Here in Devon at least, spring is very much in the air. The hedgerows and banks are coming alive with daffodils, snowdrops and primroses all in bloom. It is at this time of year that we can start thinking about when we can start getting outside more and making use of our gardens again and other outdoor spaces again. The lockdowns of recent times have precipitated an increase in our interests in our gardens with more people than ever wanting to make the very best use of their outside space.
As we head towards the start of the meteorological spring and with the promise of longer and warmer days ahead – now is the time to start getting ready by getting your garden furniture and other seasonal items like barbecues out of storage ready for the summer.
Making use of Seasonal storage
Many of our storage insurance customers use Self-storage for storing seasonal items away, saving valuable space at home. Whilst it is absolutely possible that winter could still come back with vengeance as we are still not yet out of February – it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about packing away winter.
Depending on the space you have available, a storage unit could also double up as a convenient indoor work space for cleaning and re-protecting your outdoor furniture before you start using it again.
Preparing garden furniture for summer
Start by giving everything a good clean with an anti-fungal wash and check items for any damage. Check the joints, hinges and struts of garden furniture and make any necessary repairs, giving hinges and other moving parts some oil to ease them. If your furniture needs a new coat of paint or stain, take the time to give them a quick rub down with sandpaper first as this will give you a better end result.
Storing winter clothes
Bulky items like winter coats, boots and thick jumpers take up a lot of wardrobe space and now is a good time to start packing them away to make space for summer items.
The secret to successful storage is in the preparation. When packing away clothes, taking steps to minimise the potential for damage at the start will help to avoid potential problems like mould or mildew affecting your items whilst they are packed away.
- Wash and thoroughly dry everything – clean clothes are less likely to attract vermin and pests and any traces of dirt like food have the potential to create problems with mould and mildew growth over time.
- Use plastic containers to store items. As well as helping to save space by enabling you to stack items, clear plastic containers also help you to easily identify what is stored should you need to get anything back and will protect your items from any environmental moisture. You can also use moisture absorbing granules like silica for extra protection from moisture.
- Use a professional storage facility. Damp garages and sheds are not the place to store clothes – or any other fabric items for that matter. Opt for a professional storage facility with internal storage which is climate controlled to avoid excessive fluctuations in temperature.
Now that most of us live in houses which are well heated, it is less common for us to bother hanging thicker curtains and using extra blankets during the winter but, the same rules apply, whatever type of textiles you are storing away.
When storing items like clothing or other textiles it is important to check them regularly to make sure that no damage is being caused.
Storage insurance is there to protect your belongings should they become damaged in storage – however, there will be exclusions on most policies which preclude cover for damage which is could reasonably have been avoided. Our own policy, for instance, excludes cover for ‘Any damage caused gradually that you ought to have been aware and that it was reasonable for you to have prevented’. In order to avoid any issues in the event of a claim, consider documenting your checks.
Remember, it is important to make sure that your items are adequately insured at all times. Your insurance cover should always be set at the full replacement value of what you are storing. If you are moving things in and out of storage take the time to check your storage insurance cover levels to make sure they still reflect the current value of what you are storing as well as updating your inventory of items.