How to Utilize Self Storage for Appliances

Appliances are not inexpensive household items. They’re a costly expense, so if you’ve upgraded your appliances or are moving homes, then keeping the old appliances in self storage is probably a wise idea – at least until you can arrange a buyer for them.

 Self storage is a solution for many problems, and storing appliances is certainly one. While they aren’t difficult to store, appliances do require a bit of forethought and care to ensure they remain in peak conditions when the time comes for them to come out of storage.

Sentinel Storage facilities across Canada house many appliances, and to ensure our tenants store these expensive items properly, we’ve put together this guide for how to utilize self storage for appliances the right way.

Preparing appliances for storage

Before moving your appliances, you need to prepare them properly for the move and their time in storage. The first step here, of course, is cleaning them thoroughly.

If you’re moving a washing machine or dishwasher, then put the appliance through one more cycle and run it while it is empty. Replace the detergent with bleach or white vinegar. These liquids will help flush pipes and drains of any substances that might create the conditions for mould growth, which is certainly something you want to avoid.

For all appliances, especially ones that contain food, such as dishwashers and refrigerators, clean the inside of the machine well, removing any dirt, grime, and food. All of these can lead to mould growth and/or odors that may attract pests. Give the exterior a good scrub as well, and always allow the appliance time to air-dry before putting it into storage.

Finally, make sure that you drain any appliance of liquids. Not only can these liquids help to produce mould and mildew, but they could also freeze at lower temperatures, damaging pipes and internal mechanisms.

Let us repeat this important point: always allow your appliance time to air-dry thoroughly before storing them.

Moving appliances

Moving appliances can be a challenge, as they are large and heavy items. This means that you should be moving them with a dolly or cart.

Fridge carts are excellent for the majority of appliances. These have extended handles for pulling tall appliances (like refrigerators) up staircases. They also contain a strap that wraps around the appliance to secure it to the cart. This is the optimal cart for these types of items.

Now, if you are moving other items along with appliances (like a full household of items), then a carpeted 4-wheel dolly is more versatile for the complete move. They can work well for appliances, but will not offer quite the same stability as a fridge cart. That said, because they have 4 wheels rather than the 2 wheels of a fridge cart, they are easier to move across flat surfaces. If stairs are involved, a fridge cart is always superior though.

Regardless of the type of cart/dolly you use, you will want to wrap the appliance in a moving blanket (if proper moving blankets are beyond your budget, then old blankets and linens can suffice). Be sure to tape the blanket to the appliance tightly, but avoid sticking the tape directly to the appliance itself. Instead, pull the tape tightly around the entire appliance so that it sticks to the blanket and to itself (once all the way around the blanket). The moving blanket will protect both the appliance and walls/doorframes as you make your way through the house.

Cardboard can work to protect the appliance and walls, etc. as well, but if blankets and cardboard are not options for you, then we suggest taping doors shut while moving it to avoid them from swinging open and damaging things. Be warry of the type of tape you use though, as you do not want it to damage the finish or leave a mark.

When moving appliances, it is important to keep them upright at all times, especially fridges and freezers. If you must flip the appliance to get it through doorways and the like, then flip it back upright as soon as possible, and allow it to stand upright for at least 24-hours before turning it on again.

Storing appliances

When storing your appliances, always leave doors ajar to allow for air circulation. Most appliances contain water, and any water that remains standing in a closed environment can produce mildew or mould. Leaving doors ajar will help prevent this from occurring.

Given the presence of water in these machines, we also suggest placing a box or bag of baking soda inside the appliance. Baking soda will absorb any funny smells that may be produced from the interior of the machine.

Wrapping appliances during their move is a good idea to keep them and the items they are moving around from being scratched or dented, but it is an equally good idea to leave them wrapped during their stay in storage. This will keep dust and dirt from getting to them.

Just because you keep them protected in a blanket though, does not mean you won’t be leaving the door ajar – be sure to make both happen! It may be easier in this case to cover the appliance with a breathable tarp, leaving it draped on top to allow for air flow.

 Self storage is the best answer to gain back the space appliances that are out of use take up in your home, but only if you store them in the appropriate way. Storing appliances in other ways can lead to mould, corrosion, and damage, not only of the appliance, but of other items you are storing nearby as well.

Sentinel Storage is an expert in self storage, and this of course includes storing appliances. If you’re looking for storage space for your appliances, then speak with your Sentinel Storage advisor today for more tips and advice on how to do this the right way.