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How often should I inspect my stored goods?

A man bringing a box out of his storage unit to inspect it
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Operations - Store and Insure

Visiting your stored goods sounds like a chore – but depending on your circumstances it may be worth your time.

When you put your domestic goods into storage with a reputable company, you can reasonably expect them to stay safe for as long as you want to keep them there. But even in a stable environment certain kinds of item can deteriorate; and some things (mattresses) may benefit from being turned or moved from time to time.

Do I have to check on my stuff in self-storage?

Under the terms of your self-storage insurance with Store and Insure, you don’t have to check your storage unit regularly. But you should check the terms of your contract with the storage company, as this might stipulate that you should look in on your storage unit or locker from time to time.

Check on these stored items

Some types of domestic goods are worth checking up on.

For example, musical instruments and antique furniture, particularly those with a high value, should be checked every few months. Even slight atmospheric changes can have an impact on natural materials. You’ll want to catch signs of warping and cracking sooner rather than later and take steps to adjust the humidity or temperature to stop further deterioration. Climate-controlled storage is definitely not a luxury where precious musical instruments are concerned, but it’s important to get the conditions right; and this might take some trial and error. Seek expert advice before you store musical instruments, and it may be worth seeking out a storage company that specialises in this. For more details, see our article on storing a piano.

Check stored clothes – especially items made from natural fibres like wool and silk every couple of weeks in the early days. This is in case you have inadvertently brought pests into storage. Once you are confident that there are no moths in your unit, you can reduce the frequency of your visits to your storage unit.

Unfortunately, your insurance will not cover damage caused by pests that came in with your clothes, only infestations that arise while in storage. So it’s very important to ensure you store only clean, dry clothing. 

Checking early on and taking steps to control any moths you do find will save you a lot of trouble down the line. Even moving your stored items around will help with this, and you can buy traps and products that disrupt the lifecycle of moths, too. You can get specific advice on preventing moth damage from Rentokil.

Check your storage unit after extreme weather

A climate-controlled storage unit will not be affected by hot or cold weather – but if your unit is not climate-controlled, then it is worth scheduling a quick visit after a period of prolonged heat, cold or wet weather. This is because changes in temperature and humidity can affect goods in different ways, and it’s a good idea to check your storage locker to reassure yourself that all is well and make any adjustments if that is needed.

Speaking of extreme weather, if you’ve got things like car snow chains or snow socks in storage, remember to get them out at the start of winter, well before the snow comes. Otherwise, you may find yourself unable to drive to your storage centre because the roads are too icy.

Check on your stored goods as the seasons change

You might find that your routine of bringing items in and out of storage as the seasons change is enough to give you peace of mind.

A quick check of your storage unit can also remind you of what you actually own, and you may fall back in love with certain items, or realise that you’re ready to get rid of them.

Do I need to insure my stored goods?

Even with diligent checking, good storage companies will require you to insure your items stored in a public storage facility. One thing to bear in mind is that you do not have to accept your storage company’s own insurance offering. Get a few quotes and compare, as you may be able to get a better deal. It’s quick and easy to get a quote from Store and Insure, so why not do that right now?

Don’t forget to update your inventory as you move goods in and out of storage; and let your storage insurer know if the contents of your storage unit changes.

Whether or not you want to visit your stored goods depends on your circumstances and the type of items you have stored, but we hope this article has given you the tools you need to make the right decision.