At long last, spring is here! It couldn’t be more welcome, but it does bring a few things to worry about. One of those is your stuff in storage, especially unheated storage.
If your unit is climate controlled, you can breathe easy: A seamless transition between climatic states is part of what you’re paying for. But if you have your stuff in a standard unit, be aware that the increasing humidity and heat might affect your stuff in various ways.
Get ready to do a little “spring cleaning” in your unit to make sure nothing gets damaged.
Documents: These are sensitive to heat and moisture; paper can yellow, curl, and “wilt” as the season heats up. The best way to keep them in good shape is to store them in sealable plastic document bins.
Fabrics: Clothes and linens can easily mold in humid conditions, so it’s best to store these in airtight plastic boxes or bags. Vacuum-sealed bags are a good bet.
Furniture: Wooden furniture may well swell in the humidity of summer, but in general the amount this happens should threaten well-made furniture. Upholstered furniture, however, is at risk for developing mold and mildew. The best course of action is to keep these pieces as clean as possible; the more organic matter such as dust on these surfaces, the more likely mold is to develop. Check regularly to ensure that mold isn’t beginning to grow. If it is, you’ll need to take immediate steps to stem its spread.
Stringed instruments: While the danger in winter is wood cracking in the dry, cold air, in spring the wood swells, making the pegs hard to turn and putting pressure on the bridge and other elements. If you’ll be storing your instrument throughout the warm season, lubricate your pegs and loosen your strings slightly. Or better yet, move that puppy to a climate-controlled room.
The vast majority of items you choose to store in non-climate-controlled storage will fare just fine over the spring and summer months. It is just the few sensitive and valuable items you should be concerned about. And when in doubt, take it out.