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20 July, 2017

The Basics of Renting a Storage Unit

Do you have too many things cluttering up your home? Want to keep these items, but don’t know where to put them? Have you ever considered renting a storage unit?

Storage lockers come in a variety of sizes to accommodate everyone no matter what your storage needs. Some units are also climate-controlled, meaning they’re kept at a specific temperature year-round.  These lockers are often more expensive. Usually, storage units are kept behind a secured gate, so no one without the code can access the property. This helps to prevent theft.

How to Choose a Size

When you plan to store some household items, you’ll need to look at the items you want to store and determine how big of a storage unit you’ll need. If you’re storing appliances and furniture, you’ll probably need a larger unit. But if you’re packing up clothing and small odds and ends, a smaller unit might be sufficient.

Storing Appliances

When you store appliances, you should first thoroughly clean them (especially refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines). This can help prevent the buildup of bacteria and mildew. You can store these items with the doors open so that air circulation will keep them dry. It’s also a good idea to add an opened box of baking soda to these appliances.

If you’re storing a stove, it should be properly cleaned, too. Run the self-cleaning cycle (if it has one) and then wipe down the inside of the oven to remove all burned on foods. If your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning cycle, use oven cleaner to clean the inside. This helps keep food particles from harboring bacteria and mold.

How to Store Clothing

Any clothing, sheets, or curtains should be washed before storing them. You can fold clothes still on the hangers and pack them in cardboard boxes or plastic totes. Sheets and curtains should be folded after cleaning. You can add a dryer sheet to each box to help combat odor.

Storing Breakables

Dishes, framed pictures, and other fragile items can be wrapped in bubble wrap before storing. Or, you can use sheets, curtains, or towels to protect them. You can also store them in boxes inside larger boxes, which will help reduce some shock if the larger box is dropped. Make sure to label the box or tote with “fragile”, so you will remember later.

What You Should Never Store

There are a few things you should never store in your storage locker. Food is one of these things. All food products, even canned goods, have a ‘shelf life’, and food kept beyond this shelf life may not be safe to eat. Food also attracts pests like mice and insects.

Hazardous chemicals are another item you should never store. And flammable liquids like linseed oil (or cloths with the oil on them) is included in this list. Linseed oil has been known to self-ignite when left on a rag and stored in a closed environment.

Don’ts of Renting a Storage Unit

Never give the gate code to anyone outside your family. Gated storage facilities are meant to keep people out who might be looking to rob the units. The gate code is one way facilities help secure your belongings. Also, never give your unit’s padlock combination or key to anyone other than family. Some storage facilities will let you put your own padlock on the unit.

If you live in the area around Virginia Tech University or Montgomery County, Virginia and are looking for a storage unit, visit http://www.smartlockstorage.com to see what kinds of storage lockers are available. Then, get to work decluttering your home! You’ll be glad you did.