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Basic Tips for Keeping Clothes in Storage

Basic Tips for Keeping Clothes in Storage

Basic Tips for Keeping Clothes in StorageWhen the closet becomes full and room for new clothes is scarce, a self-storage unit can be just what you need for the clothes you’re not wearing but still wish to keep in a safe place. When placing clothing items in a self-storage unit, it is necessary to take every precaution to prevent your clothes from damage, whether by weather or pests. No matter if you’re storing your clothes for thirty days or one year, follow these tips to keep your clothes in great condition until you are ready to wear them again.

Clean all garments thoroughly before storage. For long-term storage, don’t use starch or any other form of fragrance on the clothes as it will attract moths or other pests. The place where you store your garments should be cool, dry, and dark. Sunlight, extreme heat, and moisture might damage your clothing. Extra care should be taken when keeping garments in regions with high temperatures, perhaps in these places, a temperature or climate controlled unit would be best.

Try not to leave clothing in storage without reviewing its condition on at least a quarterly basis. Leaving your clothes sitting for months-on-end could promote the growth of mold, especially if they don’t have access to appropriate ventilation. This is particularly true in regions of high moisture. Using silica gel is a fantastic way to mitigate humidity in these kinds of environments. And for moths, cedar cubes are a great, all natural method to discourage them. These will offer protection for the garments without the lingering odor of mothballs or other chemical pest control items.

When utilizing hangers, nonmetallic hangers are best because they won’t rust, and be specific when labeling storage containers. This will help retain the integrity of every item and protect against mildew or dye transfer between clothes, as will storing clothes with as few folds as possible.

Whatever you do, a bit of research can’t make your situation worse. Before you put your clothes in storage, being prepared with all the relevant information will make it anxiety-free and worthwhile.

Prepare Your Motorcycle for Storage

Now that the roads are wet and icy, and a clear, warm sunlit day is as unlikely as a year-long summer season, it’s time to prepare your motorcycle for storage.

Clean

Whether you have a motorcycle that you just bought and it needs a lot of work, or a motorcycle with a new chrome finish, the most important thing you can do at the outset is clean your bike. Dirt traps moisture, and moisture causes rust. This is the number one reason that unless your bike is clean it probably isn’t ready for storage. As an extra preventative measure, once you wipe your bike clean, lightly cover all exposed metal surfaces with an oil like WD-40. As oil is hydrophobic, it will protect the surfaces most vulnerable to rust from water.

Fuel System, Engine Prep, and Tires

As with anything that runs on gas, either draining the tank of gas or supplementing the gas with a fuel additive is a necessity if you want to prevent the gas tank from rust erosion. Storing gas in the tank without running your bike all winter might cause condensation in the tank; this is one thing the fuel additive protects against.

Another preventative measure you’ll want to take is changing the oil. With old oil in your engine, gunk could build up over time as the motorcycle is stationary. Changing the oil and running your motorcycle for a few minutes so it cycles through the system will help prevent buildup in the engine. Likewise, don’t forget to double check your antifreeze, which will protect against freezing, which causes condensation, which causes erosion.

Lastly, whether you are in a climate controlled unit or a regular unit, it is difficult to raise the temperature of concrete slabs that are poured into the ground above ground temperature. When the ground freezes, as a result, the floor temperature of your unit could drop below freezing. As a result, many motorcycle enthusiasts either use center stands, which suspends their bikes in air, or roll their motorcycles onto cardboard or wood. Using a cycle stand is certainly the most ideal, given that it not only protects the tire rubber against below freezing temperatures, reducing cracks, the motorcycle stand also protects against lumps in the tires. If you cannot get a cycle stand, however, you should at least get a cardboard box, as below freezing temperature could cause your motorcycle tires to crack.

Storage Unit

For maximum protection from the elements, it is recommended that you reserve either a climate controlled or temperature controlled unit. The difference is that climate controlled units not only control temperature but also control humidity, whereas temperature controlled units just control the temperature of the unit. However, if you just have a new fixer-upper motorcycle that needs a lot of work, a regular storage unit will probably serve you well.

 

Prevent Bugs and Pests in Your Storage Unit

Prevent Bugs and Pests in Your Storage Unit

Prevent Bugs and Pests in Your Storage UnitThe number one fear of storage unit customers is that their prized belongings will be taken over by pests. This fear, though warranted in some areas, is preventable if you take a few crucial steps.

First Things First: Facility Measures

The first thing you want to do is know the policy of your self storage facility. Many facilities have pest control come out on a regular basis to spray the premises. Not only is this preventative measure effective at repelling pests from outside the premises entering into storage units, but regular pest control preventative measures also reduces the chances that if any given unit has a pest problem it will spread to neighboring units.

Secondly, look around the self storage facility to determine if the staff keeps the grounds in good shape. Is there trash everywhere, or are trash cans and dumpsters closed and well kept? A trash problem on facility grounds could be a huge source of attraction for pests.

You Can Prevent Pests

Mold and mildew build up in your storage unit is bad news. If you use boxes, you’ll want to elevate them off the ground. Most storage unit floors are slabs of concrete, and, of course, with no crawl space or basement, the floor temperature will parallel the fluctuating temperatures of the ground. This can cause condensation to build up on the floor and when boxes are added to the mix you might create a stew of wet paper, mold, and a crowd-pleasing environment for pests. Storing boxes on crates is ideal for pest prevention.

You will also want to use furniture wraps for major items and store clothing in containers. Any upholstery item is particularly susceptible to changes in temperature and pest infestation. Plastic containers for smaller items are perfect protection from outside pests. The key is to create separation between your items and the self storage unit floor.

And, lastly, if you are really paranoid about pests, there are multiple pest prevention products sold at general stores. But if the self storage location is relatively clean and has pest control regular visit for preventative measures, you should have nothing to worry about.

Three Places to Store Your Spare Keys

Improvements in technology haven’t really solved the old, eternal dilemma: where to put the spare key. Hiding it is imperative, but keeping it accessible, and in a memorable spot, is difficult. We recommend 3 easy, accessible places to hide your key in plain sight.

Car floor mat

As long as you don’t lose your car keys, your car floor mat is a great place to keep your spare key. It’s so great because, presumably, your car will be wherever you are.

Wind Chime

It may be unorthodox to hide your spare key in plain sight, but it’s perhaps a most effective method, given certain constraints. Attaching your key to a wind chime gives you accessibility and also an alarm. If anyone is attempting to take your key, you’ll hear it. On the other hand, every time your wind chime rings you might be tempted to peek outside. It’s a worthy sport for consideration, though.

Pet or Pet House

This may not just be unorthodox, but downright heresy. So long as you have the spare key on a keychain loop, you can attach it to almost anything. Consider placing the key either on the collar of a pet or in an outside pet house. That way, the spare key has a guard, and it’ll come to you when called.

Wherever you hide your spare keys, just make sure you don’t forget where they are, and keep them in accessible locations. That way, next time you get locked out, getting back into your apartment or home won’t be a nightmare.

Tips for Storing Rugs

Tips for Storing Rugs

Tips for Storing RugsMaybe you’ve downsized your living space for a while. Or maybe you have family staying for an extended visit, and you don’t want their dogs to trample your large, pristine rug. Whatever your situation, when you put your rug in storage, you’ll want to prepare it properly.

Clean

First thing’s first: clean the rug thoroughly. Dirt, when concentrated in a small area of a rug, can form a clump, causing a smooth, hard surface on the rug. This, obviously, is completely undesirable. So dust the rug, then vacuum, and repeat a few times. Diligence will not only rid the rug of dust and dirt, but it’ll also prevent entrenched hair and dust from causing odors over long periods of storage.

Prevent

Next, you’ll want to prevent water and pest damage from ruining your rug while it’s in storage.

To prevent pests, apply a repellent designed for rugs. Then let it set for a few minutes before you roll it up, especially if the repellent is a liquid. You don’t want the rug to be wet for the next step. A wet rug in storage is a recipe for mold.

Never fold the rug. This will compromise the foundation, causing breaks and folds that irreversibly separate its material. Rather, roll up the rug. If it’s delicate, have the material facing outside, as this will put less pressure on its foundation. Either way, be sure to wrap the rug in paper wrapping which will allow moisture to escape while also protecting the exposed, rolled-up exterior.

Storage

The ideal place for a rug is in a climate-controlled storage unit. That way, you’ll control how much moisture is in the air. Some rugs soak up humidity, causing them to trap odors. But, to be sure, check out the material type and what kind of conditions it can endure. Certainly, a temperature-controlled unit or a regular storage unit will be less expensive. If this is a route you can go, it will be more cost-effective.

At the end of the day, you’ll just want to have your rug off the floor, which prevents pest infestation and moisture accumulation. And you’ll want it out of direct light, which can cause certain materials to fade. You’ll also want to check it every once in a while. The sooner you discover issues, the sooner you can resolve them.

Conclusion

Rugs can be finicky. Be sure to research the kind of rug you have and what kind of conditions it can endure without losing value or beauty. And, as you follow these tips, you can be sure that your rug is perfectly prepared for storage.

Tips for Preparing Your Washer and Dryer for Storage

How to Prepare Your Washer and Dryer for Storage

 

Tips for Preparing Your Washer and Dryer for StorageMaybe you’re in between homes, or your new place doesn’t have a designated area for your washer and dryer yet. Whatever your situation, the following tips will prove useful as you prepare your washer and dryer for storage.

Cleaning

First thing’s first: clean your washer. You don’t want your washer to rust while it sits in storage. Nor do you want detergent residue to harden beyond the point of no return. Simply clean your washer by running a hot water cycle with vinegar. Then dry it with a towel.

All you’ll want to do for your dryer is clean out the lint tray well, by simply rubbing a damp cloth against its filter.

Disconnecting

Many manuals actually lay out the steps for disconnecting your washer and dryer. You’ll want to consult a manual if you have it. Otherwise, generally you’ll want to turn off the water, the electricity breakers, and disconnect the hoses. Then your machines will be ready to move.

Moving

You may be surprised by how light washers and dryers are. But, whether they’re light or heavy, you’ll want to purchase or borrow a dolly. Transportation will be much easier, and you won’t have to worry about denting or jarring anything. If you hire a moving company, don’t forget to stay informed about their policies.

Storing

Wrap both your machines with either shrink wrap or a blanket. This will keep them clean from dust and protect them from dents and scratches, if you’ll be moving things around a lot.

Another thing you’ll want to do is store them on pallets. This will keep them from forming condensation underneath, as pallets allow airflow. And, as a bonus, they’ll protect your units in the unlikely occasion that water gets into your unit.

 

 

Tips for Packing the Kitchen

Tips for Packing the Kitchen

Tips for Packing the KitchenWhether you’re moving to a new home, or you just need to put your kitchenware in storage for a while, the following tips will help you pack your kitchen efficiently.

Glasses

Many people pack their glass cups in boxes with their bottoms to the floor. It’s just like putting them in a cabinet, right?

Actually, to prevent movement, after you wrap your glassware in newspaper, felt, or dishcloths, it’s best to place them upside down. Since most glassware has a bowl-shaped top, the top generally covers more area. This extra area will add significant stability when you move your boxes from one place to the next.

Plates

You’re worried about your plates moving around in their boxes, so you stack them on top of each other. This isn’t a good idea. As you add plates to the pile, more pressure is placed on the plates at bottom. This causes them, eventually, to crack.

Rather, the best practice is to wrap each plate. You can use anything from newspapers to handy dishrags that you need to pack anyway. Once wrapped, stack the plates on their sides, next to each other. Then there will be no pressure on the plates. And, if there is extra space, just stuff more newspaper in the box. Otherwise, you don’t have to worry about movement.

Appliances

You might wonder what you do with small appliances. Some of them can have many parts. And if you want to place them in storage, you’ll want to take them apart to require less space for storage.

Don’t just throw every piece to every appliance in a small box. It’ll be a nightmare when you try to piece them back together. Rather, grab small Ziploc bags, label them, and place the parts to different appliances in different bags. Then when you re-assemble, you won’t have to play the trial-and-error guessing game. That small blade probably doesn’t fit with the can-opener.

For larger appliances, clean all food out thoroughly, especially if they’re headed for storage. This will prevent any unwanted creatures from visiting. You’ll also want to wrap them in plastic, for a final layer of security. You can get plastic at any moving-supplies store and at most Infinite Self Storage locations.

If you have any questions about packing your kitchen for storage, feel free to give one of our professionals a call!

tips for storing quilts

Tips for Storing Quilts

tips for storing quiltsQuilts are valuable because they’re made and inherited by family members, and their significance only increases as time passes. It can be worrisome to store them for long periods of time. Most people know not to store quilts in direct sunlight. But what about storing quilts for several consecutive months? Follow these tips to keep your quilts in pristine condition.

Store in a Temperature Controlled Unit

Transitioning from an extremely cold to an extremely hot environment can cause condensation to accumulate. And quilts will act like sponges to this build-up of water. Eventually, the moisture will eventually dry out the fibers that hold these quilts together.

But you control the temperature changes in a temperature controlled unit. So it’s best to get one to store your quilts in. Just keep the temperature consistent, and you’ll be fine.

Don’t Store in Plastic

Quilts are known to sweat in air-tight containers. It’s because the cotton fibers need oxygen to maintain their structure. You may think plastic is the best container to prevent a rodent infestation. But it won’t help the longevity of your quilt.

If you store your quilt in a plastic container, it may gain spots.

Store Your Quilt Rolled-up or Flat

Instead, find a reputable self storage facility, like Infinite Self Storage, and roll up your quilt in a furniture cover. Either suspend the rolled up quilt from the ceiling or find a space long and wide enough to lay it flat on the ground. Folded quilts can acquire permanent creases which will breakdown the fabric. So it’s best to either store your quilts flat or suspended.

Infinite Self Storage has a packing supplies store at most of its facilities. Contact your local Infinite Self Storage professional staff for more information on storage techniques and self storage unit availability.

 

Prepare Your Car for Winter

Prepare Your Car for The Winter Season

prepare car for winterSometimes breaking down in the summer and spring months isn’t too much of a hassle: especially if the weather is nice. But breaking down in sub-zero temperatures is another story. Prepare your car this winter by following these tips.

Check Your Battery

According to TheAA, the most common cause of breakdown is battery related. And battery related issues are exacerbated in winter months. Because of the cold weather, batteries have lower outputs levels, accept charges at lesser levels, and carry increased loads (lights, heat, wipers, etc.).

To avoid issues in the winter months, TheAA recommends replacing your battery if it is five years or older, especially if your car has trouble starting up. An easy preventative maintenance step you can take to decrease the load on your battery at startup is to turn everything electrical off for the first few seconds when you start your car. Avoid a breakdown this winter by taking care of your battery.

Wipers

Do you remember the last time you bought windshield wipers? If not, it’s probably time to get a new set. You can find wipers made specifically for the winter at your local auto store. These wear down less from ice accumulation and remove ice from your windshield easier than non-winter wipers.

Tires Lose 1 Pound of Pressure per Every 10 Degree Drop

Well, according to TireRack.com, the actual equation is 2% per every 10-degree Fahrenheit drop. But for the average car tire requiring 30-50 psi for adequate inflation, the difference between the summer and winter temperature could lose you at least 5 psi in tire inflation. That difference could end up making your car slide on the snow. Be sure to check your psi periodically in the winter months to ensure your tires are up to the car manual’s specifications.

Car Wash

This might sound strange, but car washes are imperative in the winter months if you drive on roads that are constantly plowed and salted. The salt can cause rust on your car’s frame and break and gas lines.  Car washes will keep your car untouched by the dangers of winter-related rusting.

The winter months don’t only call for a change in attire. But they also demand certain preparations be made to your car. Get your car ready for the winter by following these tips.