After you make the decision of what type of movers and storage will fit your needs, one of the next things to keep in mind is what items are restricted, or should not be put into storage. Storage facilities whether self storage, moving company, or portable storage containers all have restrictions on what can be stored. All can provide you with such a list. Convenience can also dictate what should not be stored. The following will give a general idea of the dos and don’ts of what to put in storage.
HAZARDOUS ITEMS: (Per what is considered hazmat by the D.O.T)
Class I: Explosives
Class 2: Gases (Flammable and Non Flammable)
Class 3: Flammable Liquids
Class 4: Flammable Solids
Class 5: Oxidizing substances, Organic Peroxides
Class 6: Radioactive Materials
Class 7: Poisonous or Infectious Substances
Class 8: Corrosives
Class 9: Environmentally Hazardous Substances, elevated temperature materials, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants.
Questions on whether or not a substance is considered “hazmat” can be directed to the United States Department of Transportation, Hazardous Material Information Center (HMIX) at 1-800-467-4922.
Some of the common household items that shouldn’t be put into storage are: Gasoline, Motor Oil, Antifreeze, kerosene, charcoal, ammunition, solvents (thinners and cleaners), fire extinguishers, aerosols, propane tanks, paint, batteries, fertilizers, pesticide, poison, fireworks, oxygen tanks, bleach, and acid.
Plants aren’t moved by movers or accepted by storage facilities due to possible infestations (gypsy moths), etc., and potential mess they can cause. The other item to consider is that the plants won’t survive a dark, cramped, unwatered environment. Don’t store them.
Some people will store sealed spices or canned goods for a short period of time, but dry boxed goods and perishables are definitely not to be put in storage. Vermin can potentially find and infect the shipment, causing mess and destruction.
HIGH VALUE ITEMS:
High value items within a mover warehouse or self storage facility aren’t insurable so you would have no recourse if anything is missing. High value items should be kept with you at your residence in a secure spot like a safe or in a safe deposit box at a bank, etc.
Birth certificates, marriage licenses, land deeds, stock certificates, passports or other forms of ID shouldn’t be put into storage for the same reason high value items (insurability and liability). Above and beyond liability, inconvenience and wasted time are both items to consider. If you would need a document buried in a box, time and effort would need to be spent to hunt down the items. If the storage location isn’t easily accessible it may incur additional charges or require the replacement of the document altogether. Keep your sanity, keep documents either in a safe deposit box, safe, or stored safely at your residence.
When the storage option has temperature and or humidity fluctuations the strain can be hard on antiques. Both situations can cause glue in joints to weaken and finishes to have possible damage. Make sure the climate controlled storage you choose keeps between 55 and 75 degrees with consistent atmospheric conditions (humidity).
A storage unit is probably not the best place for wine. Both red and white wines should be kept at cool temperatures. 55 degrees is an ideal temperature for storing wine. Also like antiques you do not want a unit that fluctuates in temperature and humidity as this can alter the taste and value of your wine. Wine should be kept in a darker room and areas that are not shaken or subject to vibrations is also important. When storing wine you should keep the wine on its side so the cork remains wet. A wine cellar is usually the best form of storage for your spirits.
If storing seasonal items remember to make them accessible. Winter/summer clothes, holiday decorations, bikes for children are all items that aren’t need year round, so make sure that the “early out” or “seasonal items” are stored in a method where you will have easy access to them.
Like choosing a storage type, what you can and can’t store are questions that should be asked and determined before making the move into storage.