Storage units can be a great solution when we need additional space to place our extra belongings. Whether it’s home furniture, business inventory, or just seasonal sports equipment, storage options serve their purpose. But, we often make a big mistake of neglecting them. Just like any other place, they require maintenance, cleaning, and occasional rearrangement of belongings inside. Cleaning and maintaining your storage unit is important because it prevents dust, mold, odor, and similar threats that can damage your items. This guide will provide you with much-needed information about how to organize and clean your storage units.
Cleaning and maintaining your storage unit
No matter how good a person is at organizing, somehow, storage often ends up last on the list of priorities. Especially in situations when you don’t have the need to visit it frequently. Over time, it leads to items being covered in a layer of dust, humidity ruins the boxes, and even mold and pests might appear. In some cases, that creates an unpleasant odor and many of your possessions end up damaged. To prevent this, it’s important to regularly maintain and clean your storage units. Usually, you have two choices here: you can get professionals to clean it for you, or you can learn how to do it yourself.
Assess the situation and prepare
Maintaining your storage units starts with the first item you place inside. If you don’t have a storage unit yet and if you are considering renting one, even better. The first time you start filling it up with various items, you should pick proper packages and label everything. This way you are saving valuable time the next time you need to clean the storage unit. Additionally, it can be a good idea to ask for assistance. Normally, friends or family can be of great help if you can convince (bribe) them to help you. But, you can also look for a reliable moving company since they usually offer both moving and storage solutions.
Now, when you decide to clean your storage after a few months, it should be much easier. Of course, you should never make yourself a tight schedule because storage cleaning might take a couple of days to complete. And, it will also depend on the acquirement of proper cleaning supplies. But, we’ll get back to that later.
Why do we need to clean them?
First, neglecting a storage unit can damage your items inside. Textiles, furniture, delicate items, and all kinds of stuff you place inside are susceptible to dust, dust mites, moths, humidity, mold, rodents, and all kinds of troubles. Metal will rust, wood will rot, card boxes will decay if they get in touch with some of these hazards. It can render most of your items unusable, so it’s important to keep your furniture clean. Even if you manage to salvage something, it can only lead to additional costs to repair or replace them. Or you will need to throw them away.
Second, these unsanitary conditions that can occur can endanger your health. This may lead to allergic reactions, pest infestation when taking items back home, or even to some diseases. Rodents and insects are particularly dangerous because many of them are potential disease carriers.
What supplies to use?
Essentially, you will need two types of supplies:
- Supplies for cleaning
- Supplies for packing
Cleaning supplies you will need
These are some of the most common cleaning supplies that are easy to acquire:
- Protective glasses and gloves
- Some old clothing to wear
- Rags and mops
- Broom, bucket, and dustpan
- Garbage bags and garbage cans or dumpster
- Soap, water, maybe even a mixture of vinegar and water
At the same time, you should ask your storage company if there are guidelines and restrictions about the cleaning supplies you can use. There are many cleaning solutions available on the market, but some companies don’t allow their usage in their storage facilities.
Packing supplies you will need
Here are some packing supplies you should use in your storage units:
- Plastic bins – you should avoid using cardboard boxes since they are not practical for storing
- Vacuum-sealed bags
- Plastic bags
- Pest repellers
- Markers, stickers, and color tapes for labeling
- Packing tape
- Wrapping materials
- Public storage locks
- Mattress bags
- Furniture covers
It’s time to clean and rearrange
Eliminate the clutter first
If possible, you should take all your items out of storage. This will give you a better perspective on what you own. After a longer period, people tend to pile up different kinds of items inside their storage units. And quite often they even forget what they possess. So, start by sorting out everything you have. If you already have everything packed and prepared, this step will be easy. If not, get ready to invest considerable effort into repacking. Use this opportunity to get rid of everything you won’t use. You can sell, donate, recycle, or eventually throw something away. After all, if you haven’t used some of those items in months, what are the chances you will need them? Of course, seasonal items are an exception.
With the supplies above, give your storage a complete and thorough cleaning. Start from the walls, from top to bottom. Look for any mold, damage, or signs of pests. You won’t believe what kind of miniature monsters can inhabit the darkest humid corners of your storage unit. The area should be completely sanitized and damaged items should be thrown away.
Don’t immediately pack and return your items. Inspect them completely and check if you need to clean or wash them as well. For example, if you have a carpet inside, roll it out to check if it requires thorough cleaning. Also, while cleaning the storage, make sure there is clear air circulation. It will help dry the place faster and remove the stale air and strange odors.
Once the cleaning is complete, make arrangement plans. Try to sort your items inside with enough space between so you can move. In fact, it’s better to take additional time to arrange now because it will make things easier in the future. You can group your items by room, or by purpose. Actually, try to find the logic that suits you the best. The only way to make sure to remember everything, besides labeling, is to write everything down.
In the end, try cleaning and maintaining your storage unit on a regular basis. By all means, don’t neglect it for a long time unless you want to repeat the entire procedure. In other words, keep your storage clean and neat and it will serve you well. If there is any confusion, you can always turn to these pages and refresh your memory.