Moving your House into Storage

10th January 2018, Jack Manning-Swallow

Keeping your items safe is a priority for most, so putting your items into a storage unit is usually a wise decision. However there are a number of things you need to consider before moving your house into storage. Before moving your furniture abroad, you might need to look for a place to store your belongings. If so, we have compiled some tips to help you with your removal.

Below is an overview of the main point that will be discussed:

What you can and cannot store

What not to put into storage

There are a number of obvious and not so obvious things that you are allowed to store in storage units. Below is a list of the items you cannot store.

  • Perishables – This is usually overlooked as not seen as a big deal. But perishables such as food items and even pet food should not be kept in a storage units as can cause issues. Once insects and rodents locate the food it’ll be tough to get rid of them. Not just eating all the food but potentially damaging your other belongings.
  • Live animals – This may seem quite obvious to most people, but you may not store living animals, or even dead ones, in your storage unit. You wouldn’t store your children in one (I hope) so why would you with your pets.
  • Hazardous materials – A hazardous material is anything that can create serious damage if spilled or opened. Examples include corrosive materials, chemicals, odorous/noxious gases, anything toxic or flammable, gasoline, compressed gas etc. These materials can potentially catch fire, explode or cause health risks, and you could be held liable.
  • Unregistered vehicles – Whether it’s a car, truck, boat, RV, trailer or motorcycle. Unregistered vehicles cannot be stored on the facility unless the registration is kept current, and in your name.

What you can put into storage

Now we’ve determined the main items not to bring to your storage unit, lets discuss what you can store.

  • Registered vehicles – As long as you have the proper documentation, you are permitted to store or park your vehicles at a storage facility. It is important to check the storage facility is large enough first. For large items like a boat or RV, it is best to call ahead rather than just stop by with your boat in a tow.
  • Electronics – You are able to store your computers, video games, stereo systems and the sort in your unit. Keep in mind that most electronics are sensitive to extreme heat and cold, so a temperature-control unit may be useful. Make sure all batteries are removed, as they are corrosive and could damage your items over time when not in use.
  • Furniture – These are the most common items kept in storage units, either temporarily while looking for your next house and just for safe keeping. You should consider covering upholstered items and bedding with plastic covers for protection. It is also recommend to use a DampRid to soak up any moisture and prevent it from creeping into your furniture. Temperature-control units may also be useful if storing expensive furniture.
  • Clothes – This is another popular item for self storage. Make sure to box it up neatly and label items clearly. You can also put in a couple cedar chips or moth balls to keep any potential insects away if planning to keep it in storage for an extended period of time.
  • Household appliances – You are able to store most of your household appliances a. However, you may want to check the smaller motorised ones in case they are temperature sensitive. It is best to ensure all appliances are completely cleaned out and leave the door open slightly on refrigerators and ovens to prevent mould and bacteria growing on the inside.

Packing a storage unit

Packaging your items

It is important your items are kept safe. When storing items it is important to package them properly and take extra precaution. Especially if you’re planning on keeping your items in storage for extended periods of time. Before packaging there are also a number of factors you need to consider before moving your house into storage, these can be found on our moving checklist page. Below are some of the top things to consider when packaging your items:

Use correct boxes

Typically you’ll need one large box for every 4 medium boxes. Use the smaller boxes for heavy items such as books and dishes; the large boxes for lighter items like bedding, blankets and linens.

Don’t over pack

Make sure your boxes do not weigh more than you can comfortably life. They should remain in their ‘square’ shape and not bulging at the top or sides so they are able to be stable when stacking. You wan’t them to stay in tact and not break to allow anything to damage your possessions.

Label everything

Even though you may think you will remember everything you’re placing in the storage unit, it’s likely there are things you will forget. Especially if you’re leaving your things for long periods of times it’s always best to be organised. Also add ‘this side up’ labels as you don’t want to have positions broken or damaged when moving them around.

Tape matters

This might not seem like a big deal but it is important to purchase good tape. This will prevent items from becoming separated from the rest of the belongings.

Hang it up

You wouldn’t keep your good clothes in a pile at home, so why pile them in a box here? Use hanging wardrobe boxes. This allows your clothes to breath and prevent from becoming damp and dirty. It’s also advised to use cedar chips or moth balls to keep any potential insects away.

Inside unit vs outside

There are a number of different storage units you can rent, the main being inside and outside ones. But what is the distinct difference between them?

Indoor storage units offer storage similar to as if you were storing at home, in a walk-in closet or home office. Outdoor storage, is slightly different in the sense it is where you’ll find the largest units. These are often used for vehicle storage, storing large items, or using storage during a move. So depending on what you want your storage for will depend on which one you will pick. There are many advantages and disadvantages to each which will be shown below:

Indoor storage
  • Belongings not affected by weather
  • Added security for valuables
  • Close to metropolitan areas
  • Smaller space
  • Limited access (not 24;7)
  • More expensive
Outdoor storage
  • Convenient access
  • Larger storage space
  • 24;7 access
  • Affected by weather conditions
  • Usually further away from metropolitan areas

Top tips

Below is Sirelo’s top tips for when moving your house into storage.

1. Pallets, pallets and more pallets

Rule number one is to make sure your items are off the floor. This really is essential, when renting your unit there’s no way to promise that the melting snow won’t come under the door, or the unit next door won’t have a spillage that ruins your vintage sofa.

2. Plan for temperature change

This may not be a huge issue in England, but you never know when a freak storm might hit. Items that don’t react well with the cold or the heat should either be double wrapped or well insulated or not stored at all. Electronics, vinyl records, old photos (if humid) are all things that react badly when not stored properly.

3. Winter? Bring sand

Quite often what can happen with your storage unit is large ice slicks can form outside the door, making it almost impossible to get to your goods without risking life and limb or two. Carry cat litter, sand or even spare sheets of plywood to help you unload or access your items.

4. Use your tetris skills

Even small units are able to hold large amount of possessions. Your teachers may have nagged you that playing tetris in class won’t help you in the future… But they were wrong!! Here’s your chance to crack out your best tetris skills and squeeze every box, lamp and chair into the space available.

5. Label

You won’t remember everything you packed and where it is located, especially if leaving it in storage for a long time. Labelling your belongings clearly can save you a lot of time and effort when eventually returning to collect all your belongings.

moving your house into storage

How the weather can affect your unit

Some of your items will not react well to staying in a storage facility if they are not climate controlled. Although the UK is not the worst for a variety in weather conditions, a number of your items will be affected by slight temperature change. The top items affected are listed below:

Wooden furniture

When exposed to too much moisture over time, wood can crack, warp, or rot. If you are planning on storing wooden furniture like bed frames, tables and chairs, nightstands, dressers, etc, it is wise to purchase a climate-controlled storage. This will prevent damage to your belongings

Leather furniture

Leather items are more susceptible to moisture, which can discolour the pieces and cause mildew. Having climate-controlled storage’s will prevent this from happening

Household appliances

Household goods including; Washers, dryers, dishwashers, ovens, microwaves, and refrigerators should be climate controlled if weather changes are susceptible.

climate control protects electronic and mechanical parts from cracking and rust that could cause permanent damage.

Special collections

The whole point of collecting certain items is to preserve them for years to come. Temperature control can help with that preservation. These items can include:

  • Coins
  • Stamps
  • Comics
  • Wine

Musical instruments

Musical instruments, although can be very large, are also very delicate and need to be handled with great care. Whether it’s short-term or long-term storage for instruments, temperature control is a must. This will prevent moisture damage resulting in them rusting and becoming damaged.

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