Whether you're a vintage computer enthusiast or just simply have a large amount of electronics around from your youth, finding a place to store all of your equipment can be a hassle. A self storage facility is an excellent option for people who need extra space to store their electronics, but storing electronics carries some challenges. While the right type of environment in the storage unit is important to avoid damage to your electronics, you will also need to very carefully sort, categorize and label anything that you store so you can find it easily when you need to retrieve it. Long term storage of electronic equipment can be profitable, too; vintage electronic equipment is sought after by collectors, who will pay high prices for equipment that is in working condition and free of damage.
Decide If Your Vintage Electronics Require Climate-Controlled Storage
In general, vintage electronic equipment such as computer monitors, personal computers, peripherals and circuit boards are very resilient to temperature extremes and will not require climate-controlled storage. Your owner's manual, if you still have one available, will list the ideal ambient temperature for operating the device. If you don't have access to your old manuals, search online for them; many old manuals have been uploaded to the internet by vintage computer enthusiasts. Ask your prospective self-storage facility about average temperature and humidity ranges to ensure that the climate of your storage unit is suitable for long-term storage of your vintage electronics. You should also ask if the storage facility has a system that alerts the owners if temperature or humidity goes outside of those ranges.
Other vintage electronics such as entertainment systems or radios require more care, since they are made out of wood. If you are storing these items, you need to make sure that your self storage facility keeps humidity and temperature fairly constant and within a safe range for your items. Wood will expand and contract in response to temperature changes; over time, this will damage your equipment. High humidity can promote the growth of mold on the wood and low humidity can cause the wood to splinter and crack. Since temperature extremes will cause damage to vintage electronics with wooden components, you may need to find a climate-controlled storage facility if you will be storing them for a long period of time.
Spend Some Time Organizing Your Self Storage Layout For Convenient Retrieval
When you're storing vintage electronic equipment for a long period of time, you will need to remove all the cords from their sockets, since keeping them in will cause wear and tear on the socket due to the weight of the connector. You'll also need to remove any batteries in the equipment; batteries can leak, and the corrosive acid can do major damage to the surrounding electronic components. Cords should be placed with the electronic equipment that they came from. Organizing your electronic equipment in a sensible manner will save time when you want to retrieve something, whether it is for sale or for personal use.
Complete systems should be stored as a single unit; heavier components such as monitors or desktops should be placed in a large cardboard box tightly wrapped with tape, with associated materials such as manuals or software disks placed in smaller boxes on top of the larger one. You should label every box that you wish to store, making sure that the label is easily readable and faces outwards. If you have components that aren't labeled and you're not quite sure what they are, don't simply throw them all together in a single box and store them. Spend time researching the components on the internet so you can properly identify and label them; look for clues such as the shapes of the connectors and manufacturer or product identification numbers to help you in your search. Create a manifest recording everything that you have stored with as much detail as possible, and keep it up-to-date, especially if you are trying to sell your vintage computer equipment. This saves you time when a buyer requests a specific component, since you can immediately see whether you have one available or not without having to personally go to the storage unit and check.
Contact a facility, like All American Mini Storage, for more help.