Packing your kitchen away into a storage unit, whether for a short time while waiting for your home to be ready or for longer term storage such as for a move overseas, may seem simple and straightforward. The fact is, you will need to take some special steps to ensure that all of your kitchen items survive storage and remain in great condition. The following tips can help.
Tip #1: Consider climate control
If you are storing anything other than metal cooking implements, climate control is a necessity. Electronic and mechanical kitchen gadgets, such as breadmakers and mixers, can suffer damage from extreme temperatures. Heat can also warp and ruin plastic items, such as storage containers. Humidity is also a concern, since it can lead to mold, mildew or rot. By opting for a temperature and humidity controlled unit, you are avoiding all of these concerns.
Tip #2: Clean everything
Even the slightest bit of food residue can provide an invitation for ravenous pests, like insects and rodents. Run everything through the dishwasher that you can, and wipe down everything else with a weak bleach solution to sanitize it. For mechanical tools, like your mixer, also take the extra step of lubricating everything after cleaning so it won't rust or seize up during storage. Wood cutting boards also need to be oiled before storage, as does cast iron.
Tip #3: Use plastic tubs
Certain items should be stored in sealed plastic tubs. Items that require a food grade oil to coat them, such as the aforementioned cast iron and wood cutting boards, can attract pests looking to feed on the oil. To prevent this, store these items in plastic tubs with tight-fitting lids. You can use this method to store any kitchen items that you are afraid could attract pests.
Tip #4: Stack carefully
Items like glass bowls or plates stack easily into each other, but they can become stuck. This leads to breaking as you try to pry them apart. Use undyed tissue paper sheets between items to prevent this from happening. Skip newspaper, since the dye could transfer onto your glass items and it may not come off easily.
Tip #5: Store like items together
This means simply keeping all the utensils in one box, all the pans in another, or all the attachments stored with the mixer. This makes it much easier to find things if you only need to retrieve an item or two from storage. Label all off your boxes and place the heaviest items on the bottom, as well.
Contact a local self storage company for more help.