Moving to a new city can be tough if you still need to find a new place to call home. If you haven’t found the perfect place yet, you may need to put your belongings into long-term storage.

Climate-controlled storage facilities are excellent areas to store your valuables while you search for your new place. Although these storage areas will protect your items from the elements, you must always take the extra step to clean your goods.

Cleaning your valuables also helps them last longer. This process removes surface dirt and helps them look and smell clean. Your items will also be ready to use when you remove them from storage.

In this guide, you’ll learn seven items you should always clean before putting them into storage.

1. Your Kitchen Appliances

When you store your things inside a climate-controlled storage facility, it provides extra protection for your appliances. These facilities regulate humidity and temperatures year-round to prevent damage to your items.

As a precautionary step, always clean your kitchen appliances before putting them into storage. This process will eliminate stinky odors and germs. It will also ensure your appliances are ready to use after you move into your new place.

Your refrigerator is the first appliance you should clean before placing it in a storage facility. Throw away spoiled food and put the remaining goods inside ice coolers. You carry these items with you in the car. Donate any unopened food items to a charity or ask Mesa Moving to give them to a local food bank on behalf of Move For Hunger.

Remove your refrigerator shelves and drawers, then wash them in soapy, hot water, and allow them to dry. Clean the interior section, then wipe it down with a dry cloth. You can use an open baking soda container, or Damp Rid, to remove any excess moisture from your fridge’s interior.

You can sanitize your other kitchen appliances using products from your pantry. For instance, you create a solution using one-part vinegar and water to clean your microwave. The cleaner will remove food stains and sanitize its interior. Wash any removable items, like revolving trays, with soap and water.

You can use an oven cleaner and heat cycle to remove grease, oil, and residue. Next, wipe down the outside parts of your kitchen appliances to prepare them for storage.

2. Your Washer and Dryer

Two items you must clean before putting into storage are your washer and dryer. Since you use these appliances to wash your clothes, you may believe you don’t need to clean them. But these devices need tender loving care, just like the rest of your appliances.

Better Homes and Gardens recommends the following process to clean your washer and dryer. First, pour two cups of vinegar into your washing machine, then run its hottest setting. This step will cut down mold, dirt, and mildew.

Once the cycle finishes, mix a solution containing 1/4 cup of vinegar and one quart of warm water. Use a sponge and toothbrush to clean the internal drum. If you can, remove the soap dispenser. Soak it in a vinegar-and-water solution. Scrub down any remaining dirt. Finally, run a wash cycle on the hottest, longest setting without vinegar or detergent. Dry your washer with a paper towel after it finishes.

Next, you can clean the lint container inside your dryer. You can sanitize the internal drum using a mild soap-and-water solution. This step will kill any bacteria.

3. Your Antique and Wooden Furniture

Your antique and wooden furniture need special care before you place them into storage. Here are a few tips you can use to clean and protect these pieces.

Dust your furniture to remove all surface dirt. You can also use a weak solution of dishwashing soap and water. Be careful that you don’t over-saturate the wood with water. Continually rinse your cloth to eliminate dirt. You can use another dry cloth to remove all excess moisture.

Next, take a few minutes to revitalize your wooden furniture before putting these items into storage. A gentle, tea-based cleaner will remove any waxy build up on these items. Tea contains tannic acid, a natural ingredient that maintains wooden furniture.

To make a cleaning solution, steep two tea bags in boiling water. Once it cools, dip a soft cloth into the tea, and wipe your furniture down with the damp cloth. Allow it to dry. This step should clean your furniture and give it a beautiful shine.

Another way to preserve your antiques is to remove water rings. You can use non-gel toothpaste and baking soda to these stains. Use equal parts of each item, then use it to scrub the water ring. Gently rub the spot using a circular motion until the stain lifts. Wipe off the remaining toothpaste with a damp cloth, then allow it to dry.

4. Your Leather Furniture

Another item you should prepare for storage is your leather furniture to stop dirt and grime from building up. We recommend following your manufacturer’s directions to clean these items. You can also contact a local furniture retailer for this information if you lost this information.

You’ll need several materials to clean your furniture: microfiber cloths, water, and mild soap. Conduct a small spot test on an inconspicuous area, then allow this patch to dry. If there is no fabric damage, you can proceed.

Next, remove any surface dirt from the leather using a dry microfiber cloth. This step preps the leather for the next step of the cleaning process.

After you prep the furniture’s surface, you’ll finish cleaning it. Squeeze some liquid soap onto a damp, microfiber cloth. Next, gently wipe the furniture to clean it. Be careful that the surface doesn’t get too wet.

Once you finish cleaning your surface, don’t rinse it. Instead, buff it with a soft cloth. The soap’s moisture will condition the leather. If necessary, polish the fabric to help it shine.

Do you have a few stains on your leather furniture? You can use a damp rag with a small amount of soap. If it is a liquid stain, use the rag to absorb as much as possible. Next, lather the surface area of the stain. Avoid using a wiping motion since this action can actually spread the stain. After you finish, use a dry cloth to absorb all excess moisture.

5. Your Fabric Upholstery

You should clean your fabric upholstery before you put these items into storage. There are several steps you should take to protect these items. First, use a handheld vacuum to remove any debris from the surface.

Next, mix a 50/50 ratio of vinegar and water. Conduct a patch test first, before using this mixture to remove all stains and debris. Use an antibacterial cleaner to wash the surface, then allow it to dry.

6. Your Outdoor Furniture

Do you own outdoor furniture? Always clean these pieces before storing them. Use a damp cloth to remove surface dirt from wicker furniture.

Wash outdoor cushions with one teaspoon of dishwashing soap, a quart of water, and Borax. Saturate a sponge with the solution and wash the pillows. Pay special attention to the crevices where dirt may collect. After you finish washing these items, let them dry in the sunshine.

Clean your plastic resin with an all-purpose cleaner, water, and a sponge. After you wipe these items down, rinse them with water. Allow these items to dry, then prepare to disassemble them for storage.

7. Your Clothing

A climate-controlled facility can protect your clothing from damage caused by high temperatures or humidity. These facilities will protect your clothes from the elements; however, you should wash these items before storing them.

There are several reasons you should clean your clothing before storage. On the surface, your clothing may look immaculate, but residual perfumes, lotions, and sweat can turn them yellow. They also could contain bacteria that may develop an odor the longer you store them.

After you clean your clothes, make sure they are dry before packing them. If you don’t enjoy washing your clothes, you can have a dry cleaner wash and press them.

Next, sort through your wardrobe and donate or sell items that are in good condition that you no longer wear or want. Discard any items that are damaged or unwearable.

Next, purchase plastic bins that snap shut and have a good seal. You can also use wardrobe boxes. After you finish, write an inventory list, then label each box. Your inventory will help you locate your items and retrieve them. For additional clothing storage tips, read The Spruce’s How to Store Your Seasonal Clothes.

Do you need climate-controlled storage for your valuables? Mesa Moving and Storage has excellent facilities that can protect your items year-round. Contact us today for more information.