time to safeguard all the things you plan to store during the cold weather.
- Use wool or cotton covers – It’s a good idea to give your items added protection by packing them. This helps keep bugs and dust away, especially if they’re being stored long-term. However, avoid using vinyl or plastic covers; these materials trap moisture, which can cause damage to your items. The cold can also make plastic brittle, making it more likely to crack. Wrap your sensitive objects in wool or cotton (e.g. moving blankets) to insulate them. Alternatively, you can wrap certain items in newspaper to help retain heat.
- Clean your items – Always clean objects before putting them in storage. Dirty items can attract pests and it’s far more pleasant to take clean things out of storage than dirty. Give everything a thorough wipe, rinse, and dry — especially BBQ cooking utensils and tools. Rodents and other pests can smell any food residue, and those pests can cause damage to everything inside. Dirt and grime can also become a problem if they sit one or near fabric or paint for months on end. Clean everything preserves the life of your property.
- Repair everything – When you keep things in storage, it’s a good bet you won’t take them out until much later when you need them. If you pull something out of storage expecting to use it the same day, you may be disappointed. Check all your seasonal equipment and make sure it’s ready to use when you pull it out in springtime. You’ll have peace of mind all winter, knowing that your things were in good condition when you stored them.
- Keep electronics off the ground – Be doubly careful if you’re storing any electronics and avoid setting them on the ground. The ground loses heat easily, making it colder than the rest of the room. The cold can affect electronics’ inner workings and batteries even in a climate-controlled storage unit. Electronics left like this over the winter can become quite damaged.
- Swap out your summer wardrobe – If you need some extra space in your closet, consider keeping your summer clothes in storage. Not only does this free up space for more appropriate clothing, you can also use this as an opportunity to find clothes you no longer want to keep and give them away. Likewise, you can do this with other summer stuff (e.g. surfboards, boogie boards, and beach toys). Keeping these items in self-storage is a good way to keep them safe.
- Store your lawn equipment – You won’t be doing certain chores during the winter (e.g. mowing the lawn). Use the off-season to store your lawnmower and other yard maintenance tools; they might take up space in the garage that could be better spent on winter-appropriate tools (e.g. shovels, salt, and snow blowers). Give your tools a good cleaning before storage to ensure they don’t get damaged while waiting. Remove all the gas from your lawnmower before storage. The gasoline can eat the carburetor, forcing you to have to repair it before use.
- Use your storage unit to hide gifts – Put your storage unit to good use by keeping Christmas presents and accessories there. If you have young kids, you can use this to play Santa and avoid them finding their presents before they should, keeping everything a surprise until the day itself. Keep all your gift-wrapping materials in the storage unit as well; now you have a place to keep them without making a mess at home.
- Put in packing material – If you use boxes or other storage supplies, packing peanuts, and similar materials can do more than protect your stuff from impacts. Packing materials also work as insulators to protect your things from the cold, giving you greater security during winter. If you plan on keeping the storage unit for the long-term, consider using polystyrene peanuts to protect what you store for years to come.
- Be careful with canned goods – Be extra careful with canned goods, soda, or any other sealed items. The temperature difference can cause containers to burst and spill; the contents of those containers can be hazardous if consumed. Inspect any cans closely before use and look for any ruptures. If you have one, use an unplugged refrigerator to store these items. The fridge can keep your goods at a consistent temperature and insulate them from the cold.
- Protect your vehicle – Winter can be harsh on your vehicle, causing damage to the battery, brakes, and tires. If you have a car that’s specifically for summer driving, protecting it is important. To prepare it for storage in your garage or some other indoor location, empty the gas to avoid damaging the inner workings. Gasoline and chemicals in the engine can also freeze over the winter, causing compartments in the car to burst. Once spring comes, check the car’s tires; they tend to deflate during winter, so you may have to re-inflate them. Do be careful when inflating the tires. The expansion and sudden rise in temperature can cause blowouts. Measure the PSI before adding air. Check with your self-storage service first to find the right size unit for your vehicle.
- Choose climate-controlled units – When available, choose a storage service with climate-controlled units. These units keep a consistent temperature throughout the year, helping you avoid temperature damage. If you have sensitive items to store, this can be a worthy investment. Do note that climate-controlled units also work during summer to protect your things from the heat.
You will have to do some tasks to protect your belongings over the cold winter months, but it’s well worth the effort. These tips can help keep your items protected until you need them again. If you’re looking for safe and reliable storage, check out Centron Self Storage.
At Centron Self Storage, we want to help you find the right storage space. Whether you need to keep important documents, store your off-season items, or get ready for a move, we’re ready to serve you. Our staff can help you find the right unit size, and we offer content insurance to safeguard a unit’s content. Contact us at (416) 739-0000 in North York, or (416) 690-8585 for Toronto.