One of the most difficult aspects of self-storing items is keeping your belongings in the same condition they were in when they were first stored. The problem doesn't lie in the storage facility itself in most cases but in the way items are stored. Depending on the item there is a certain way it should be packed, sealed or stored to keep it from being destroyed over time. Here are some general tricks to keep stored items looking and smelling new after being stored for long periods of time.
1) Keep at least a 2 inch gap away from the wall when storing items. This will allow air to circulate even if the storage unit is climate controlled if there is no room around the boxes or items stored for air to get around humidity will build up inside and on boxes. Humidity is the number one cause of damage for stored items.
2) Cover furniture with sheets to keep dust from staining the fabric or leather. Dust builds up quickly over time and it can leave upholstered furniture with a mothball like smell and it can easily stain fabrics. Another way to prevent this is to plastic wrap furniture, this will keep dust from getting to the fabric as well but it is a little more on the costly side.
3) Find some wooden pallets to cover set on the floor to stack your boxes on. Pallets can be found for free at the local dump most of the time or at local grocery stores, they can also be purchased. Keeping boxes lifted off the ground will keep water from getting to the bottom of the boxes and will help the air circulation as well.
4) Wrap mattresses in plastic before storing them. Elevation the mattresses off the ground with blocks will help bugs from getting into them as well. Mattresses should never be stored without plastic wrap because bugs can make their home inside them over time. There is nothing worse than being surprised by a giant spider after a stored mattress finally makes its way back into a home.
5) Stack boxes according to shape and weight, hopefully boxes of similar shape were used to make stack easier and more stable. Heavier boxes of course, should be placed at the bottom of the stack.
6) Keep a box of baking soda in the storage unit to pull the humidity from the room as well as any odors that may build up over time.
7) If there are dressers or wardrobe cabinets in the storage unit utilize the space they have, pack boxes or clothes inside of them.
8) Pack items and boxes that will be in the storage unit the longest towards the rear of the storage unit.
9) Do not store wooden items in a storage unit if it is not climate controlled, especially in a tropical climate. Moisture will cause wooden items to ward, crack and become misshapen
10) Change your storage unit lock at least once a month if possible just for an added precaution. Although, most good self-storage units have security on the grounds it is always better to be safe than sorry.