Home storage seems like a simple chore on the surface, but it can be riskier than you think. Fire hazards, pest infestations and other threats can arise if you don’t practice safe storage habits. Let’s discuss some potentially dangerous items you need to look out for, plus seven home storage tips to keep your precious items and household safe.
Dangerous Household Items
Although most of your home’s miscellaneous items are harmless, some objects could give rise to serious health and safety risks. Water leaks and other environmental hazards also come into play. Here are the main objects that pose the greatest threats:
- Chemicals: Cleaning products, paint, fertilizers, pesticides and other objects containing toxic chemicals could damage your home or cause chemical burns on contact if you don’t store them in secure containers.
- Perishable food: Many food items will quickly spoil in suboptimal conditions, creating the risk of food poisoning.
- Gasoline: Gasoline is highly flammable and it always poses a fire risk if you keep a supply in your house.
- Flammable items: Anything that could cause severe damage in the event of a fire should be stored carefully, whether it be party supplies, like sparklers or fireworks, or gas tanks.
Now that you’re aware of the greatest threats, you can take extra steps to mitigate them with these safe storage practices.
1. Use the Right Containers
The simplest way to ensure safe home storage is to use the right containers. While cardboard boxes are affordable and come in a wide variety of sizes, they’re flimsy, flammable and stand no chance against water leaks. You should only use cardboard boxes if you know they won’t be exposed to environmental hazards.
Plastic storage bins are better for delicate items because they won’t rot from water damage or fall apart over time. Plastic containers are especially useful for your kitchen pantry because they keep the food fresh. For the items that don’t need complete enclosure, you can use simple baskets and crates for easy access.
2. Don’t Pack Too Tightly
Whichever containers you use, be careful not to pack the items too tightly. You need to allow enough airflow to prevent mildew accumulation. You can also use wool blankets, cotton balls, silica gel packs and dehumidifying packs to keep your precious items dry. This precaution is especially important if you live in a humid climate.
3. Pay Attention to Climate
Speaking of climate, you also need to store your items in the appropriate rooms. Each room in your house has a slightly different temperature and humidity level. Make sure to store electronics and food items in dry rooms with low humidity. Store flammable items, like gas and fireworks, in cool areas away from ignition sources, such as a garage or shed.
4. Label Items With Multiple Parts
Bigger household objects, such as furniture and appliances, often have multiple parts. You can minimize your storage space by disassembling these items and storing their parts separately. However, if you take this approach, you need to label the items so they don’t get mixed up with your other belongings. Put every part in a labeled plastic bag just to be safe.
5. Stack Fragile Items Last
You don’t want to bury your most fragile items under a pile of boxes. Stack the delicate objects last so you have easy access and don’t have to worry about breaking them. Apply this rule to artwork, glassware, electronics and other commonly damaged items or objects that hold sentimental value.
6. Do Frequent Inspections
Even if you use the right packaging and choose an appropriate location, you still need to do frequent storage inspections. Look around the containers for water damage, broken objects and signs of pest infestation at least once a week. Always do an inspection after inclement weather. You might not be able to avoid all types of damage, but you can at least catch them early on.
7. Rent a Storage Space
If you’re not confident in your home’s storage space, you can always rent a storage unit at a local facility. The average storage unit is 100 square feet, which is enough to fit about three rooms’ worth of objects. These units have stable climates and are under constant surveillance. You can clear out a lot of your house’s clutter without parting with anything.
Keep Your Family and Belongings Safe
Proper storage is one of the most overlooked aspects of home safety and security. Just a few simple precautions can reduce the risk of fires, injuries and many other dangers. Now that you know the main threats and the best storage habits, you can keep your family and belongings safe. Put these habits into action next time you rearrange your closets or clean out your garage!
Cora’s passion is to inspire others to live a happy, healthful, and mindful life through her words on Revivalist – wholeheartedly convincing them that everyday moments are worth celebrating. Cora has spent 5+ years writing for numerous lifestyle sites – hence her sincere love for both life and the beauty of style in all things. Keep up with Cora on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.
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