Once your infant has grown out of clothes and baby equipment, it's hard to find a place at home to store the stuff, but you may want to keep it around for another baby. Using a small, local storage facility can be helpful. However, you should be aware of some general guidelines about keeping items in long-term storage, since they can help you when it come to keeping your things organized and free of damage. Here's what you need to know about storing your baby stuff in your storage unit.
Carseats or Other Health and Safety Gear
Because carseats are expensive, it makes sense to store infant carseat to use for the next child. However, if you are planning on having a large gap between children, or if you got your carseat used from a friend or family member, be sure to check the expiration date before you pay to store it. Carseat have varying expiration dates, but they are usually only good for five to nine years after they are manufactured. There should be a sticker on the carseat that indicates the expiration date. If it is closer than when you plan for your next child, sell the seat or donate it instead of putting it in storage.
Other gear like baby gates and crib rails should be shrink wrapped and broken down into smaller pieces if possible. Some baby gates are wooden and would not do well in humid storage units, so choosing a climate controlled unit is a good idea if you have more wooden gear than metal or plastic.
For ease of finding things in your storage unit, it's best to reverse pack infant clothes to make them easier to access down the road. Even though your baby grows out of smaller clothes first, those are the clothes you will need first later, so each time you put grown-out clothes into storage, be sure to move the other boxes of clothes of smaller sizes closer the the front or top of the stack.
Don't store clothes in cardboard boxes; ventilated plastic boxes are more hardwearing and more reliable in units that are aren't temperature controlled. Cloth diapers should be thoroughly washed and dried; boil the liners and lay them and the shells out in the sun to bleach out lingering stains and bacteria before packing them away. Disposable diapers should be left in their plastic wrappings and stored with moisture control packets to help them last longer.
Baby monitors, breast pumps, and other baby-related electronics needs to be stored carefully. Beast pumps and all of its pieces need to be thoroughly cleaned, sterilized, and dried to prevent mildew or mold growth from milk particles over time. Baby monitors that supply video should be packed in their original boxes, with dry packing material like newsprint or packing peanuts. Silica packets or other moisture absorbers can also help preserve electronic function over long-term storage.
Food and Formula
While you may have plenty of excess food and formula in cans, this is one area where your storage unit will probably not be able to help you. It's best to keep food, even canned and sealed food, out of storage units because if a jar cracks or a box is torn open, the smell of the food attracts pests that can ruin your other items. Instead, opt to store baby food jars in a cool dry place, like under a bed in the basement. Be sure to check the use-by date before storing, because you might not use them before they go bad. Formula also has a use-by date.
Few things are more difficult than packing up your belongings, moving to a new place, and trying to make new friends. Unfortunately, we found ourselves in this position a few years ago after the business that I worked for started to fail. We knew that if we wanted to get out ahead of the game, we needed to quit the job, apply for new positions, and move our family to a more affordable part of the country. This blog is all about choosing to move when you know that you need to, using storage units to help you during your transition, and making the best of a bad situation.