Are you in the process of relocating for just a short period of time, but for more than 6 months? If so, then it likely doesn't make sense to lease an apartment in your hometown for that period, but you may not want to move all of your stuff to the temporary location. In this case, a storage unit is a smart move. The following guide can help you determine what to store and what to either give away or take with you:
As a general rule, you don't want to store any food items. Instead, take them with you or give them away. Food, even dry goods, can spoil or attract pests to your storage unit. There is one small exception. Canned goods that will not expire while you are gone can be stored safely, as can anything in a pest-proof storage bucket or glass jar. Place these items inside plastic storage tubs to further discourage pests as well as to prevent moisture. This is because rust can corrode a can if there is any moisture or humidity in your unit.
Most tools can be stored safely, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Metal tools should be cleaned, lubricated, then coated in ta thin coating of lubricant. This prevents them from rusting in storage. Tools with engines, such as lawnmowers or chainsaws, need to have gas and oil cases drained prior to storage. Do not store the fuel in your storage unit, though, as this is a major hazard. Instead, give it away if you can take it with you on your move, or dispose of it at a hazardous waste drop-off.
This includes everything from paint and paint thinner to fertilizer and pesticides. This is a subset of items that should never be placed in a storage unit, even for a short period of time. In many cases, you also may not be able to take them with you, since most moving companies won't transport the majority of household chemicals. In this case, your best option is to give them away or drop them off at a hazardous waste facility.
Most of your household electronics can be stored safely. Just make sure batteries are removed since they can corrode in as little as a few months in a storage unit. Store electronics in sealed plastic tubs to protect against moisture. Toss a few desiccant packets in with the electronics to absorb any humidity that leaks in.
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