Madison is a pretty mellow city, but its traffic begs to differ. If you’re trying to get around the city, make sure you keep some extra time to get to your destination. Rush hour traffic generally lasts from 7:30AM to 10AM and 4:30PM to 7PM, making it fairly difficult to get around during the day. Going somewhere during rush hour can more than double your commute time. It’s also common for commute times to be very unpredictable because traffic conditions can worsen without warning. Overall, using the Beltline is the simplest way to get around Madison, but it’s the worst route to take in terms of traffic. The route is always jam packed because of how convenient it is, and there is also always some type of construction going on.
When looking for a storage facility, be sure to select one that is not near the Beltline so you don’t unnecessarily get stuck in traffic. Also, opt for a unit that you can access 24 hours a day, so you can go early in the morning or late at night to avoid traffic altogether.
Madison has variable weather patterns and a large seasonal temperature variance. It experiences very hot and humid summers, which are also packed with most of the city’s annual rainfall. Temperatures on an average winter day, on the other hand, are well below freezing. Heavy snowfall is also very common. So what does this extreme weather mean for storage?
First, be sure to rent a climate controlled unit so anything that you store over the summer doesn't rust, develop mold, or deteriorate in any other way because of the humidity. You should also try to find a facility that has covered loading and unloading zones for the summer rains. You don’t want to be drenched when you’re trying to stock your unit for the summer! Another thing to look for are heated loading and unloading zones for the winter. Taking things in and out of your unit when it is snowing and temperatures are below zero can be a very painful process.
Unlike cities like Los Angeles, Madison actually experiences a real winter with snow and freezing temperatures. In light of this, people have a lot of gear that’s needed during the winter, but completely useless in the summer. Instead of crowding your home with this stuff, put it in storage so you can keep it in good condition and clear out some space.
The most commonly stored winter item is clothing. Before you put your clothes in storage, wash everything because the longer dirt and residue remain on fabric, the harder it is to clean. You should store wool coats in sealed garment bags to keep out moths. Also, fold sweaters instead of hanging them so they don’t stretch out, and put them in airtight boxes or trunks. Don’t add mothballs to your boxes because they are actually harmful to your health. If you’re worried about moisture, use silicon packets instead.
Make sure to polish your boots before putting them into storage, and apply waterproofing spray to them as well. As for comforters, you must clean them before putting them in a breathable cotton back so no dust gets on them. Don’t put anything in plastic bags because they trap moisture and can cause mildew.
Many residents of Madison are involved in cross-country or downhill skiing . Instead of keeping your skis (or snowboards) in the house, put them in storage. You’ll have to take some necessary precautions before doing so, but we can help you out with that.
Start by washing down your skis with water to get off any dirt, salt, etc. and dry them with a towel. Try not to get water into the bindings. For anything that won’t come off with water, use a citrus solvent instead. Don’t use degreasers or detergent because they can affect the binding lubricant.
Next, sharpen the edges to reduce the chance of rust and do all other maintenance before storing so you don’t have to deal with it when you take them out during the winter. This way, you can just grab your stuff and hit the slopes! Also, be sure to wax the bases to protect them from oxidation. Add a good amount of wax so the layer of wax covers the edges and keeps the rust away.
Lastly, back off the tension of the ski binding springs so they don’t stay compressed all summer. Make sure you do not hang your skis or snowboards because it puts pressure on random parts of the board. When you take your boards out for the winter, just scrape off the wax and you’re ready to go!
If you’re lucky enough to own a snowmobile, make sure you’re storing it properly so you don’t have trouble driving it around when winter rolls around. Find a unit that will not only accommodate the snowmobile but any other winter gear you want to store with it, including protective gear. Facilities require proof of vehicle registration and insurance when you are storing your vehicle, so make sure you have those with you when you head down to the facility. For the actual storage part, empty the gas tank to prevent any leaks, check fuel lines and gaskets, and put cardboard under the vehicle in case any leaks occur. Clean out your vehicle and cover it with a vinyl cover to keep dust off. Finally, make sure you store it in a climate controlled unit to prevent any damage that can be done by humidity.
If you take these steps to store your winter equipment, chances of damage to your belongings are significantly decreased and you can enjoy your winter wonderland without any problems.