We talked last week about clearing out your wardrobes and swapping the summer clothes for more warmer ones. In doing so it got us thinking about just how often things get put away for long term or seasonal storage. That may be at home, work or even at a self storage facility, but there are definitely things that come in and out of storage with the seasons. And when we say seasonal, it relates to all sorts of things.
When you use the word seasonal storage there’s a tendency to think about summer or winter; hot or cold. If you’re thinking about retailers, in addition to summer etc. you’ll consider Easter and Christmas as seasons. But ‘seasonal’ can be any time of the year depending on your industry. Conference season, exhibition season, fashion show season, panto season, and market season – they don’t all coincide entirely with the meteorological seasons but they are times when things will be coming in and out of storage.
Conference and exhibition season may involve stands and furniture that isn’t normally used in the daily work environment, but is needed a couple of times a year. You can hire stand shells and additional furniture to go in them, but if you do the same shows and exhibitions each year, it probably isn’t cost effective to keep hiring things.
For retailers, the seasonal changes mean all sorts of things when thinking about storage. It could be bringing older stock out of storage, pre-ordering additional stock in bulk in preparation for busier trading times or simply swapping and changing the types of display stands etc. they use.
Theatre companies all over the country start dusting down and repairing the panto outfits and scenery while storing many backdrops and costumes that may not be used for some time.
Unless a house move or some change in personal circumstance occurs, most households’ storage requirements tend to go along with the weather. Winter clothes are swapped for summer and garden furniture and equipment gets moved in and out once the fine weather appears then disappears.
Whatever your seasonal storage requirements, one thing is certain:
If you want your goods or belongings to remain in good condition during long term or seasonal storage you need to store them correctly.
- Plan. It may sound a little over the top, but if you know you’re going to need to store something for the longer term the more you plan, the quicker and easier everything will be when it comes to moving things in and out. Think about what you need to store, how you want to store it (not everything can be boxed up and neatly stacked) and how much access you’ll need. This will allow you to work out if you have enough storage space yourself or whether you need to start thinking of other options.
- Make sure your goods are clean and dry. If they’re not you could get mould or mildew growing on things. If you decide everything needs a good wash down before it’s stored, make sure it’s completely dry before it goes in to storage.
- Make sure your storage space is clean, dry and not susceptible to big variations in temperature or damp.
- Pack things away properly. Use boxes and containers appropriate for what you’re storing and don’t overfill them. If you’ve got things like exhibition stands make sure all the fixings are stored with each section or part. It’s so tempting to dump all the poles, nuts and bolts in to a big box at the end of a tiring exhibition, but you’ll regret it later. If you do need to do that in the short term, make sure everything is repacked properly before it goes into your longer term storage option.
- Organise your storage area. Whether you are using your garage, cupboards in the office, a warehouse or an external self storage facility make effective use of the space you have by storing your items properly. Racks, shelves and distributing weight effectively all play their part here.
- Use inventories and labels. If you label boxes on all sides you can always see what’s inside each box regardless of which side you’re viewing the box from. Keep an inventory of what you have stored and where it is in your storage space. It will help you when you come to retrieve items later.
If you need long term or seasonal storage and are running out of space at your home or business self storage is a cost effective way of gaining extra space without the overheads of additional premises. Space Centre Self Storage has facilities in Stroud, Bristol and Gloucester. Get in touch if you want help or advice about storing your goods.
Image credit: Dabir Bernard