If you ever have to consider storing electronics equipment away for any length of time be warned that if the equipment is not stored carefully then it will not survive long-term storage without damage. Whatever you plan to store away, whether it’s a television, old hi-fi equipment, PCs, laptops or games consoles, storing electronics without the proper care can quickly result in irreparable harm to the item.

Of course, sometimes it’s necessary to store electronics short-term because we are moving house to a distant location and that will take time. It might mean renting a place for a few months before unpacking and installing everything in the new place. And if it’s just a few months that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

But in long term storage electronics can suffer from issues such as rust and even mould so follow these tips to ensure none of your gear suffers.

Always Remove Batteries

Batteries have a horrible habit of leaking acid over the insides of devices (that’s why new devices come with that little plastic, pull out tab to protect the item from battery damage) so always remove any batteries that are removable.

Some integrated batteries in mobile phones or laptops may not be easily removable but are less of a worry in terms of leakage.

Use the Original Packaging

The best way to pack any type of electronics item for long-term storage is to use the packaging that it was delivered in when new. Not only will it be a perfect fit for the gadget but it will also have the right sort of protection for transportation. So whether you are transporting your stuff to the self storage unit yourself or you are using a self storage collection service it makes sense to pack well for the transportation as well as for the storage.

So get hunting to see if you can find the original boxes (hopefully with their foam or polystyrene inserts) in your attic or garage.

Clean, Clean, Clean and Clean Again

Every scrap of dirt or dust is the enemy of electronic equipment placed in storage so before you store away all your devices make sure they are all super clean. Use an anti-static dry dusting cloth to wipe off any obvious dirt and then dust again. But remember that dust may also have settled inside so, if possible use a small nozzle on a vacuum cleaner or for small devices try using a small, clean, dry paint brush to access interior sections.

Never Use Plastic Covers

Many people make the mistake of using plastic sheeting to cover their belongings whilst in storage. On the face of it this might make sense as it keeps dust out but the problem is it also traps moisture underneath the plastic covers i.e. in contact with your treasured possessions; with no way for the moisture to escape.

Moisture is one of the most serious causes of damage to absolutely anything in long term storage, including electronics so instead of plastic sheeting to keep off the dirt use cotton dust sheets instead.