Sometimes we just need to tuck away our old or new electronic devices and leave them somewhere for long term storage that might last for anywhere from weeks to years. Because of the nature of electronics, this is never as simple a process as storing furniture and books.
Luckily however, there are certain definite things you can do to make sure that your gadgets get the best possible chance of surviving even a long time packed away with minimal or no damage to their functionality; just follow the following crucial tips.
1. Backup and Backup Again
Before you store any sort of data holding media such as hard drives, Discs, USB memories and whole computers, make sure you back up all their internal data first. Back it up to additional hard media and then, just to be extra sure, also back up again straight to a digital cloud if at all possible. This way, by keeping several distinct backups of the data itself, you’re in virtually no danger of losing it in case everything else or some crucial thing goes wrong with your long term storage strategy.
If you’re trying to store older electronic data media such as VCR tapes or cassettes, find a way of converting their data to digital format and follow the same advice above for more modern information; for example, old cassette tapes can be converted into Mp3s with a device like this: http://cassette-to-mp3-review.toptenreviews.com/ion-tape-express-review.html. Similar tools for VCR tapes and even older data media are also available.
2. Keep Nasty Mold Away
Mold is one of the worst enemies of any electronic device without a doubt, and sometimes it can be downright hard to eliminate completely. Or, you might accidentally store in a way that causes mold where none need have existed.
One very simple way to minimize the chances of mold buildup is to make sure that any cloth you use to cover your electronic devices allows air to pass through it. Cotton and canvas cloth are both good at this and plastic absolutely sucks at it, so never use plastic to cover your gadgets unless it’s their original packaging and completely factory sealed; otherwise, DIY plastic protection will let air borne humidity get trapped around your electronics where it will start doing its nasty job.
Also, simply make sure that the space you’re storing in is itself low in humidity and has no leaks that let water or moist air through; a dehumidifier might be a good investment here too.
3. Store in Climate Controlled Conditions
Speaking of storing in low humidity conditions that are ideal for electronics, your best bet is probably a rented space that’s actually been designed specifically for long term storage of delicate objects. A great example of this is a climate controlled storage unit. These sealed units, rented out by companies that offer next door self storage in general, are designed to keep a constant even temperature that completely minimizes invasion by dust, mold, mildew, insects or pests and corrosion causing agents.
4. Dust is your Enemy
Another major enemy is dust and keeping it out is a big priority. Not only can dust clog up your electronics later cause damage when you try using them again, it can also be a major breeding ground for the aforementioned mold, mildew and pests if it’s allowed to build up.
Aside from storing inside a climate controlled self storage unit as we’ve already covered, you can also do a few additional things to minimize dust build up. These include cleaning your storage space thoroughly before locking it down with your stored gadgets, making sure you don’t store dust producing items with your electronics and making sure that the space you store in doesn’t have a leak or get opened so constantly that dust is allowed to flow in over time. Also, the obvious, cover everything in cloth or canvas as already mentioned.
5. Avoid Dangerous Reactions
Chemical reactions are a type of long term storage threat that’s really easy to overlook if you’re not careful. People stick their old digital camera into a storage space thinking everything is fine and then much later remove it again only to find that the battery inside had mysteriously corroded right through and ruined everything. Because most chemical reactions aren’t immediately visible, we tend to forget about them.
Nonetheless, they do happen and avoiding them consists of certain key things such as removing all batteries from any gadgets you place into storage; making sure that electronics aren’t stored in a space where other substances that might leak reactive chemical vapors into the air are kept and never storing electronics and potentially contact reactive objects such as certain metals together so they touch.
6. Insulate and Arrange Carefully
Finally, a pretty basic bit of advice: electronics are usually delicate and easily break or submit to pressure; so store them accordingly by insulating all of your devices from each other with protective packaging and never leaning or stacking heavier objects atop lighter ones. Also, you might want to consider keeping any devices and gadgets off the hard storage floor by keeping them stored on top of pallets or foam padding.
Stephan Jukic is a freelance writer who generally covers a variety of subjects relating to the latest changes in white hat SEO, mobile technology, marketing tech and digital security. He also loves to read and write about location-free business, portable business management and finance. When not busy writing or consulting on technology and digital security, he spends his days enjoying life’s adventures either in Canada or Mexico. Connect with Stephan on Google+ and LinkedIn.