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How to protect valuable items in self storage

If you are looking to use Internal Self Storage Units to temporarily store your valuable domestic or business goods the following article may be of use. We look at information on wrapping and protecting precious items, with some extra guidance about the benefits of using specialist matting.

When items are in storage, whether this be a professional internal self storage like the Storage Hub or in your loft or garden shed, a mix of bad packing and poor atmospheric conditions will leave them susceptible to damage. Therefore protecting your valuables whilst they are in storage is paramount if they are to remain in the condition they were, before they were stored.

Listed below are facts and best-practice advice on storing your valuables safely.

Self Storage St Neots protecting fragile and valuable items the storage hub

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Self Storage Tips

Electrical goods

This category includes anything from games consoles to stereos, to HiFi and laptops and cameras to DVD players. These are quite often some of the more delicate items we will place in storage and will therefore require good quality packing and protection.

In an ideal world you would have retained all of the original transit packaging supplied with the electronic item. The moulded polystyrene / expanded foam inserts that wrap round the product, the foam / styrene sheet that covers screens and the perfectly fitting outer cardboard box.

Unfortunately the likelihood is that any electrical packing materials were disposed of as soon as the item was unpacked and seen to be working. When packing electrical goods, using any form of plastic may allow damp and moisture to build up, causing irreparable damage to the internal electronic components.

These items should therefore be individually wrapped in cotton fabric and placed in a close-fitting, good-quality, sturdy cardboard box, which will need to have polystyrene inserts to minimise any movement. It is also advisable to place silica gel sachets with these items, to soak up any moisture that might be present.

Pottery and Glass

Mirrors, ornaments and crockery, are relatively straightforward items to store. For these items, wrapping in plain paper and bubble wrap is the easiest and best protection. To avoid pressure marks on your valuables, best practice is to wrap these items with the bubbles facing outwards.


Fabric items and fabric covered items are quite often the worst items to place in storage as not only do they offer a great environment for bugs to thrive in but they easily take on moisture from the atmospheric conditions. Therefore it is critical that before storage ensure all fabrics are professionally cleaned and placed in anti-moth bags. These bags are impregnated with moth repellent and are available in various sizes from many high street retailers.

Metals and silver

Any metal or plated items may suffer in storage, as they will lose their sheen and at worst be subject to rust. We have seen issues with sentimental trophies and ornaments, even tools and kitchen equipment.

If the items are going to be in storage for a longer period of time, to slow down the oxidisation process prior to packing, coat any metal items with the appropriate oil. So for example  if storing kitchen or household metals, then polishing with a light olive oil before storage will offer some form of protection.

Whereas if storing heavy-duty metal items such as tools or engine parts then spraying with a standard WD40 oil, or similar, is recommended.

Store silver and semi-precious metals in specialist flannel bags (these are pre-infused with silver particles for better protection) or at least cover/wrap them in a heavy fabric to keep off the dust and damp.

Self Storage St Neots protecting fragile and valuable items the storage hub

Internal Self Storage Units – comparison

Now the information below doesn’t apply to the The Storage Hub which as an it is internal self storage units housed within essentially a large warehouse. Ensures that all self storage units are dry and damp free, however if you choose to use outside containers the information may be of use

Once you have your items securely packed and ready to move into storage, be sure not to overlook the one vital component which could potentially undo all your good preparation and packing.

This is quite simply what to stand or store your valuables on. So at the Storage Hub the ground floor is concrete, subsequent floors are built on a steel mezzanine. Unfortunately many storage places have issues with damp, and so simply stacking your boxes, bags and items on the floor and up to the walls will eventually lead to damp penetrating your boxes and valuables (using good quality boxes will help, but only by delaying the effect).

Therefore to give your items the best chance you should prepare your unit by dressing the floor. Start by covering it with a good quality, thick polythene construction sheet; this will help to trap underneath any potential rising damp. It is then important to create a space between the polythene and your valuables so that air can circulate. This can be achieved by laying wooden pallets over the polythene, to create a false floor.

For more information on packing tips, preparing for self storage , storing documents , self storage frequently asked questions the following articles may be of use