How to: Store Books

I need to confess, at times, my house looks like a used book store. I try as hard as I can, but I cannot seem to get rid of the many books I have read and plan to read over the years! 

When it comes time to store your books, you want to make sure that they look the same when you put them in as when you take them out. So you can read and love them for many years to come, and perhaps hand them onto another generation to love and care for too.

So, how do you store books safely?

Placing your books in Self Storage

Like books, not all storage centers are created equal. So make sure you choose one that is cool, dry, safe, clean, and in an environment that’s safe away from all the nasty sunlight, leaky pipes, and evil mice.

Handle Your Books With Care

Handle your books as if they are a newborn child.

Okay, maybe you don’t have to cradle them, but try not to drop them. If you want to keep your beloved books in the best condition, then handle them with care. Depending on the quality or type of books, you may choose to pack them in smaller boxes or place them on bookshelves in your storage unit! 

While packing your books, keep this in mind, it is okay to make a few more trips. You don’t need to pack everything in one box. Let you book breath a little. 

Be aware of humidity. 

Just like Goldilocks, your books are going to want it not too hot, but not too cold.

To keep it just right, avoid heat sources like air vents and radiators, as dry heat like this can crack the spines by melting the glue that holds the book together. Also, avoid water and any potential water sources that could leak, like old pipes. If you are storing your books on the ground, make sure to place them on a pallet first. Now the books will be elevated in case of a flood or leak.

I don’t think we have to explain how a leak can damage your books, but even condensation from water sources can cause mold to grow.

Keep it clean

Find a storage unit that is clean and dust-free. This will be a unit that is inside. No matter how good they are, outside storage units will eventually allow air and dust inside if you plan on storing for a period that could mean a dustbowl in your unit. 

Check out our other “How to” series

-How To: Store Documents

How to: Document Storage

Paper, paper, paper, from TPS reports to Karens who require carbon copies. Paper is still alive and well in the age of technology. There is only so much office space with so much paper going around. Often businesses turn to self storage operations to help alleviate their need for space. Here are a few helpful hints for document storage.

1-Recycle what’s not needed
Before storing your documents, recycle the items that you don’t need. There is no reason to store unnecessary or duplicate records, no matter what Karen says.
By eliminating what you are storing, you can cut down on the storage unit you need. Rather than having a large 10×10 storage, you can now fit all your documents in a small unit like a 5×10. So play it smart!

2-Buy quality containers.
First, the people who will be moving the documents to the storage unit will love you forever. Second, a quality container will enable them to store them all uniformly. We recommend an excellent banker’s box

3-Label and date.
There is nothing worse in personal or document storage than looking at a wall of boxes and not knowing what is inside. Take the time to plan out how you will store your documents. It is not the wild west. Carefully think and organize how you will do it. People will praise your name for years to come.
After you have devised your master plan, make sure you label each box extremely carefully and clearly. Take time to do this with a sharpie marker or another method that won’t fall off over time.
There’s nothing more demoralizing than staring at 20 blank boxes and having no idea what documents are where.
To avoid a complete unpack, draw up a plan for what documents are going in what box. As you pack each box, write an inventory and attach it to the side.
Try and keep the same labeling system going across all your boxes so other people can understand it too.

4-Create order
When you are finally ready to store your boxes, it might be tempting to toss them in and call it a day! Don’t let all your hard work be for nothing.
Find the documents you are most likely to need and move them to an area that is easily accessible. The least likely box goes to the rear of the stack.
Like any move, little things seem to go a lot smoother when you plan! Good luck with your move, and let us know how to help!

Read more about our how-to in FAQ’s other Tips here!

Pack up the clothes!

Storing clothes in self storage can be a great storage solution. Using storage for your clothes can help free up needed storage space in your home.

Self storage tips

Whether you have a shopping obsession, too many clothes or you’re wanting to store your Summer clothes during Winter. Your wardrobe at home can only hold so much and sometimes you’re not ready to let go of certain items. So, why keep them stored at home taking up needed space when you can be storing clothes in self storage?

Storing clothes in self storage can be a great storage solution. Using self storage for your clothes can help free up needed storage space in your home. And allows you to hold onto some items for longer whilst you decide whether you really need them or not. In addition, renting a self storage unit near you is the best way to go. That way you’re able to access your clothes whenever you want or need.

Furthermore, storing clothes in a self storage unit is great. But, it’s important to know how to correctly store your clothes so that you can ensure they won’t get damaged over time. So, here are some great tips and tricks to help you with all your clothing storage needs!

1. Prepare items before storing clothes in self storage

Wash and iron your clothes before storing them in self storage. Surface stains and dirt will set into the clothing over time and when you do finally get them out of your storage unit to use again the stain will be difficult to remove. Dirty clothing can also attract vermin and insects which may also damage your clothing. Ensure you wash all items as per their washing instructions. As well as dry clean your dry cleanable items prior to storing them.

Furthermore, follow these instructions when storing clothing in self storage to ensure your items are safe from being damaged. Preparing your clothes for storage correctly will also mean that your clothes are clean and ready to wear when needed next.

2. To vacuum seal or not to vacuum seal

There is a large range of storage bags available that are perfect for clothing storage. For example, vacuum storage bags are great space savers. However, over a long period of time storing your clothing in these bags will lead to damage.

Storing your clothing in vacuum-packed bags will not only leave your clothing creased and wrinkled. But also quicken the process of deterioration as natural fibers need air to maintain its structure and integrity.

A better way for storing clothes in self storage is to use plastic storage tubs. This will help to avoid suffocating your items. Ensure you lightly pack them and start with the heavier items on the bottom. In addition, if you need to purchase a storage tub head to your local hardware store.

3. Say no to plastic bags and cardboard boxes

Like mentioned above, airtight plastic containers with a lid are the best options when storing clothing in self storage. This will keep your clothes dry and stop the growth of mold and mildew, in most cases. If using plastic containers, ensure they are clean, dry and line them with old (but clean) cotton sheets. Avoid plastic bags as these can trap moisture and cause mildew to form or cause the yellowing of fabrics.

In addition, packing your clothing in a cardboard storage box will not protect them against vermin or the elements. Your storage unit shouldn’t have pests, but it’s best to be safe than sorry.

Again, depending on the expense and sentimental value of the item, it’s best to use acid-free boxes and tissue paper. Especially for heirloom items as not all plastic boxes are safe and some may release chemicals that could have subtle to grossly negative effects on the clothing.

4. Mothballs

Not only do mothballs leave your clothes smelling terrible, but they also are not 100% effective. They can also be potentially dangerous if found by children or pets. A better alternative is the natural wooden cedar balls. These will protect your clothing from moths, mildew, and musty odors. Therefore, when storing clothes in a self storage unit it is always best to add a few cedar balls.

Furthermore, when using wooden cedar balls, make sure that they are not placed directly on the garments. It is best to place them at the top of your storage container for further protection.

5. Clean, cool, dark and dry

When choosing a storage unit for clothing storage, ensure you choose one that will protect your clothes in the best way possible. It’s best to choose a storage unit that is dry, dark and cool.

Ideally it is suggested that clothing should be stored in conditions that do not exceed 80°F and have low humidity. However, this is more of a guideline if you were storing any heirlooms or expensive sentimental items. As long as the storage space is clean, protects items from elements and doesn’t have direct/bright light, your clothing should be safe.

In addition, a climate-controlled storage unit would be the best option for long-term clothing storage.

6. Check and do not protect!

It’s important to check on your items in storage, wherever and whatever you are storing. Checking your items at least once a year you will help minimize the risk of them getting damaged. As well as possibly save them before they do get damaged. Items may fall from storage shelving or you may have packed something too heavy/tight. So, checking your storage unit often is important.