The changing seasons can take quite a toll on your family’s belongings, and no one wants to open their boxes at the start of the year only to realize that their possessions have been damaged. That is why it is so important to carefully plan out exactly how you are going to pack, organize, and store everything that you won’t need in the coming months. Here is a quick look at six handy storage tips that will keep your prized possessions safe and undamaged no matter what the weather is like outside.
Keep Moisture at Bay
One of your biggest enemies during the cold season is moisture, and you must do everything in your power to keep your storage spaces as dry as possible. Before packing up any items, you should first inspect your storage areas for any signs of high humidity levels. During the winter, your indoor humidity levels should stay between 30 and 50 percent. Keeping your home within that range will preserve your belongings and improve your family’s comfort.
Banish Pests From Your Property
Most animals will attempt to hibernate once the weather starts to cool off, but they might become active after you turn your heater on. Pests such as rats and cockroaches can cause a tremendous amount of damage in a short period of time, and they thrive in dark closets and cardboard boxes. The most effective way to keep pests out of your home is to schedule a service call with a pest control expert twice a year. You also need to look for any small openings that will allow pests in. As long as the rodents and bugs don’t have access to water or a place to nest, they will most likely leave.
Consider Climate Controlled Storage
Even if you have quite a bit of storage space in your home, you might not have enough room in areas that stay at a relatively consistent temperature. Your basement and attic can easily be 30 degrees colder than the rest of your home, and that could end up damaging some of the items that you are storing. Renting storage space that has consistent temperatures and humidity levels is one of the easiest ways to protect your possessions. Many storage locations even offer 24/7 security services to limit your risk of theft and vandalism. These storage units are a great option for electronics, paper products, and seasonal gear that you won’t need for a few months.
Don’t Stack Your Boxes Too Deep
Maximizing your storage space won’t happen overnight, and you might need to reorganize your boxes every few weeks until you come up with a system that works. Just because the weather is cold outside doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t use some of your summer gear, and you don’t want to spend hours wading through boxes to find what you need. Not only should all of your boxes and bins be properly labeled, but the labels need to face forward as well. Stacking the boxes more than a few feet deep can also be dangerous if the items end up tipping over.
Donate What You Haven’t Used in the Last Year
Fall is the perfect time to go through all of your belongings and donate anything that you haven’t used in the last year. Many non-profit organizations desperately need certain goods once the weather starts to cool off. They often run out of warm clothing such as jackets, socks, leggings, gloves, and beanies. In addition to clothes, you might also want to clear out your pantry and donate the food you haven’t been able to cook. Some of the best foods to donate include canned vegetables, low-sodium canned beans, canned meats, sauces, and pasta.
Start Before the First Winter Storm
You shouldn’t wait until the first frost or winter storm to start organizing your home. You can do everything in your power to get your home ready for the winter months and still end up dealing with roof leaks, water damage, drafty windows, and other issues that could potentially damage your possessions. Starting this process early will also take some of the stress out of the situation. Instead of trying to pack up your home in a single weekend, you can spend extra time in each room to make sure that the job is done correctly.