The biggest (and most expensive) threats to items in storage are thefts, fires, and water damage. Follow these tips from Bob Crozier of Crozier Fine Arts and Crozier Decorative Arts Storage and Transport, and your mind and wallet can rest easy.
1. Crate and Stack Your Belongings
While crates might seem like an unnecessary expense, their initial purchase will save you money in the long run. Crates ensure that your items ship damage-free. The real money-saver? They pack neatly inside your storage unit, so you can stack them to the ceiling, without any wasted space, which means you can spring for a much smaller storage unit. Try wooden crates with solid or open-slat sides.
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2. Store in a Tenant-Free Building
Always look for a storage building that doesn't have any other tenants. If the building has a restaurant or garage, you're at greater risk for a fire, which could mean damage and replacement fees for your items. And always make sure to choose a storage spot that's not in a hurricane or flood zone.
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3. Buy Packing Supplies Directly From a Wholesaler
To avoid markup fees at retail sites, buy foam or bubble wrap ahead of time and not from the storage facility. Plan ahead and purchase supplies from a company like Uline Shipping Supplies. For three-dimensional, fragile objects, make a 'cavity pack' by cutting a snug mold out of ester foam.
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4. Use Bubble Wrap the Right Way
When wrapping items in bubble wrap, make sure that the bubbles are on the outside. This adds extra protection from pressure, and keeps your items intact. But be careful as bubble wrap can affect the patina on metals. In this case, it's best to go with foam.
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5. Always Get Insurance
The most important way to save money in the long run? Insurance. Get appraisals and condition reports for anything valuable, and always take photos and measurements.
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What storage hassles have you dealt with?
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