Your home is your castle – and it’s not just you that it is sheltering.
Our homes are also where we keep the physical objects that matter most to us, from the pricey treasures we’ve accumulated to the priceless mementos that remind us of our family and our history.
Unfortunately, our homes are not perfectly safe.
They are susceptible to rare but devastating dangers, from house fires and floods to home invasions and vandalism.
But this doesn’t mean that you have to store your favorite necklace in a safety deposit box or run to the storage unit every time you want to use your Michael Aram dinnerware.
It just means that you should take some common-sense steps to protect the things that you love while you store them in your home.
Understanding basement storage
Unless you live in Florida or another area where they are rare, you probably have a basement. And you probably store a whole lot of stuff in your basement. That’s okay – but you’ll want to be careful!
Because they are underground, basements can easily get damp and breed mildew. Our sump pumps and ventilation systems work hard to stop this, but you should check regularly yourself to ensure that your basement isn’t taking on water or breeding mold.
It’s also a good idea to put shelving in your basement and store important things a little higher off the ground.
In the event of a flood, these things will be more likely to make it. You may also want to consider moving items sensitive to dampness – such as photographs and papers – to a higher floor.
Understanding garage storage
Garages are popular places to store things and for good reason. But be careful: not everything you own will be safe in your garage.
In particular, avoid storing things in your garage that might attract wildlife and make sure that you keep temperature-sensitive things clear of this space.
Your garage is less insulated from the outside world than your home’s interior is, so it’s not uncommon to see temperature fluctuations or wildlife visitors in there with your stuff. If you’re storing a record collection or opened containers of food, you’re likely to have some problems.
Insurance policies, alarm systems, and other protections
Critters, mold, and outside air aren’t the only things that could threaten your stuff. Human beings have been known to be pretty rough on stuff, too, so make sure that you have some protections in place to deter home invasions and vandalism.
Deadbolts are better than locks, and an alarm system is a smart investment.
You should also consider investing in insurance policies. Homeowner’s insurance will help you out if you run into a disaster like a fire, flood, or home invasion, and it may even protect your stuff from more mundane threats – speak to a broker to learn more about your options.