3 Tips For Keeping Storage Units Free From Unwanted Odors

8 November 2016
 Categories: Business, Articles

It's simply not feasible to keep everything inside your own home. You'll just end up cluttering all of the rooms and even damaging items that can't be stored properly. Most American households have resorted to renting out self-storage units in order to get the extra space they need for storage purposes. Self-storage units have become so popular in recent years that the self-storage industry is now worth over $22 billion per year. Americans simply have too much stuff. You can't just throw everything you don't have room to store at home in a self-storage unit without a thought; otherwise, you'll find yourself walking into a musty unit the next time you visit. Consider the following 3 tips to keep your self-storage unit free from odors.

Air Out the Storage Unit Whenever You Have Time

The musty odor that you often smell when you open the door to your storage unit comes from excess moisture accumulating within the unit. Your self-storage unit is particularly vulnerable if it does not have climate-control features. The inside of the unit can become more and more humid as moisture gets trapped inside due to temporal changes between the inside and the outside of the unit.

You can easily prevent unwanted musty odors by airing out the storage unit whenever you have time. Simply open up the doors and let air circulate within the unit. If possible, bring along an electric fan and turn it on inside the unit. This will speed up air circulation and remove any unwanted moisture from the air. It's important to air out the storage unit more often during the summer than during the winter, as this is when moisture accumulates most rapidly within the unit

Keeps Bags of Charcoal in Different Corners of the Unit

If you don't have time to air out the unit or if you want to put in a little more effort to make sure that the unit doesn't become smelly, keep several bags of charcoal inside the unit, placed in separate corners. Charcoal will not only absorb excess moisture in the air, but it will also absorb unwanted odors to keep your unit smelling fresh and clean. Make sure that you choose charcoal briquettes that do not contain mesquite or easy-light additives.

Do keep in mind that the charcoal will stain or leave marks on anything that it touches, so you don't want the charcoal to come in contact with any of your belongings. For example, don't leave the charcoal directly on top of a sofa that you might have decided to store within the self-storage unit. If you do, don't be surprised if you can't get that black stain out of the fabric. Either keep the charcoal inside plastic bags or on top of metal trays or on surfaces that you don't mind getting dirty. The charcoal can only absorb so much moisture and odors. You'll need to replace it every once in awhile.

Clean and Thoroughly Dry Clothes Before Storing Them

Surprisingly, many self-storage unit owners aren't aware that the musty smell coming from their unit is actually being emitted from the clothes that are stored within. Fabric can absorb unwanted odors easily. As the clothes sit in the self-storage unit, the molecules break down and the odors get released. To prevent this from happening, wash the clothes in the laundry ahead of time. Choose a laundry detergent that contains no fragrances for the best results possible.

In addition, make sure the clothes are fully dried before you pack them into your self-storage unit. You'd be surprised at just how many self-storage unit owners pack damp clothes into their unit and are surprised when they smell an unwanted odor months or weeks later.


Even if you plan on storing personal belongings in the self-storage unit for prolonged periods of time, your self-storage unit doesn't necessarily have to smell musty and old when you open it. Implement the tips mentioned above, and your unit will continue to smell fresh and clean throughout the year. For more information on self-storage units, contact a company like 1st Stop Storage.