If you have a lot of papers, notebooks, or even paper plates that you don't want to throw away when you move, keeping them in a storage unit is an option. However, since paper is a pretty vulnerable product, you'll need to be sure you store them in a way that protects them from moisture in the air, water leaks, insects, and rodents. Here are some tips to ensure your paper items emerge from storage in good shape.
Use plastic totes.
If you store things in cardboard boxes, all it will take is a few drips of water from the ceiling or a little spill that leaks under the wall, and your entire box of paper items will become moist. Plastic totes only cost a few dollars each, and they offer so much more protection. Make sure you buy a style with lids that overlap the edges of the tote. This way, if water drips down on the tote and pools on the lid, it still won't seep in.
Choose a unit with climate control.
Plastic totes are not air-tight. So if the air in the storage unit becomes too moist, the papers inside may absorb this moisture. This could cause ink to run or mold growth to begin. A climate-controlled unit at a moving and storage company may cost a few more dollars per month to rent, but it will ensure your items are not exposed to excess humidity.
Don't put anything other than paper in the boxes.
So many other items, from wool sweaters to cookie sheets with a few crumbs on them, are attractive to rodents and insects. Once they enter your totes for these items, they may leave their droppings on your papers, chew them, or even die on them. If the only thing in your boxes is paper, you don't have to worry as much about these unwanted critters calling them home. Also, try to keep food items out of your storage unit. You don't even want to tempt pests to enter.
Store items off the ground on shelves or pallets.
The totes will protect your paper if something spills into your unit. However, if there is a spill, any items on the ground will trap water, meaning it takes a longer time to evaporate and exposes your paper to more moisture in the air. Store your totes and other items on shelves with legs or on pallets. These have minimal ground contact, making it easier for moist floors to dry out.