How to Properly Store Electronics

Various electronics laid out across wooden table

When it comes to storing things in a self storage unit, your typical household belongings will be just fine as long as the unit is clean, safe, and in a secure storage facility. Many household goods don’t require a lot of preparation besides being packed into a moving box, and most furniture will do just fine in storage. Some items require more preparation, effort, and time to be stored well and get through the experience in pristine condition. At the top of the list are electronics, especially high-end electronics. If not prepared and packed well, many electronic devices will suffer damage when stored, especially long-term. To prevent that, Southern Self Storage put together the following tips, advice, and insights about properly storing electronics in a storage unit. Learn the best methods and the situations to avoid, and empower yourself to pack your electronics like the seasoned professional below.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Choosing the Right Storage Unit Type

The typical storage unit will be a perfect fit for most household goods. They’re clean, secure and provide a no-nonsense space to store most items safely. However, storing electronics that are fragile into a climate controlled storage unit might be better.

Climate Controlled Storage Unit

Climate controlled storage units are a particular storage unit that will stay between approximately 55°F and 85°F throughout the entire year. In other words, the storage unit will never freeze nor be exposed to extreme heat. Humidity controls can also ensure that excess moisture doesn’t impact your items. Moisture can have a corrosive effect on a wide variety of materials, especially if you plan to use storage for any extended period. For most electronics, this is usually the best storage environment.

Different Types of Electronics You Can Store

Boxes in a stand with appliances on the front of the box

The term “electronics” covers a wide range of items. Notably, all those items can be stored in a storage unit if they’re packaged and prepared well. The list includes:

  • Musical instruments
  • Computers and computer peripherals
  • Sound equipment
  • Computer banks
  • Cell phones
  • Home stereo equipment
  • Kitchen appliances, small and large
  • Flat screen TVs
  • Major appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, etc.
  • Professional kitchen equipment
  • RC cars, planes, and boats
  • Anything that uses electricity to function
  • Electronic toys and games

How to Prepare Electronics for Storage

Below are several top tips and steps to prepare most electronics for short- and long-term storage.

Purchase packing supplies

To prepare electronics for storage, you usually need to pack them; for that, you’ll need boxes, tape, bubble wrap (possibly), and packing paper. Most Southern Self Storage facilities sell packing supplies at affordable prices.

Clean Everything as Well as Possible.

Wipe, vacuum, brush, etc. Clean electronics last longer. Use compressed air on smaller electronic devices to blow off dirt and dust.

Remove all Batteries and Battery Packs

Batteries are great…until they sit for enough time, at which point many will start to corrode and degenerate. Anything the batteries are connected to or touching will also be corroded and degenerated when they do. If that’s your child’s favorite toy or an expensive electronic device, you’ll probably need to purchase a new one, so be sure to remove all batteries (and battery packs!) from your devices before storing them.

Use Paper to Wrap Electronics, Not Plastic

This might sound counterintuitive as many electronic devices come covered in plastic. That, however, was the plastic they needed for protection while being shipped. It was also put there knowing that, within a short time, the plastic would be removed. Packing electronics for storage, however, is a whole different ball game, and the best way to win it is to use plain, packing paper instead of plastic.

Packing paper helps electronics stay dry by absorbing moisture and allowing it to dissipate. Plastic seals moisture in and keeps it from evaporating. Since moisture is the enemy of anything electrical, packing paper is the far better choice to protect your electronics in storage.

Pack in Boxes with Packing Paper for Cushioning

Various appliances all coming out of one box

Here’s a step-by-step guide to packing a typical piece of electronic equipment. In this case, a stereo tuner.

  1. Use a box big enough for the tuner you need to pack, with about 2 inches of space around its sides when it sits flat in the box.
  2. Open the box and tape one end shut with packing tape.
  3. Using packing paper, one sheet at a time, crumple them up and place them in the box.
  4. Keep going until you can smash the crumpled paper flat and create a 2-inch paper base on the bottom of the box.
  5. Wrap the tuner in a paper pad like a gift. (Not 100% necessary, but it does provide extra protection.)
  6. Place the tuner, top up, flat in the box on top of the crumpled packing paper.
  7. Crumple more paper and stuff it gently around all 4 sides of the tuner.
  8. Crumple more paper and make another 2-inch layer to cover your tuner. You want enough to ensure the top won’t cave in when in storage.
  9. Pack another piece of stereo equipment on top of your tuner if there’s enough space in the box.
  10. Crumple one last layer of paper (if you added a 2nd device) so the box is tight and full.
  11. Seal the box with packing tape.

Remove all Cables from their Ports

Cables usually do well in storage with no extra preparation besides securely winding them. However, removing them from your devices is recommended as, in some situations, they could damage the port on your device while stored.

Store Your Electronics with Southern Self Storage

For all of your electronics storage needs, count on Southern Self Storage. We offer various storage types, including climate controlled storage units, which are usually better for electronics. Not sure what size storage unit you need? Check out our storage unit size guide and get a better idea before you reserve storage units near you. Until then, we hope the information, tips, and advice provided today will help you store your electronics well, whether short or long-term, with Southern Self Storage.

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