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20 Items That Need Climate-Controlled Storage

Adele MacGregor

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

10th Jan 2022 (Last updated on 15th Dec 2022) 6 minute read

When it comes to self-storage, certain items need extra protection from the elements. Items like vinyl records, antiques and artwork benefit from a temperature-controlled unit.

However, it is not only valuables and vintage items which should store in a specialised unit. Everyday items like clothes, furniture and paperwork also fare better in these units.

Here we look at 20 items that need temperature-controlled storage. This type of unit ensures they are kept in good condition and free from damage whilst in storage.
This article will cover the following:
  1. What is Climate-Controlled Self-Storage?
  2. Why Climate-Controlled Units Are Necessary
  3. What Items Require This Type of Storage?
  4. How Much is This Type of Storage?
  5. How to Find Climate-Controlled Self-Storage Near Me

What is Climate-Controlled Self-Storage?

Climate-controlled or temperature-controlled storage, are self-storage units which maintain an optimum climate. These are designed to protect your belongings from extreme or fluctuating temperatures.

The units offset changing climate outside, keeping items consistently at a certain temperature. This helps prevent warping, discolouration, damp, mould and mildew.

Why Climate-Controlled Units Are Necessary

Basic units can be ideal for short-term storage or for items of lower value and hardy materials. For long-term or storing valuables, climate-controlled units are recommended.

These units are beneficial for many items, but for some they are necessary. Items that can be impacted or are sensitive to light and heat should be kept in this type of storage.

Antiques, musical instruments, art, wine and vintage clothing are among the items that need a temperature-controlled unit.

Utilising a storage unit with temperature control protects items from cold, damp conditions. These units also remove dust and foreign matter from the air, keeping your items fresher.

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What Items Require This Type of Storage?

Many items made of metal, wood, leather, wicker or upholstery are suitable for specialised storage. These materials are likely to be damaged by extreme fluctuations in temperature.

Whether these are personal items or stock and supplies for a commercial storage unit, you can make sure they are protected. Below we’ve listed 20 of the items that should be kept in a specialised storage unit:

1. Electronics

In summer, with rising temperatures, electronics can suffer in a regular storage unit. This is especially if there is high humidity. This can lead to corrosion and damaged parts, among other issues.

2. Clothing and Fabrics

In very cold and damp conditions, clothing and fabric can suffer from mould and mildew. Regardless of the type of storage unit, these items fare better in plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes.

3. Paper, Documents and Archives

These are also items which can be susceptible to mould and mildew, in addition to fading and warping. Important documents will need to be protected from the elements if stored long-term.

4. Wine

Wine can be ruined if left exposed to fluctuating temperatures and humidity. Without a wine cellar, using a climate-controlled unit is the best option to maintain flavour and quality.

5. Leather

Although leather is a hardy material, it can be compromised if it is exposed to the elements. Heat can dry out the leather and cause it to crack. Damp and cold conditions can cause warping and mildew.

6. Items Made Out of Metal, Wood, Wicker or Upholstery

Metal rusts if left in cold and damp areas, causing irreversible damage. Wood is vulnerable to warping and splitting during hot summers and fluctuating temperatures. Wicker and upholstery items are also vulnerable to the elements.

7. Mattresses and Bedding

Bedding and mattresses are especially vulnerable to damage from damp, making the items unusable. Storing them in a specialised unit will ensure they are kept in good condition.

8. Media (CDs, videos, cassette tapes, DVD’s, vinyl records)

Vinyl records are vulnerable to warping and these, in addition to VHS and cassette tapes, are often difficult to replace. Keeping your media is protected will ensure their longevity.

9. Artwork and Paintings

Galleries and museums store art at a particular temperature, to maintain their condition. Often valuable and irreplaceable, it is recommended that artwork is kept in a climate-controlled unit. This is regardless of how long the unit is rented for.

10. Collectables

This could be anything from soft toys and figurines to music, war or sport memorabilia. Depending on the item, a temperature-controlled unit would be the best place to keep your collection in good condition.

11. Antiques

Antiques are likely to need temperature-controlled storage more than any other items. These are often valuable, vulnerable to the elements and difficult, if not impossible, to replace.

12. Bicycles

Short-term, a basic storage unit may suffice for bicycles. However, to avoid corrosion and rust, storing bikes in a specialised unit long-term is recommended.

13. Sports Equipment

As with bicycles, if you are storing these items long term, to protect them and keep them in good working order, a specialised unit is advised.

14. Medical Supplies and Medication

Certain medications and supplies will need to be kept at a particular temperature. This maintains their effectiveness and ensures they are safe to use.

15. Make-Up

Whether for personal use or as business stock, keeping make-up products at an optimum temperature is essential. This ensures it is safe to use and stays in good condition.

16. Toiletries

Like medicines and make-up, certain toiletries need to be kept at a particular temperature to keep them fresh and usable.

17. Photographs

If stored incorrectly, photos can fade and become warped in fluctuating temperatures. It is recommended that they are kept at a consistent moderate temperature.

18. Furniture

Both cold and heat can damage furniture. High temperatures can cause upholstery to expand and contract. With the cold, wood can contract and warp, leading to misshapen or broken items.

19. Household Appliances

Mechanical and electric parts in these devices can be sensitive to extreme temperatures. This could result in damage, corrosion and inefficiency of the product.

20. Musical Instruments


Musical instruments are often a big investment. Experts recommended these should be stored in climate-controlled units, regardless of the duration. Wooden parts can be damaged and strings can snap in fluctuating temperatures. Excessive moisture can even cause mould growth inside instruments. This makes those played by mouth potentially hazardous.

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How Much is This Type of Storage?

Specialised units such as climate-controlled storage will cost more than regular storage. In general, self-storage costs will vary across the country, with London costing more than the North of England or Wales. Factors such as the size of the storage unit, the length of time you rent it for and the amount of security provided.

Storing the contents of a two-bedroom home for 6 months could cost around £500-£800. The cost of a climate-controlled unit will be higher than this, with costs rising if you are in a premium area like London. Costs will also vary from company to company, so ensure you compare costs before committing to a unit.

How to Find Climate-Controlled Self-Storage Near Me

At Compare My Move, we have a range of reputable removal and storage companies across the UK. They can offer a range of options for items that need a specialised unit.

We can match you with up to 6 local and verified removal firms, many of which have storage options or connections with reputable companies. They will get your items to your storage unit safely, with every partner insured with Goods in Transit and Public Liability Insurance.

Adele MacGregor

Having worked at Compare My Move for over four years, Adele covers topics such as the conveyancing process across the UK, property surveys, home moves and storage.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.