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These precious items need climate-controlled storage

A piano going into storage
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Is it worth paying extra for a temperature-controlled storage unit?

Some things we own should always be cherished, and often this means storing them in a temperature-controlled environment. If you have something of high financial or sentimental merit, it’s worth putting a bit of thought into where you should keep it.

Seven things best stored in a temperature-controlled environment:

A temperature-controlled unit will cost you more money, but you might consider it worthwhile when you balance the costs of replacing belongings that are important to you – and often their sentimental value outweighs their monetary value.

1.       Keep stored antique furniture and collectables safe with climate control

The value of antiques often depends on their condition so it is worth treating them with respect. Make sure they are in good nick. For example, give wooden furniture a good polish, treat leather with a quality conditioner and oil anything metal. But do get professional advice on the best way to treat antiques before storage. Then you can protect edges with cardboard corners and wrap carefully in bubble wrap, old sheets or blankets.

2.       Audio-visual equipment and media needs temperature-controlled storage

Our new flat screen TVs and our old hi-fi systems, records and tapes are equally precious and don’t take kindly to climate changes. Remove dust particles and pack them with silica gel sachets. For advice about the best way to store AV equipment or how to keep vinyl records and tapes see our blogposts.

3.       White goods are better off stored in a climate-controlled unit

Make sure your fridge, cooker or washing machine are clean, dry and emptied of water before you store them. Tape the doors shut and put them in cardboard boxes – the ones they came in, if you still have them. And find a ground-floor unit as these items are heavy to move! Read our blogpost to find out more about storing kitchen appliances .

4.       Protect clothing and shoes with a climate-controlled storage unit

You need to be especially careful with suede, faux fur and leather, all materials which need a dark and dry environment. Store and Insure can give you advice about storing clothes and about how to keep your handbags in tip-top condition .

5.       Your musical instruments are safer in climate-controlled storage

These are particularly susceptible to temperature fluctuations, especially if made of two materials such as brass and wood. The Yamaha website tells you how to care for each instrument. Whatever you are storing, it should be cleaned and in good condition, preferably in its original case. When it comes to storing pianos, these are heavy and it might be worth calling the experts!

6.       Keep your paintings and art in a temperature-controlled environment

Maybe you have far too many, but can’t bear to give anything up. The ideal solution is temperature-controlled storage – away from bright light, temperature fluctuations and humidity. Store on specially designed racks and inspect your artwork regularly. See our blogpost about storing prints, paintings and fine art photography .

7.       A controlled environment is safest for paper documents and books

Although more of us are moving towards storing documents digitally , there is still some paperwork you will want to keep safe. It needs to be kept in a cool, dark and dry place in archival boxes, paper sleeves or folders – materials low in lignin. The Victoria and Albert Museum has lots of interesting advice about how to care for older documents and books.

How much is self-storage per month?

The cost of storage will vary depending on where you live and what sort of facility you are looking for. If you need a temperature-controlled unit it will inevitably cost you more, so you need to weigh up the value of your goods against the cost of storage. Find out more by reading our blog.