It’s almost that time of year again, where we prepare for family outings, travel, hot, lazy afternoons and the late summer nights. For some of us, that means uprooting ourselves from our current homes, ready to migrate back up north or simply heading home from college. For others, it just means that this season comes with long periods away from the house and a bustle of activities, especially if you have kids.
Preparing For Summer Cleaning and Storage
For many of us, preparing for summer means creating space in our houses for all the extra activities and people that somehow tag along with summer. For businesses, it may include changing out seasonal stock or storing all the displays you had over winter. If you are a parent of school going children, it means putting away all that heavy, puffy winter gear and swapping it for all the light, floral summer wear. Out with the boots, hoodies’ scarves and winter jackets, along with the sandals, sun hats, pretty dresses, and shirts. Regardless of the situation, you will find a storage space that will fit any need.
Before all else, you need to determine exactly what you want to store. You also need to categorize them in terms of long term summer storage items and shorter-term ones. It is recommended that you start with unneeded items first. As you do this, you have to keep in mind the size of the storage unit you want. You can get any size you want. From closet, to room, to garage, to a whole container if need be. However, you also need to note that depending on where you live, summer temperatures can run pretty high, therefore you may need climate-controlled storage spaces to avoid moisture and mold buildup.
Summer Storage Tips for Your Storage Space
As we go into summer, here are a few storage tips as they relate to common seasonal storage situations.
Remember that heavy, dark, feathered winter coat? This is the time to put it in storage. To store winter clothes, it is recommended that you first remove anything that could be in the pockets. You definitely don’t want leftover chocolate melting in your pocket with the summer heat for over half the year.
It is also highly recommended that winter clothes be washed before storage. Any dirt, sweat or whatever else should not be left on clothes to be stored otherwise they can attract unwanted creatures and get permanently stained. Also, clothes store better when they are folded as opposed to when they are hung. Folding reduces the stretching of fabric over the months.
2. Special Materials
Have you ever left a pair of shoes or handbag somewhere for too long and found it meshed together?
Well, leather shoes, purses, and jackets need to be cleaned and rubbed with conditioning oil so that they do not dry or crack.
Fur needs to be stored under cool conditions, so a climate-controlled environment would be best
Wool should be dry-cleaned professionally and stored in breathable garment bags or boxes. It is also recommended to use cedar blocks to keep away moths and insects rather than using mothballs.
Rayon and cotton should be properly cleaned and folded in breathable bags or boxes.
Snowboards, skis and all other winter equipment need to be cleaned up before storage. This does not just entail wiping them down with a damp cloth. It includes cleaning the surfaces, sanding or sharpening the edges, putting on a fresh coat of wax to prevent drying out, then storing them in bags or sheets to keep off dust and also prevent rusting or warping. Winter sports equipment should always be stored upright and on soft surfaces such as rugs or towels.
During winter, boots seem to get the brunt of negligent treatment. By the time you are thinking of long term storage tips for summer, chances are that your boots have a lot of grime and their insoles and liners have accumulated moisture. These should be removed and hand washed before storage and the shells carefully wiped down. When storing boots, the shells should be stored while laced up and fastened so they do not lose their shape.
Final Long-Term Summer Storage Tips
1. Research Storage Restrictions.
Once you have identified where you will store all your stuff, find out what can and can’t be stored in your storage unit. Usually, the storage unit will provide you with a list of all the restricted items. If they do not do this, kindly ask to avoid complications afterward. Examples of restricted things include paint, fireworks, narcotics, gasoline etc. Perishable food, medicine, and plants are also not allowed.
2. Decide Which Personal Items You Want to Store
You may be tempted to store everything you own, but unless you are willing to pay an arm and a leg, you need to prioritize. Don’t be that person that puts everything in their storage unit only to have to go back every other day to collect something. If it is stuff that you may not use again, such as winter clothes that the kids have outgrown, consider giving them away or selling it.
3. Create an Inventory List of All Items
When storing things long-term, chances are, you will forget what you put in the boxes and you may look for it at home. Create a list of everything you put in the storage unit and keep the record safe. This way, when you do go back to pull things out, you can refer to your inventory list.
4. Mark Your Boxes or Use Clear Boxes
Imagine a scenario where there’s a bag you really need to get out of storage. You go to your storage unit but you have no idea where it could be. So, you need to guess and open boxes one by one searching for it. It is advisable to label your boxes and I you find that to be too much work or tacky, simply store everything in clear boxes that you can easily see through.
5. Disassemble Large Items
If you have any large equipment that you need to put away for the summer, they should be disassembled before being placed in storage. You will be able to save space by taking these items apart and also protect them from wear and tear.
6. Strategically Place Items Inside Your Storage Unit
Be intentional about where and how you place things inside the storage unit. To save on space, store whatever you can vertically. Heavy and large items should always be placed on the bottom and lighter ones on top of them. Consider what material makes up the floor of the storage unit and whether it can damage your items. Take note of whatever items you will need soon or often and place them near the door where they are easy to reach. You can use the same storage space for both short and long-term storage.
There are several storage units available that suit your particular need. All you have to do is so your research on what is being offered and choose the best fit for you.
Need Help With Your Summer Storage?
Alpha and Moving has got you covered! Get in touch with our storage and moving professionals to make sure your most precious stored items are always kept safe!