Smart tips to store your stuff safely

Ever wish there was a better way to safeguard the stuff you're not using?  Here are some smart storage tips and tricks to help keep your things safely stored away until you need them.

Smart tips to store your stuff safely

Elevated basement storage

Storing furniture and other large items in the basement can be risky because of the humid conditions. If you have no choice but to keep Grandma's old cherrywood sideboard there for a while, safeguard it from moisture by placing it on a wooden pallet and covering it with a large tarp. If you're wondering where to find a free pallet, check with the nearest grocery store. An alternative platform is a 2.5 centimetre (one-inch) slab of plywood supported by cinder blocks.

Attic air-freshener

Your attic contains everything from hanging bags of clothes to old hats and gloves and scarves. Wouldn't it be nice if it didn't smell like an attic? You can banish the mustiness by using the lava rocks from barbecue grills. Just scoop rocks into four or five mesh bags and hang them from the attic beams. Every few months, refresh the rocks by setting them outside in the sun for four to six hours. Lava rocks left out in the sun should absorb musty odours for years on end.

The multi-use shower caddy

It doesn't take an Einstein to realize that a shower caddy needn't be confined to the bathroom. Use it anywhere inside the house to store items of all sorts — laundry room supplies, gardening products and small tools, to name a few. Just hang the caddy from a doorknob or a sturdy hook or nail on the wall of the garage, basement, workshop or garden shed.

TLC for anything framed

Framed photographs and artwork should be properly stored to extend their life and they should also be clearly labelled — the latter accomplished by taping a photograph of the framed piece to its wrapper (use an instant camera or the printout of a digital shot).

Wrapping paintings, framed prints, lithographs and photographs takes some time, but pays off in the end. Wrap each piece in acid-free tissue paper and sandwich it between two layers of half-centimetre (quarter-inch) foam board cut a bit larger than the frame. Tape the corners and middle of the board, then wrap the package in brown paper. After taping the paper at every seam, attach the photograph of the piece inside to the outer wrapping.

  • Bonus hint 1: Never wrap artwork of any kind in plastic, which can trap moisture and cause warping or the growth of mould.
  • Bonus hint 2: Wear cotton gloves when handling an oil painting. Touching the surface (back or front) will leave oils and salts from your hands — substances that can eventually crack or otherwise damage dried oil paint.

Bank on this one

Bank statements seem to accumulate faster than you can say "prime interest rate," especially when you're so busy you can't find the time to check them. Here's a quick fix: Each time a statement arrives in the mail, scan it and save it as a file in your computer. The result? All the info you need and no paper to take up space.

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