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General storage questions


lotsoflego
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Hi everyone! Sorry if this has been posted before. I looked through previous threads but didn't find one specifically about this. I've read through the storage wars article on the main site and it was very helpful! However, I have some questions about storing in my garage.

 

I've jumped into this lego investing stuff recently and we've got quite a bit of space taken up by legos now. My husband is getting a little concerned the legos will take over soon, so I need to find a solution. ;P

 

We want to follow the storage wars article and purchase some home depot storage shelves, and possibly also store the legos in boxes (either 1:1 shipping boxes, or perhaps in larger boxes with a few sets each). We'd like to store all this in our garage. We're in california so the temp isn't too extreme in either direction, but we ARE headed into summer. We're concerned we'll store them out there and then when it comes time to sell them, realize we've made a huge mistake!

 

Is there any major concern in the garage? Will heat damage the bricks? Will being in the shipping boxes help? Would putting it in a bag and THEN a box help? I am concerned for the boxes as well, but REALLY concerned about the bricks/stickers/etc, since that would totally destroy the value. Any tips?

 

Does anyone else store in their garage? We were also thinking of renting storage, but the climate controlled ones are pretty expensive, and since we're still relatively small time investors, it would cut into the bottom line in a big way (like 80$/mo!). So i'm not sure if a non climate controlled storage would be any better than the garage anyways? We have decent garage space (with a little clean up!).

 

Thanks for any advice you may have!

 

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It's not heat that should be the concern (don't put it next to a high heat source obviously though), but rather moisture/humidity that can do the worst damage to the boxes.  I'd keep them off the ground though and if it was me, away from any potential water sources, be it any kind of pipe or window where water could leak in.  The bricks themselves are pretty resilient. Keeping them in shipping boxes or garbage bags should be fine though.

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All critters....

I am in the same boat----thinking about garage storage....but just not practical.  All it takes is a mouse  or 2 to eat up the boxes into nests and do their bidness all over everything...or a leak....mold/mildew smell.  Not worth it.  Interior closets for us.  Packed like sardines.  In the boxes they came in if shipped...or repurposed boxes from amzn if store bought

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All critters....

I am in the same boat----thinking about garage storage....but just not practical.  All it takes is a mouse  or 2 to eat up the boxes into nests and do their bidness all over everything...or a leak....mold/mildew smell.  Not worth it.  Interior closets for us.  Packed like sardines.  In the boxes they came in if shipped...or repurposed boxes from amzn if store bought

 

I would tend to agree with this.

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I myself have all my sets store in shipping boxes located in my garage. They are on a shelf about four feet off the group and the garage has little temperature flux since it has no windows. I also am I'm southern Cali so fortunately we don't have cold winters, humidity or extremely hot summers.

But also know I'm in an apartment home that was built 3 years ago, so I'm confident no rats or other problems will arise. Nothing has for a year so far.

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I am in Southern Cali as well, and I don't think we will have a problem except for the heat where it at times can reach 100+ throughout summer.  As long as people on here saying the heat will not affect the box and the bricks, I don't see a problem storing them in the garage.  I store mine in another box and just put it on a shelf that is 6ft above ground and just stack them onto each other.  Hope to hear other experienced collectors and investors that are in California to give their valuable advise.

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We have long outgrown the amount of storage inside our house. We are also in California where we expect 100 degree weather starting this week. I think one of the biggest downsides I have seen on the forums somewhere regarding the heat is it may cause the seals to loosen. For this reason, I am walling off the third car garage and placing a small window A/C unit in the temp wall. We had a very mild winter in regards to moisture, but I may need to put a dehumidifier in for next winter which isn't a problem. All of our sets are placed in large boxes and all edges sealed with tape. The boxes are off the floor by at least an inch in case of some random flood, but our entire collection is insured just in case.

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I have quite a few sets in my garage and I'm located in Northern California and it does get pretty dang hot here in the summer. I think the important thing isn't so much if the heat is bad for the pieces/sets, it's more important how the sets are stored. Granted, I store all the Green Grocers and other similiar valued sets inside the house(back when there was room), but I have Death Stars, Shuttles, some Turbo Tanks and other large sets out there and I have no problem with them or their seals.

 

I do like the idea of hitting up Uline and storing all of them in boxes, but I can't find the extra room for them all to fit like that. I'd prefer to box them as they sell. Also, I just personally don't like the idea of bagging them.

 

To me, the biggest things to keep in mind if you store sealed sets in your garage are:

 

*Keep them out of the sunlight. I would think that any light coming into the garage--windows or panes in your garage door--will cause the colors to fade.

 

*Be aware of who can see into your garage. I wouldn't like to advertise that hey, here's a house with XXX amound of $$$ sitting in my garage. Use some inexpensive  tarps or keep the door closed.

 

*If you use shelving, it's a good idea to pad the bottom with spare cardboard. Better support when the shelf is 18 inches wide but the box is 24 inches wide.

 

*Never allow the boxes to rest on the concrete itself.

 

*Worried about rodents? Get some traps. Not sure if you have rodents? You will know if you do or do not--that's not black rice on your garage floor!

 

*Insure your collection. If it's spilled into the garage, chances are you have a few bucks into them.

 

*Check them periodically. The seals don't just pop overnight. Check to see that they aren't "sliding" or getting loose--usually the flap won't be as tight to the box as the seals start to go.

 

Just some thoughts, I'm sure there's more )

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Unless you have a temperature and humidity controlled garage I would avoid storing things in there if you can help it.  You could always try experimenting with a box or two out there for a while and play it by ear but it seems as though the damage would already have been done if you start noticing bad things happening to the boxes or Lego themselves.

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Hi everyone! Thanks for your suggestions! I'm really concerned about this, and I'm not sure what to do.

 

Inside the house really isn't an option at this point. We don't have room to begin with... we're storing them in our kid's room because he's just a baby, but that isn't going to work much longer since he's walking soon. There's also no more room. Our closet space is minimal to begin with and full of all our normal closet junk. I'm also afraid that in a year or so when the little guy starts to be more aware, he'll start wanting to play with the lego even though he won't be old enough (plus if he knows how many we have, the ones we get for him seem like they won't be as special). We have two cats and two dogs also, so I don't want one of the cats messing up the boxes or something.

 

Anyway - point is, they need a new location. We have lots of garage space, and can conceal them pretty well behind our boxes of regular storage stuff (as above mentioned, to keep them hidden from anyone who may want to steal them). We're in nor cal too so it can get hot, but at least it's not the south? :(

 

A climate controlled storage space is 90$/mo for 5x5 which doesn't seem like it would fit much if we put in shelving to keep them from stacking on eachother and collapsing the boxes. The 7x10 is 200$ (which actually doesn't even make sense... why not get 2 5x5.... LOL).

 

Does anyone have their stuff in a storage unit that's not climate controlled? Is that any better? It seems like probably not to me... :(

 

How many of you have climate controlled storage? How much is it?

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We had looked for a climate controlled unit as well. Unfortunately, there are none within a 20 mile radius of us and I do not want to have to drive that far every time I need to store another few sets. Plus, once we figured out that a 10x10 climate controlled storage was going to cost us around $150, I did the math on walling off one side of the garage. Materials (including a door) is going to set me back less than $100. A 5000 BTU A/C unit will set us back $250 with an estimated annual operating cost of $100 (which may be higher considering it IS a garage). So $500 to do myself for a year versus a minimum of $1200 is a no brainer. Plus, it is a lot easier to get insurance on stuff that is actually at your residence versus being stored offsite, and I don't have to spend gas or time driving anywhere. If this is a possibility, I would go with this option.

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Also when you say you've insured your collections, is this through your home insurance? Or something special?

I think you can get what is known as "collectible" insurance through your home insurance. Because we are registered as an S-Corp (for tax reasons), we actually acquired business insurance with the provision that our items are covered at replacement cost versus actual cost.

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Hmm well at the moment we aren't selling (a few polybags soon, but that's mostly to help bring our ebay score up). So, we haven't dealt with any business/tax stuff yet. We just started... so none of these will be making any money until at least this christmas, more likely the christmas after that. I'll see about collectible insurance for now.

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 We had looked for a climate controlled unit as well. Unfortunately, there are none within a 20 mile radius of us and I do not want to have to drive that far every time I need to store another few sets. Plus, once we figured out that a 10x10 climate controlled storage was going to cost us around $150, I did the math on walling off one side of the garage. Materials (including a door) is going to set me back less than $100. A 5000 BTU A/C unit will set us back $250 with an estimated annual operating cost of $100 (which may be higher considering it IS a garage). So $500 to do myself for a year versus a minimum of $1200 is a no brainer. Plus, it is a lot easier to get insurance on stuff that is actually at your residence versus being stored offsite, and I don't have to spend gas or time driving anywhere. If this is a possibility, I would go with this option.

This is exactly what I was going to suggest. Climate control your garage and you're golden. MISB Lego collectors tend to be a bit picky and though I don't often have the occasion to need a set from someone else, I wouldn't buy a set from a seller that didn't state it was stored indoors, smoke free, etc. I guess people could lie about it, but I've never had a issue like that come up...

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A climate controlled storage space is 90$/mo for 5x5 which doesn't seem like it would fit much if we put in shelving to keep them from stacking on eachother and collapsing the boxes. The 7x10 is 200$ (which actually doesn't even make sense... why not get 2 5x5.... LOL).

 

Your math is off.

A 7x10 is 700sqft at $.29/sqft where two 5x5 spaces is only 500sqft (250+250) at $.36/sqft. The 7x10 is a better deal.

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No rodents around me but there are alot of Geckos, they don't chew into stuff but they crap alot as well. You can catch em' easy with glue traps, but still, to put stuff in the garage it better be sealed very well. Also, it's just too hot in Texas, I would worry about the seals peeling off over time due to heat. 

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Humidity and heat will be your biggest problems in the garage. As said before it will cause seals to fail but with the larger sets, if the cardboard gets hot and soft it will cause the boxes to sag. Heavy sets already have this problem which is why so many people pack them in like sardines or double box.

 

To add my two cents if you store in your garage:

 

1) Make sure the boxes are packed tightly against each other so they can't sag (the ends too .. if you're lining up heavy sets, use a thin piece of plywood with a piece cardboard to protect your boxes at each of the shelving rack).

 

2) Do NOT put them into plastic bags unless you know the boxes are fairly dry. Putting them into a potentially hot environment like your garage will not be good for them (actually, I don't like the idea of bags at all because they don't let moisture in or out).

 

3) If you don't have a plan to section it off and run an AC unit, I suggest having a dehumidifier on standby for high humidity seasons and ensuring the garage door/people door seals are in good shape.

 

When you do start to sell, you might want to consider "accilmatizing" them to your house for a few days before you pack them up to ship.

 

Greg

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Tough one to answer depends on your garage. I am in the northeast and I do keep some sets in my garage mainly because I don't have that much space in the house.  Haven't had rodents and if I do they will find better things to munch than my Lego sets which are very high up on shelving. Guess I will know in a few years if its a problem.

 

There are enough fees in this racket not sure I would want to pay for storage.... 

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Humidity and heat will be your biggest problems in the garage. As said before it will cause seals to fail but with the larger sets, if the cardboard gets hot and soft it will cause the boxes to sag. Heavy sets already have this problem which is why so many people pack them in like sardines or double box.

 

To add my two cents if you store in your garage:

 

1) Make sure the boxes are packed tightly against each other so they can't sag (the ends too .. if you're lining up heavy sets, use a thin piece of plywood with a piece cardboard to protect your boxes at each of the shelving rack).

 

2) Do NOT put them into plastic bags unless you know the boxes are fairly dry. Putting them into a potentially hot environment like your garage will not be good for them (actually, I don't like the idea of bags at all because they don't let moisture in or out).

 

3) If you don't have a plan to section it off and run an AC unit, I suggest having a dehumidifier on standby for high humidity seasons and ensuring the garage door/people door seals are in good shape.

 

When you do start to sell, you might want to consider "accilmatizing" them to your house for a few days before you pack them up to ship.

 

Greg

Thanks for the suggestion on acclimating them. I had not really though of that. I do not know if there is any merit in it, but I am paranoid enough that I will probably do it.

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