Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Four tips for making the most of basement storage

It’s a common problem – too much stuff, not enough storage space. For many people the solution lies in utilizing the basement, but with great storage space comes great responsibility. Basements are usually wide open spaces and seem like the obvious solution to the question of where to store all that excess stuff you don’t want laying around the house. Unfortunately, many basements are also damp, and prone to bugs, rodents, and flooding. This being the case, it’s important to store things properly, otherwise when you go and try to retrieve your treasured possessions, you might just find them ruined. Follow these five simple steps though, and even the dampest basement won’t be able to defeat you.
1)      Choose plastic over cardboard. Cardboard boxes are cheap and easy to find, and if we’re being honest, you probably already have some sitting around in the corner of your basement. It’d be so easy to just grab some and put your winter sweaters in there, but it’s a temptation that must be resisted. Even if you don’t think you have pests who might chew through and hurt your belongings, cardboard does next to nothing to keep out dampness and water. Plastic bins with sealing tops are the best at this, but when using them, make sure all your items are clean and dry before sealing them inside – there’s no point in locking the moisture right in with them.
2)      Never store things directly on the floor. Much of the dampness so common in basements comes up from the ground and through the floor, so if you don’t have much to work with, even a plastic sheet can help protect your storage. If you have them, pallets are great for giving your possessions some distance between themselves and the floor, and many stores will actually give them away for free when finished with them. If you can’t get any, you can always build makeshift shelves out of cinder blocks and scrap wood. It might not be pretty, but it will get the job done.
3)      Save the packets of silica gel that come in everyday items like shoe boxes and put a few packets in each box. This will help reduce the moisture level even further. If you forget to save them, put a handful of rice into a sock, and add it to your box. It won’t work quite as well, but it will have a similar effect.
4)      If your basement is noticeably damp, consider buying a dehumidifier. They come in multiple sizes, and for minimal price they can make a huge difference in keeping your stored belongings dry and free of mold.
If your basement is too small or so wet that even a dehumidifier won’t help, keep in mind that Bannister Moving & Storage offers great deals on both long term and short term storage solutions. We use a 10,000 square foot facility that is gated, climate controlled, and utilizes a state of the art fire and theft protection system. For more information on our rates, call us today at 602-942-1166.


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