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How to Store Toys Long-Term

Putting stuffed toys, vintage toys, and collectible toys in long-term storageWhether you’re storing seasonal toys like pool noodles and beach balls, special and delicate toys like childhood stuffed animals and vintage figurines, or potentially valuable collectibles like dolls and action figures, storing toys long-term sometimes takes some extra planning and care. These toy storage tips will ensure that they last for generations.

Storing Pool Inflatables and Toys

Prevent the growth of mold and mildew by cleaning pool toys and gear with a solution of one cup of baking soda to a gallon of water. Use a hose to rinse off the solution and leave the toys and gear outside in the shade to air dry. Do not deflate inflatables until they’re completely dry.

Coat the surface of inflatables with cornstarch to prevent sides from sticking together in storage, then gently fold or roll them. Inflatables should be either stored in their original boxes or in individual boxes or plastic bags.

Pool toys can be safely stored in a garage or shed, or in a storage unit.

Storing Stuffed Toys

Stuffed animals and toys must be completely clean and dry before going into storage long-term. Most stuffed toys can be machine washed on a delicate setting, but if you don’t want to take the risk, hand wash them in a sink or bathtub with mild laundry detergent. Instead of machine washing, hang them to dry on a clothesline in the shade to prevent color fading.

You can dry clean especially delicate stuffed toys by using an absorbent powder based on the color of the toy. Put the toy in a large bag, sprinkle with powder, shake, and leave the toy in a bag for an hour before removing and shaking off the powder.

  • For dark-colored stuffed toys, use wheat germ.
  • For yellow or beige stuffed toys, use corn starch.
  • For white or bright-colored stuffed toys, use baking soda.

Stuffed toys can be stored in a plastic container (don’t squish or crowd them if you’re concerned about them retaining their shape) or can be vacuum-sealed in plastic storage bags with a vacuum cleaner hose.

Storing Vintage or Collectible Toys

Vintage and collectible toys should be kept out of sunlight, humidity, or extreme heat or cold. They’ll be safest in a climate-controlled storage unit. Ideally, they should be stored in their original packaging and then plastic-wrapped. Otherwise, they should be stored in closed plastic containers that will keep out any outside dust, dirt, or oils.

Do you have questions about how to store a specific or unusual toy? Just contact us!

Benefits of Climate-Controlled Storage

Effects of extreme temperatures on wood furniture without climate-controlled storageWhen it comes to storing your valued belongings, basic self-storage sometimes isn’t enough to guarantee that your more sensitive items will be protected from the elements. Read about the benefits of climate-controlled storage below before you make your decision about whether to upgrade or keep it simple.

Storage in Pittsburgh

With average temperatures as low as 21 degrees in January, winter in Pittsburgh can be especially rough on wood furniture, whether it’s brand new or a delicate antique. Even after drying, shaping, sanding, and varnishing, there’s always a small amount of water left in wood. Cold temperatures can cause that water to freeze and permanently warp the shape of your furniture in the course of a few weeks.

With average temperatures as high as 84 degrees in July and morning humidity reaching 78%, summer is no better. Excessive heat and humidity have the power to damage wood furniture, electronics, photographs, plastics, and even fabrics in a matter of weeks. Ceramics, metals, and glass are about the only materials that can endure an entire summer damage-free without climate control.

Storage in Cleveland

The elements are just as hard on your furniture in Cleveland during the winter and summer. The average January low temperature reaches a frigid 20 degrees, and the July high typically climbs to at least 81 degrees. Average humidity can reach 80% in the morning. Humidity that high is rough on books, electronics, artwork, vinyl records, wood furniture, and even metals.

Why Use Climate-Controlled Storage?

Standard self-storage is perfectly safe for belongings you would normally keep in your shed or garage, and for items like dishes and glassware. With anything more delicate, you’re risking some damage from extreme temperatures and humidity. With climate-controlled storage, you can keep your belongings in your storage unit year-round without worrying about damage from heat, cold, or humidity.

Contact Weleski Transfer about your storage options today. If you have any remaining questions about climate-controlled storage or basic self-storage, we can answer them!

How to Store Items in Your Garage Long-Term

classic car stored in garageUnlike in a climate-controlled storage unit, items stored in your garage, while safe from rain and snow, are exposed to the extreme heat and cold of summer and winter. Whether you plan to store items in your garage for a season or year-round, here’s how to make sure your belongings can withstand heat and humidity as well as freezing temperatures.

Storing a Car

While your car is designed to withstand hot and cold temperatures, you shouldn’t store it long-term without giving it a thorough cleaning, inside and out. Even water drops or salt from the air can do damage to your car’s paint job if you don’t give it a thorough wash and wipe. Vacuum the inside too, or else you’ll run the risk of attracting pests with old food crumbs.

It’s also recommended to change your oil, put in a clean air filter, remove your battery to prevent corrosion, top off your coolant, and keep your gas tank full (and add a fuel stabilizer) when storing your car long-term.

Storing Tools

Make sure your gardening tools and home repair tools are dry and free of dirt to prevent rusting before putting them into long-term storage. Store them in a clean and dry tool box or mount them on the wall. Empty your lawn mower’s gas tank to avoid gumming up the carburetor.

Storing Outdoor Toys and Entertainment

Keep bicycles clean and dry to prevent rusting, and ideally mount them on the wall to keep them away from moisture. Deflate inflatable pools and toys and store them in dry boxes off the floor. Cover hot tubs or other large items that could get dirty with a spa cover or tarp.

If you’re not sure whether an item can be safely stored in your garage or should go into climate-controlled storage, just ask us.

Summer Storage Tips

Blonde woman holding moving box against yellow backgroundEven inside a clean, dry place like your garage, items in storage can still be damaged by high heat and humidity. Your best bet for avoiding the adverse effects of extreme weather is to put your items in climate-controlled storage, and Weleski Transfer offers both long- and short-term climate-controlled storage options at our Pittsburgh storage facility.

If this isn’t an option for you, or if you simply want to protect belongings going into storage in your hot garage, follow these tips to keep them safe from damage.

Don’t risk the heat with these items.

These heat-sensitive items will be better off stored in a climate-controlled storage unit or a room in your home. Placing them in the garage or shed will expose them to high temperatures and humidity put them at risk for irreversible damage.

  • Electronics
  • Photographs
  • Newspapers or documents
  • Plastic items
  • DVDs or CDs
  • Records or cassettes
  • Baseball cards or other paper collectibles
  • Artwork
  • Leather or wood furniture

These items are safe from summer temperatures.

  • Cars
  • Tools
  • Outdoor toys and entertainment

Want to learn more about how to safely store items in your garage long-term? Not sure whether an item can safely go in the garage or should go into climate-controlled storage? Just ask us.

How to Move Fine Art and Sculptures

Canvas painting of a woman with art suppliesWhether its value is monetary or sentimental, it’s normal to be paranoid about having to move art. The unusual shapes, weight, and fragility of paintings and sculptures make safely packing them a special challenge. Follow these guidelines to keep them safe and protect their value.

How to Move Paintings and Drawings

  • For expensive and large artwork, consider a custom-built crate. The crate can be built around the painting on-site and then disassembled when it reaches its new home.
  • Do not use cling wrap, which can create mold. If you want to wrap the artwork to prevent scratching, use a blanket, silicone release paper, unprinted newspaper, or plain brown paper.
  • Avoid packing multiple paintings in one box or crate, even without frames. They may scratch against each other in transit and damage the paint or canvas.
  • For glass-covered artwork, create an X with masking tape over the glass to prevent it from shattering in case of cracks.
  • If your artwork must go into storage, make sure it’s climate-controlled to prevent damage to the paint.
  • Stick large red FRAGILE labels all over the crate or box.

How to Move Sculptures

  • Fill in crevices with foam padding before wrapping the sculpture in a generous layer of bubble wrap.
  • Place foam padding or packing peanuts inside the box on all sides of the sculpture to prevent any movement.
  • Sculptures should be packaged individually to prevent breakage from friction or banging together in the truck.
  • Mark the box as fragile and indicate which side of the sculpture’s box should be facing up with large, red labels on all sides.

When in doubt, call in the experts. At Weleski, we’ve moved every kind of item you can imagine and will treat your valuable artwork with the utmost care. Contact us with questions or to request an estimate today.

How to Prepare Documents for Storage

Weleski Pittsburgh Records ManagementOne piece of paper, two pieces of paper, three… Without a document storage strategy, files can accumulate all over your desk. They pile up in near-bursting binders on your shelves, and in every closet and filing cabinet, before you can blink. Unless you have a system of organizing documents by importance, the contracts are probably mixed in with the junk mail. You could probably sooner turn up Bigfoot than your expired insurance policies.

Follow these tips to get organized, put your important documents safely into storage, and achieve mastery over the tidal wave of paper.

Toss or Keep?

You need to keep some documents permanently, like deeds, articles of incorporation, and contracts. Keep others such as accident reports, personnel files of terminated employees, and bank statements for at least seven years. Having these documents on hand or tossing them could mean the difference between winning or losing a lawsuit. For details about how long to keep documents check out this record retention guide.

Go Green

Make a habit of scanning your day-to-day files into manageable, email-able PDFs to save time and trees. Cloud storage applications like Google Drive or Dropbox allow you to organize your documents however you like, and choose who can view or edit them. Invest in a powerful shredder to pulverize your outdated financial documents and dedicate a slow work day to cleaning out your file cabinets (or delegate the task to an intern). Be sure to recycle the paper!

Organize

Stamp your most important documents with retention dates and keep the files with the same retention schedule in the same box for easy disposal after the time is up. Organize all records in boxes by year/date and alphabetical order. Weleski can pick up these boxes and manage them for you, with services including bar coding, indexing, data entry, inventory tracking, transfers, and more. Our facilities are smoke and fire protected, secure, climate controlled, and protected against smoke and fire.

Do you have more questions about how to organize your documents? Want to request a free consultation and estimate? Call us at 724-224-3330 or send us an email and we will share our decades of records storage expertise.

Fret-Free Commercial Storage

If you are searching for “commercial storage near me” or “industrial storage in my area,” you’ve landed on the right page. Weleski Transfer manages 350,000 square feet of secure warehouse storage for businesses in the Pittsburgh and Cleveland areas.

If you were to look inside our warehouses, you would see bright, clean, and well-organized space for office furniture, hospital and medical equipment, electronic machinery, and furnishings, fixtures, and equipment of all kinds. You’d wee rows and rows of storage vaults on racks, accessible via forklifts.

Forklift loader ready for industrial or commercial storage.

Storage is often integral to commercial or industrial relocation. We routinely provide storage for companies when they expand or downsize. Depending on your project, you may schedule pickups and deliveries of goods for a coordinated flow of materials. We provide inside placement at your location, unpacking and crate removal, and installation of office furnishings.

As a standard procedure, we log each shipment in a digital database as it comes in. Then, we note its location in our warehouse precisely for efficient retrieval. When items leave our warehouse, we log them out. Our database is a real-time record of the goods you have with us, whether in our warehouse or on our trucks.

A Few of Our Storage Options and Services:

  • On Site & Off Site Storage. In addition to providing secure storage in our warehouses, we can enhance materials management at the job site. Ask us about our mobile storage options, including containers and low-profile trailers.
  • Climate controlled storage. When you must keep temperature-sensitive goods safe from extremes of heat and cold.
  • Self-Storage. If you require frequent and/or unscheduled access to your inventory, talk to us about self-storage options.
  • Custom Crating and Packing. For large or high-value commercial items, including fine art and collectibles, our custom crating service ensures proper protection during storage and transit.
  • Record Retention and Document Shredding. Our record-retention service offers a secure archive for your business documents and media of all kinds. We also provide scheduled, verified destruction of your records if you wish.
  • Specialized Transportation Services (STG). We specialize in pad-wrapped transportation for delivery of electronics, fine art, trade shows, etc.
  • Inventory Control and Management. You can use our warehouses for distribution of your goods to commercial or retail locations in the Pittsburgh and Cleveland area.
  • Turn Key Handling, Storage, Delivery. Keep your goods safe, door-to-door or dock-to-dock. Contact Weleski today and see how easy it is to turn the key for worry-free commercial storage.

No Need to “Forage for Storage”

As anyone who has ever moved can tell you, buy storage is almost always part of the equation. That’s why our industry is known as “moving and storage”—the two go together like “peanut butter and jelly,” “salt and pepper,” or “rock and roll.”

True, each sometimes stands alone. You might move all of your things directly from one home to the next. Or, you might put it all in storage while you travel the world for an extended vacation. (I love Paris in the springtime!)

So, everyone’s idea of using storage for extra space is different. It might be a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years. It might be some things, many things, or an ever-changing number of things. To choose the right storage option, start by asking yourself a few basic questions.Storage guy in Warehouse

  1. What is the size and quantity of items I need to store?
  2. How long do I anticipate keeping things in storage?
  3. Will I need regular or even occasional access?
  4. Do any of my things need to be in a humidity-controlled environment? (This may be true for some wood and antique furnishings, or pianos, violins, and other sensitive musical instruments.)

Size and Quantity

Weleski maintains over 400,000 square feet of warehouse space at three locations (Pittsburgh and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and Cleveland, Ohio). A good portion is used by companies for storing their furniture, equipment, and records. However, most of our space is dedicated to household goods. All our warehouses are military approved and all are recognized perennially by Atlas Van Lines for neatness, cleanliness, and quality operation. We run a tight ship!

Length of Time

If we know how long you intend to keep things in storage, we can advise you on which storage option will be most cost-effective. Storing your items in one of our warehouses could limit access to your goods. All our warehouses are equipped with advanced systems for security. These include intrusion, supervised access to warehouses, and fire and smoke detection with sprinkler and/or dry chemical for fire suppression.

Occasional Access

If you will need occasional access to your things, we may recommend one of our self-storage facilities. These offer units in over a dozen sizes, video-monitored, well-lit, gated and secure. As a customer, you get 24/7 keypad access to safely come and go as you wish. We also maintain secure, monitored outdoor storage as an economical alternative for keeping a boat or RV.

Humidity-Controlled Environment

While we offer climate-controlled storage in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, we reserve a special area with air conditioning for things that are sensitive to changes in humidity. If you are unsure, we can discuss whether this option is advisable for your goods.

When you go looking for storage, there’s no need to forage. Weleski makes finding the right storage solution simple. Give us a click and we’ll get in touch to help.

Moving and Storage. Lots of Storage.

You almost always hear the word “moving” in the same breath as “storage.” There’s a good reason. Very few moves take place without some form of storage. Whether it’s storage in transit before final delivery to the home—or longer-term warehousing for additional weeks, months, or even years—storage is practically synonymous with moving.

Storage Warehouse

Household Goods Storage
At Weleski Transfer, we provide storage options for practically any moving scenario. The largest part of our warehouse space, about 350,000 square feet (between our three locations in Pittsburgh, Johnstown and Cleveland), is used for palletized household goods storage. About a third of this is also approved for the military—we are proud to serve our nation’s service men and women when they transfer.

We keep our customers’ household goods inside sturdy, uniformly sized containers and organized on racks. Some things are too large to fit in the containers, and we keep those items in a mezzanine dedicated especially for overstuffed and bulky items. At our Cleveland facility, we have also invested in an industrial rack system with built-in sprinklers. Throughout all of our facilities we maintain systems to monitor for intrusion, fire, smoke, and water. Keeping goods secure while in our possession is a high priority.

Climate Controlled Storage
We also maintain about 15,000 square feet of climate controlled storage. We regulate the temperature and humidity to make this space suitable for many different kinds of sensitive goods, from fine art and museum pieces to wine collections, x-ray films, and more.

Commercial Storage
We also dedicate about 150,000 square feet to commercial storage. Store fixtures, furnishings, electronic equipment—we store a variety of goods. And we coordinate their movement to all sorts of commercial destinations—office buildings, factories, stores, restaurants and hotels.

Self Storage
We also maintain a separate self-storage facility for our customers. This storage option is useful when people need quick and/or frequent access to their things. Of our 200,000 square feet of self-storage space, about ten percent is heated.

Records Storage
Many businesses require offsite data storage, and they count on Weleski Transfer to keep their records safe, whether paper or digital media. We also offer destruction in industrial shredders with official proof of destruction.

In future blog posts, I’ll go into our storage capabilities in more detail. For now, suffice it to say if you have a need for storage when you move, we have the facilities to keep your things secure until you are ready to take delivery. Contact us today, or give us a call now: 888-224-3330