Seasonal Storage in the Northwest

Storing seasonal items in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) has always been a bit of a challenge. That’s because the PNW is known for its gray, wet winters, which means it’s not a great place to store your seasonal items due to high humidity and cold. If you’re worried about storing your seasonal items because of the PNW weather and need some advice and tips, you’ve come to the right place! The storage experts at Northwest Self Storage collected the following top tips on seasonal storage just for you. Read on to get them all, and ensure your prized belongings stay pristine while being stored!

The Weather in the PNW is a Challenge when Storing Seasonal Items

The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is a lovely area to live, work, and raise a family. However, the proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes storing things, including seasonal decorations, gear, vehicles, and furniture, challenging. The reason why is simple: constant, unrelenting rain and humidity.

While summer is warm, with clear skies and moderate temps, winter in the PNW is a steady drizzle that keeps things perpetually damp, which means protecting everything you store from all that humidity. One way many folks do just that is to rent a climate controlled storage unit from Northwest Self Storage. These specialized units aim to keep the temperature stable for the entire year, making them perfect for seasonal storage.

Top Tips for Seasonal Clothing Storage

Person pumping air out of a vacuum sealed bag with clothes in it

Storing clothes in a humid environment is more challenging than other items simply because the cloth materials are more fragile and prone to damage. Use the following tips when storing seasonal clothes to keep them in pristine shape.

1. Use Desiccant Packs

Silica gel packs like those in a new box of shoes or sneakers are perfect when storing seasonal clothes. You can find larger desiccant packs online that work perfectly with clothing and keep moisture from causing destructive mold and mildew while stored.

2. Pack Your Clothes with Cedar

Cedar in blocks or balls can prevent pests like insects and rodents from destroying your clothes while stored. Cedar is a natural pest repellent that is safe for most materials and smells great! (It’s much better than mothballs!)

3. Keep Humidity to a Minimum

We mentioned earlier that the PNW is a humid place in winter. When storing clothes, the last thing you want is for them to be exposed to humidity, even for a short time. Therefore, storing your clothes in a cool, dry place, like an interior closet, is highly recommended. A climate controlled unit is also recommended if you rent a storage unit for seasonal items.

4. Store Your Seasonal Clothes in Vacuum-Sealed Bags

Although it could be better to store clothes in regular plastic bags (they don’t control humidity), using vacuum-sealed bags does work. Not only will your clothes be well-protected, but because all the air is sucked out of the bag, they take up less storage space.

5. Give Your Seasonal Clothes Room to Breathe when Stored

If you’re storing clothes at home in a closet, give them enough room to “breathe” while you do. If they’re packed too tightly while stored, it could allow mold and mildew to grow and ruin your nicest seasonal items.

6. Check Your Stored Clothes Occasionally

Even if you store them like a pro, check your clothes occasionally during the off-season to be sure they’re in good shape. Not only will that prevent mildew and mold damage, but also help you prevent problems from starting.

Storing Seasonal Sporting Items

Motorcycle with a cover over it

It’s not just seasonal decorations and clothing that must be stored well but sporting items like fishing gear, hiking gear, and even a boat or motorcycle. If that’s your task, below are a few more tips to help you store those items.

1. Use a Heavy-Duty Cover

Covering your motorcycles, boats, and bikes while stored for the season can prevent damage, rust, and other damaging processes from starting. Plus, it will keep sun damage to a minimum, keep those items dry, and protect them from falling debris.

2. Remove any Batteries before Storage

Batteries should be disconnected and, when possible, placed on a trickle charger while your boat, RV, motorcycle, or other vehicle is being stored. (They should be stored at home for trickle charging as most storage units don’t provide electricity.)

3. Use a Fuel Stabilizer

Read your vehicle’s manual first to see if adding fuel stabilizer can be beneficial for long term storage. Pouring a can of fuel stabilizer into your vehicle’s gas tank is recommended when storing it for the season. As the name suggests, a fuel stabilizer will keep your fuel from going “bad” and possibly ruining other parts of your engine.

4. Let Fishing and Boating Gear Dry Thoroughly before Storage

Fishing gear laid out on a brown background

We’ve talked about how humidity can ruin stored seasonal items, and the same can happen to boating and fishing gear if stored wet or damp. Therefore, ensure all hiking, boating, fishing, and other seasonal gear is bone dry before storing them. The easiest way is to leave everything out in the bright sun for a day before you store it.

Tips for Storing Seasonal Décor in the PNW

Our last tips for today revolve around storing seasonal décor like wreaths, flags, lights, and more in the PNW. As with the other seasonal items, minimizing humidity is important. Some other helpful tips include the following:

  • Label everything well. (You’ll find specific items easier next season when you do.)
  • Use desiccant packs to prevent moisture damage.
  • Keep everything stored in a cool, dry place.
  • Avoid storing items in your basement or attic. The former is too damp, while the latter is too hot.
  • Use clear, plastic bins to prevent pest damage and help you quickly find specific items if and when you need them.

Store Your Seasonal Items with Northwest Self Storage

If you’ve got a lot of seasonal items to store, but need more space at home, a storage unit from Northwest Self Storage is the perfect solution. Clean and safe, your seasonal decorations, clothes, toys, and gear will stay pristine when stored with Northwest. A climate controlled storage unit is your top choice if you’re looking for the best protection. Whichever Northwest storage unit you choose, your cherished items will be in great hands and ready to go again next season! Until then, we hope these storage tips have been helpful!