Whether or not to store electronics in a storage unit can be a tricky decision. On one hand, you may feel like it’s a good idea to keep them safe and out of the way. On the other, you may be concerned about potential risks. So, is it safe to leave electronics in a storage unit? In general, the answer is yes. Still, there are some considerations.
Consider the item
If you’re storing something delicate or sensitive to temperature changes, like a laptop or gaming console, you may want to consider a climate-controlled storage unit rather than an attic or basement. Electronics can easily be damaged if exposed to extreme temperatures or humidity.
Consider items’ value/storage unit security
There are some basic questions to ask when using a storage unit: Is the unit climate-controlled? Does it offer extra security features, like locks or alarms? If the unit doesn’t provide adequate protection, you may want to reconsider storing electronics there (especially pricey items).
5 ways to prepare electronics for self storage
Before leaving electronics in a storage unit, it’s important to take several precautions to ensure their safety and security.
1. Clean all electronics thoroughly with a soft cloth and some rubbing alcohol
It is important to clean electronics before storing them because dirt, dust, and grime buildup can lead to corrosion, short-circuiting, and other damage. Additionally, dirt and dust can accumulate inside the electronics. That can act as insulation, leading to overheating and premature failure. Cleaning electronics before storing them helps to maintain their appearance and can make them easier to use upon retrieval.
2. Back up all data stored on the electronics to an external hard drive or cloud storage
Backing up data is an essential step in protecting important information. As with any electronic device, there is always the risk of malfunction or accidental damage due to environmental factors or time elapsed. If a device is damaged or malfunctions, any data stored on it can be lost forever. Backing up the data ensures that your data is safe and can be retrieved even if the device is rendered unusable. Additionally, backing up can save time if the device needs to be reset or if a new device needs to be set up. Always back up your data before storing your electronics.
3. Unplug all cords and cables and store them separately in a labeled bag
It is important to label all cords and cables that you put in self-storage. This is especially true if you have multiple cords and cables that look similar. Labeling them will help you find the items quickly and easily when you need them. Labeling also helps prevent confusion when you are ready to access your stored items. It’s a big time-saver.
4. Remove all batteries and store them separately, if possible
Stored batteries inside electronics can leak, corrode, or even explode. This can cause irreparable damage to the device and may even present a fire hazard. Additionally, leaving batteries installed can cause the device to drain the battery’s power and a loss of battery life. Remove all accessible batteries and store them with their respective electronics before storage.
5. Place the electronics in airtight anti-static bags and cushion them with packing material before storing
Proper storage is key to protecting electronics from physical damage, dust and dirt, and static electricity. Cushioning items inside anti-static bags can help keep everything safe from physical damage that can occur when items are not properly stored, as they can be bumped or knocked around. Dust and dirt can also accumulate on electronics, which can damage the internal components, so bagging is essential. Anti-static bags provide an extra layer of security, preventing damage from static electricity.
Before storing your electronics make sure to speak with your storage unit manager who can provide you with specific advice on your electronics’ storage. In general, it’s okay to leave electronics in a storage unit as long as you take the necessary precautions. Our storage unit experts at Secure Self-Storage recommend using climate-controlled storage for your electronics to keep them protected and preserved for years to come.