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Tips From The Pros: The Best Ways to Store Delicate Items

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Whether you’re moving to a new home, remodeling, or simply clearing space for new additions, there are plenty of reasons to store your valuable possessions in a self storage unit. Many storage facilities offer amenities like heated and humidity-controlled units, complimentary dollies and carts, and other ways to make your move easier and safer. But it never hurts to take a few extra steps to ensure the protection of your most fragile items. Storage Etc. has compiled a list of what we think are the most essential tips for keeping each of your most delicate items safe.

Rare & Antique Books:

Books are gateways into other worlds, and they are also deceptively fragile. The first step in storing a valued book collection is to rent a climate-controlled unit. This will keep fluctuations in temperature and humidity from warping the pages or drying them out. Next, you’ll want to make sure your books are clean and dust-free. Place each in a polyethylene bag and store them, standing, in acid and lignin-free boxes, from four to six books in each box. It’s also a good idea to store similarly sized books together so that smaller books don’t imprint themselves into larger ones over time. Be sure to set your book boxes on pallets or some other platform to protect them from absorbing moisture from concrete floors.

Jewelry:

First things first, give your jewelry a good cleaning. This will help preserve its surface. Start with soap and water, and then go over it with a high-quality polish. Once dry, place each piece in its own separate box to prevent necklaces from tangling and stones from scratching metals. Generally, the boxes your items originally came in will be the best for them, but if those are no longer available, small cotton-filled cardboard boxes will work fine. You should also select a storage facility with top-of-the-line features like a gated entry, video cameras, motion-activated lights, and individual alarms.

Glassware:

Small-sized boxes are key here. The more tightly packed your glasses, the safer they’ll be. Plus, glass is heavy! Begin by wrapping each glass with two layers of packing paper, with plenty of overhang to stuff inside the glass. Storage Etc. sells this and other essential packing materials at each of our locations. Line the bottom of the box with crumpled paper before placing the heaviest items in first. As you fill the box, pack any open areas and cavities with crumpled packing paper, then top with more crumpled packing paper. Seal the box tightly with packing tape and mark it “fragile.” 

Vinyl Records:

These are another item that will benefit from climate-controlled storage. Too much humidity can lead to mold and mildew, which can destroy your record sleeves, ruining both their monetary and aesthetic value. At the same time, too much heat can cause your records themselves to melt and warp, rendering them unplayable. Plain old cardboard boxes generally work fine for storage, but it’s important that your storage container has squared edges and corners so all the records can stand straight upright. Pack them in until tight enough that there isn’t any wiggle room between them. This will also help keep them from warping. It’s also a good idea to pack them with the sleeve opening facing down and to seal all openings of the box thoroughly. Otherwise, dust can get in and settle into their grooves, which will destroy their sound over time.

For more great tips on getting the most out of self storage, visit the Storage Etc. blog.