packing peanuts self storage

3 Tips When Preparing for the Winter Weather

It’s only mid-November and already more than half of the continental United States is covered in snow, giving us little time to prepare. Here are 3 tips to make sure you are prepared for the Winter weather, and safe for the cold months ahead.

1. Peter Piper Packed a Peanut

Packing peanuts are always a classic option when storing fragile items. Of course they add extra padding and are able to insulate to keep the cold out, but did you know there are two types of packing peanuts, starch-based and polystyrene. What should be completely avoided are cornstarch peanuts. They may keep for the Winter, however when the Sun creeps through the clouds and the ice melts, moisture is in the air. And when that moisture hits those cornstarch based packing peanuts, well let’s just say you’ll be having nightmares of your Old Aunt Sally’s cornmeal breakfasts. Except this time it’s covered, dried, and ruined your coveted fragile antiques. When shopping for peanuts, it’s important to be on the look out for polystyrene. Sure, there are some variations (green usually means 70% recycled, pink means anti-static, and white involves more polystyrene resin), but all you need to know is that they surely won’t melt, as they take hundred of years to decompose, and you won’t have Aunt Sally’s breakfast all over your priceless items.

2. Hello? Is your refrigerator running?

For some, the busting of a 6 pack of soda may be an exciting afternoon, but for you or I, it could be an unbelievable ordeal that damages everything you have neatly stored away (not to mention a health hazard). Events like these happen more often than not, without the right precaution. A helpful trick to insuring canned food does not explode in the winter weather is to keep them in an unplugged refrigerator. It should be enough insulation to detract the cold, and prevent an exhausting clean-up.

3. Extra, Extra! Wrap All Around It!

Remember those fragile antiques that were first covered in melted cornstarch, then dowsed in a fire hydrant of sugar water? Well they’ve now cracked, split, and become dust at the bottom of your cardboard box from the chaos caused by the cold. The change in temperatures causes materials, like Grandma’s Onie’s vase, to expand and contract, making them very brittle, often resulting in serious damage. A preventative measure is to wrap these priceless items in as much newspaper as you can find. 1. This will insulate them from the cold and 2. You’ll have an extra layer of protection from that case of Radical Raspberry Soda Slop.

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