Store Safely: How to Clean and Pack Items for Self Storage

Posted on April 08, 2020

storage containers

Protect your belongings by cleaning and packing them in storage bins before they go into self-storage.

Just like that sandwich you left uneaten under your bed and forgot about, placing items in self-storage without the proper attention can leave you with a big, stinky mess.  While you should never store perishables in a storage unit for apparent reasons, other contaminants can attach to the surface or make their way inside boxes, and spread if items are not appropriately cleaned and packed. Protect your belongings and your health with these cleaning and packing tips.


Why Clean Before Storing?

As recent events have shown, contaminants such as viruses and bacteria can last on surfaces for days and can spread to whoever touches or breathes them in. Cleaning belongings before you place them in storage is the best way to protect yourself and your items from:

  • Mould
  • Dust
  • Pests
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Bacteria and germs


What Items Should Be Cleaned for Storage? 

Just about everything should be cleaned for storage. Wash and dry kitchen items such as dishes, glasses, and cutlery before placing them in boxes. Wipe down all furniture and appliances. Hose down bikes, outdoor sports equipment, and patio furniture and let them dry in the sun. Dust books. Apply a protectant to leather furniture after cleaning. Wash and dry all clothing. The list goes on.


Why Keep Items Dry When Storing?

While a climate-controlled storage unit is the best way to keep moisture and mould at bay, it’s still important to make sure all your belongings are dry before placing them in storage. Avoid storing items in an outdoor access unit when it’s raining or look for indoor or covered outdoor access units at your storage centre. Bring towels in case items become damp.


What Not to Place in Public Storage?

You can avoid damage and a dangerous situation by not placing perishable, poisonous, flammable, explosive, or corrosive products in public storage units.

Items you should never place in storage include:

  • Propane tanks
  • Food
  • Live animals, pets
  • Plants, including cannabis
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Liquor
  • Pesticides
  • Fireworks


What is the Best Way to Protect Belongings When Packing?

Protect your belongings from contaminants by using clean and dry packaging supplies and storage containers such as:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing paper
  • New cardboard boxes
  • Durable plastic bins with lids

Avoid plastic bags, as they can trap moisture and cause mould to grow. Instead, pack clothing, bedding, blankets, pillows, and other textiles in individual vacuum-sealed bags, lidded plastic bins, moving boxes, or even inside a storage chest or suitcase.


For more storage tips, read 5 Reasons Why You Might Not Want to Use the Attic for Storage.


Space Centre Storage has everything Kelowna and area residents need for safe and secure short and long-term storage. Contact us for self-storage lockers, covered and outdoor access units, RV and boat storage, MI-BOXÒ storage containers, and packaging supplies.

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