Whether you need a short-term storage unit for a move or a long-term unit for seasonal items or the general overflow from your home, keeping your stored items in top condition should be your number one priority. The following guide can help you damage-proof your unit so everything comes out in the same condition in which it went in.
Tip #1: Pretreat for Pests
This begins with a visit to the facility manager. Some facilities treat each unit individually as tenants move out, while others only treat the exterior of the units. If the interior of your unit wasn't treated, do this task yourself. First, sweep out the unit thoroughly. This includes using the broom to dust down walls and the ceiling. Then, apply a broad spectrum interior insecticide around the inside perimeter of the unit. You should also treat the wall and ceiling seams, especially if the walls and ceiling are unfinished.
Tip #2: Create a Barrier
Many issues that can affect the items in your unit come from outside or from your neighbors in the facility. Someone else may bring in a bug infestation, or a leaky roof could ruin all your belongings. For an unfinished interior, consider stapling plastic drop cloths to the walls and ceiling. This will create both a moisture and pest barrier so issues in neighboring units won't invade yours. Use clear plastic so you can monitor for problems. For example, if you find bugs crawling around inside the plastic or see a pool of water, you know that you need to treat for insects again or notify the manage of a roof leak.
Tip #3: Elevate Safely
It's a good idea to keep your items off the floor. Flooding can come in beneath the door of the unit, ruining your stored items. Even without flooding, moisture can still seep through concrete naturally during wet or humid weather. Shelves are a simple way to get smaller items elevated. For larger items, like furniture, place pallets on the ground and stack the items on top. If flooding isn't a concern at all, you can simply line the floor with a tarp to protect against moisture seep.
Tip #4: Visit Regularly
Finally, make a point of visiting your unit at least once a month. Check that the locks haven't been tampered with and that they are still in good working order. Open the unit and check for signs of moisture damage or insect infestation. Catching a problem early is the best way to prevent extensive damage.
For more tips, check out your local storage facility or Reliable Self Storage of Victorville.