Before placing an appliance in storage, follow these suggestions to ensure they’ll be safe and ready for use when their next needed. Many concerns that arise when storing belongings in a self storage unit can be resolved with simple solutions. Storing away fragile items? Use packing supplies like bubble wrap and styrofoam peanuts to cushion breakable goods. Moving a furniture item with drawers? Tape the drawers shut to avoid them sliding open and shut while carrying the item into the storage unit. But the storage of appliances, some of which may contain hazardous or damaging materials, can be a bit more tricky and require some careful preparation to store safely. Preparing a Refrigerator for Storage Empty out the refrigerator and freezer and then defrost. Set a microwavable bowl of hot water inside the freezer to speed the thawing process, re-heating the bowl of water as needed. Once your fridge is emptied and defrosted, disconnect it from the power source and clean it thoroughly, checking any pipes/hoses to remove any standing water. It is important, once the cleaning is finished, to be sure and DRY everything thoroughly, in order to avoid any mildew-causing moisture. A useful tool to have on hand during this process is a hair dryer, which helps a lot with drying out the interior and any hard-to-reach places. Just be careful with the electrical cord around water. A technique that helps control moisture is to wipe down the inside of the appliances with baking soda, which helps to keep the interior dry. Tie the doors down when moving the fridge, but BE SURE to leave the doors slightly ajar once in storage to avoid any possibility of mildew. Securely Packing Away the Television The best way to pack electronics is in their original box and packing materials, however if it’s been a long while and those have been lost, find a box as close in size to the television as possible. Pack any empty spaces around the television inside the box with paper. If possible, wrap the television with a blanket before squeezing it carefully in the box. Tape the box shut and be sure to write “FRAGILE” clearly on the box. Before Putting a Washer or Dryer in Storage Similar to the fridge (minus the defrosting, obviously) the washer and dryer need to be emptied of all liquids and thoroughly cleaned and dried. If there is standing water in the washer, use a measuring cup to dip it out. Carefully wipe down the inside of the washer and dryer, and be sure to clean out any leftover liquids from the detergent and/or bleach compartments. Unhitch any pipes and tubing and allow any moisture inside to drain by either hanging it up or blowing with a hair dryer. Again, with these and any other appliances that may hold moisture, fasten the doors shut when moving but prop them open once in storage to avoid mildew. Safely Storing a Lawn Mower Because hazardous materials are generally banned at self storage companies, be sure to drain and clean out all gas from the lawn mower. Not only does this decrease the possibility of accidents due to hazardous substances, also it keeps the tank and fuel lines from becoming gummed up. To empty gasoline from a mower, simply find a wide, shallow container, set it alongside the mower, and then tilt the mower till all the gas drains out. Once that is done, run the mower till it stops, using up any gasoline that remained behind. To prevent rusting, be sure to thoroughly clean the mower, especially underneath, and once it is free of debris and clean of dirt, rub oil on metal attachments for added rust protection. How To Prepare a Dishwasher Before Storing Drain and clean the dishwasher, being sure to remove the filter and clean out any remnants of food or residue to avoid mold and to keep from attracting pests. Thoroughly clean and dry the appliance. Opt to either gather and tie any hanging parts, or remove them completely and place them inside the dishwasher for self storage. The more efficiently and securely appliance parts are stored, the less change of them causing damage to other stored items or needing replacement once they’re required again. Be careful when moving dishwashers into or out of storage, as their doors can be very heavy and could cause injury if not tied or taped securely shut. But again, once in storage, remember to prop the door open. Before Placing an Oven in a Storage Unit After cleaning an oven, it is an option to store other unnecessary household goods inside the empty space to conserve space. Many storage companies provide storage supplies like pads, and tarps, which are useful to protect appliances from sustaining scratches or dents when being placed in storage. Because of the glass door on the oven, a large “FRAGILE” sign should be placed in a visible location, so that when other items are being moved in our out around the stove the movers can be careful to keep hard corners away from the glass. Some appliances have open backs or holes for separate parts: cover and protect these to keep out any curious critters looking for a home. Tips to Help Store Appliances Safely and Efficiently A helpful tip when storing appliances in a self storage unit is that chances are those particular items won’t be used as often as other household goods, so pack the appliances LAST in the moving truck so that they can be loaded FIRST into the storage unit and therefore be at the back and out of the way. Lay down pads under appliances, to avoid any moisture from the floor causing rust to metal parts. While some appliances require air flow to discourage mold and mildew, there may also be the potential of unwanted vermin entering the appliance, so use cotton blankets or canvas to allow air in but not rodents or insects. If an item is going to be stored for a long while and remain out-of-use, use oil to protect any metal parts from rust. Appliances do require a bit more thought and preparation to store at a self storage location, but any extra care when storing them goes a long way in ensuring that when their use is next required they will be ready!