1. WATERTIGHT STORAGE CONTAINERS
We recommend investing in water tight plastic storage solutions for any box that will make contact with the ground. Cardboard does not hold up well to water and moisture. Even a small amount of exposure will turn cardboard into a damp mess. The water will rapidly spread to the things inside the box, which can be devastating. Furthermore, if you attempt to pick up the box, it will come apart in your hands. To avoid this, put your things in water tight plastic bins. The bins will keep the water out and can be used over and over. They also hold up to repeated use better than cardboard, making them a useful investment.
2. PROTECT ITEMS THAT ARE SENSITIVE TO TEMPERATURE
Some items can be harmed by significant changes in temperature, either by the cold directly or by the shift back and forth from cold to hot. Musical instruments and pieces of artwork are two of the most obvious, but there are others, including anything with liquid and household electronics. Lawnmowers, weed eaters and other small engines may benefit from fuel stabilizer as well if you are going to leave them for the winter. We recommend draining fuel from them for winter storage, but suggest following the manufacture recommendations. Think about what you are storing to determine if these items will be damaged by the cold. If so, we recommend removing them from your storage unit before temperatures dip below freezing.
3. PROTECT FURNITURE
Some furniture can be negatively affected by extreme cold, such as wood furniture. If you have nice wood furniture or any other furniture that you are worried about being damaged by the cold, we recommend putting a cover over it. You can use blankets, tarps or anything else that will provide a small layer of insulation over the furniture. If you are going to put coverings over your nice furniture, you might think about choosing waterproof coverings. The waterproof coverings will not only provide insulation but protect against any water that may inadvertently happen.
4. MOVE SENSITIVE ITEMS TO THE BACK.
To shield more sensitive items from the damaging cold, move those items to an interior wall, such as the back of your unit. Place less sensitive items toward the front Moving more sensitive items into the interior of your storage unit will help to protect them from extreme fluctuations.
5. GRAB WHAT YOU’LL NEED THIS SEASON.
It’s cold in Michigan and visiting your storage unit in the winter, comes with challenges. If you’re going to be at your unit already, you should see if there is anything you need for the coming cold. Many people use self-storage to keep things like winter clothing and other winter-related gear, such as sleds, skis, and snowboards. You may find that you have a of items you can use in storage. You can also put things in storage that you are not going to need for the winter, like summer clothing, outdoor furniture or yard tools.
6. PROTECT YOUR UNIT FROM PESTS.
Critters like mice, rats, and insects tend to head indoors when the cold weather arrives. Your storage unit may be the ideal home for these pests, especially if you have any food or attractants in your unit. There are a few things you can use to prevent pests, including cedar wood, plastic wrapping, and poison.
5. PLAN AHEAD.
If you’re planning to visit your storage unit in the winter, be sure to plan ahead. Dress appropriately for the cold temperatures. Wear tall boots, as there may be snow in front of your unit. Bring gloves to protect your hands. If your boots carry in any snow, do your best to remove this before closing your unit, once it melts it could cause damage to surrounding contents.
If you have any specific concerns regarding winter storage, please call us at (616)559-0011