On-Site Storage (or, Where to Store Stuff in Your House or Business)
Pick a room in your abode (or your business). Now, select a wall away from windows and direct sunlight. Is there a vent that will blow hot and/or cold air on that empty wall? If so, point the vent in the other direction if possible, or choose another wall.
Your next job is to buy some shelving. This time, you don’t have to buy archival shelving from places that archives get their supplies (such as University Products or Gaylord). Why? It’s really expensive. (If you can make it rain morning, noon and night, why not do what Jack White does and get yourself a vault.)
Instead, let’s look for low-cost shelving solutions. A unit that has enough space between the shelves to hold your boxes will do nicely. Also, look for shelving with powder-coated steel. As long as you don’t decide to attack it with a sander, it shouldn’t rust. One last thing you’ll want to note is height -- make sure the first shelf is around 4 inches above the floor. This is a standard within libraries and archives and protects boxes against reasonable flood conditions.
If you have money, or live in a place where off-site storage is inexpensive, you can store your boxes there. You do need to make smart decisions, though.
Norie has had personal experience -- both good and bad -- with off-site storage facilities. In other words, she suffered so that you wouldn’t have to.
Norie’s Bad Experience:
Before moving overseas, I packed up my belongings and placed them at a facility that was conveniently located. The door to the unit faced the outside and it had no temperature control. When I came back 18 months later, all of my stuff was covered in Oklahoma red dirt and bug carcasses. I learned the hard way that this type of storage facility sucked.
Vowing to not have the same experience, the second time I needed off site storage, I picked a place that was temperature controlled, video monitored, and cleaned daily. The best part, the door to my unit was enclosed inside of a building. When I retrieved the items three years later, they had not changed. It was as if I placed them in a hermetically sealed chamber.
If you do use off site storage, I would encourage you to also buy shelving. In case of a flood, your stuff should still be safe-ish. If you don’t use shelving, don’t stack your boxes too high. I would suggest two boxes high and watch the weight.