How Long Can You Store This?

Posted on July 20, 2021

Protect clothing in storage by using cedar rings to prevent pest infestations.

For those of us who do the grocery shopping for our households, checking expiry dates on fresh food items is second nature. After all, there is nothing worse than coming home with spoiled milk! But did you know that some of the things we place in storage can also expire if left too long? Learn what belongings can degrade in local storage over time and how you can preserve your items so that they don’t end up worst for wear.


What Is Organic vs. Non-Organic?

Many of the things we place in indoor storage consist of organic materials. In other words, they derive from either plant, animal, or earthen materials such as:

  • Cotton, silk
  • Leather
  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Clay/porcelain
  • Natural rubber
  • Paint, especially watercolour

These items tend to disintegrate, decompose, fade or break easier than non-organic materials such as plastic, styrofoam, or metal. One exception to this rule is glass. While breakable, glass - made from sand - does not typically decompose in the same way other organic materials do.


What Items Need More Protection While in Storage?

As explained above, organic materials tend to fare the worst when in long-term storage. These materials can also succumb to damage from pests if left in an unsecured storage unit. Also, some electrical components and metals can suffer from corrosion if exposed to moisture.


What Are Some Other Things You can Do to Protect Vulnerable Items In Storage?

Protecting your items in your Kelowna storage unit starts when you pack. There are several ways to protect your leather sofa, papers, clothes, and other materials. Try some of these tips:

  • Use non-organic packing materials such as plastic bins and plastic hangers instead of cardboard. 
  • Place cedar blocks, chips, or rings among linens, clothing, and other textiles to prevent moth infestations.
  • Invest in secure climate-controlled file storage or warehousing to protect vulnerable items such as paintings, photographs, and papers from fading.
  • Place wood or leather furniture or furnishings on racks, shelves, or pallets to lift off the floor.
  • Wrap items in blankets or tarps. DO NOT place items in plastic bags, as the bag can trap moisture and prevent air circulation.


For more storage tips, read How to Pack for Long-Term Storage vs. Short Term.


Space Centre Storage offers climate-controlled indoor storage, including warehousing and file storage in Kelowna to protect your most valuable items. We also offer a full selection of the finest quality moving supplies as well as MI-BOX® storage containers to keep your things safe and secure. Contact us to learn more.


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