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How To Get Your Computers and Other Electronics Ready for Long-Term Storage

Almost all businesses today, regardless of their size, rely on technology for many of their needs. A computer or any other electronic device helps speed up operations and produce quality output, in addition to enabling seamless communication and transacting with customers more conveniently. If you want to give your office environment an upgrade to improve your team’s performance, don’t throw away the expendable electronic equipment in the trash. You’ll want to ensure it’s stored properly so it doesn’t get damaged. You’ll never be able to stop the decay process completely, but you can at least slow it down. 

When a phone, laptop, or any other device ends up in the landfill, it can leach hazardous materials (lead, cobalt, and nickel) into the soil and water systems, endangering the health of people, animals, and other living beings. Storing away, instead of throwing away, is the better option. You never know when you may need an item you already have. If you take the time to store your electronic equipment correctly, there’s a good chance it will actually get used – or at least parts of it. Please continue reading to discover how to store your old or recent technology safely. 

Remove Batteries of All Sorts & Back Up All the Data

If you’re keeping cell phones, laptops, or any other device in reserve, remove the batteries before they leak and destroy the enveloping circuitry. When batteries sit unused for long periods of time, hydrogen builds up inside until the pressure causes the battery’s insulating gasket to breach. More often than not, the leakage generates destructive corrosion to the associated equipment. Devices with battery-backed RAM, which prevents data loss during a power outage, are typically attached to the PC board. Even if lithium batteries don’t leak as often as alkaline batteries, they still represent a danger. It’s best to remove, chop off, or de-solder the embedded batteries. Back up your data before storing the electronics. 

Avoid Water, Humidity, And Heat 

You can store your electronic devices anywhere you find suitable, but it’s worth taking a good look at the storage conditions. For example, you can store any electronic equipment in a climate-controlled tent that enables optimal space utilisation. Before recycling hardware, make sure there’s still some life in it. Most of the time, repairs require just a few tools. Getting back on topic, a storage tent is convenient and easy to install, guaranteeing shelter for anything you might need to keep. It protects water, humidity, and heat, which can have adverse effects. 

Excessive moisture can cause the computers and other electronics to rust and corrode. Mould is especially problematic because it can ruin plastic, label adhesives, vinyl, and rubber surfaces. Heat causes the parts to contract and expand, which leads to physical damage. Avoid damage by keeping your gadgets in a cool, dry place; cover them with archival paper if possible. Companies like Tent Trading (www.tenttrading.com/) can offer good advice and support if you need a tent for the long-term storage of inventory or an extension to your existing storage space. Location is of the essence, so ensure your tent sits within a secure compound (additional security measures might be necessary). 

Go Through Everything Before You Move It to A Storage Unit 

Prior to hauling your electronic equipment to a storage facility, make an inventory of the objects at hand – it can be a written list, pictures, or video. An inventory makes life easier in the event that something is stolen or lost, as you can easily file an insurance claim. It’s recommended to separate each device according to size, length of storage, type, and build quality. You can effortlessly pack and store the electronics, not to mention that it’s easier to retrieve stored items later. The most useful list offers a real-time view of what you have on hand so you can pinpoint obsolete gadgets. 

You can make notes that offer special context for your electronic devices, such as purchase date, warranty, and so on. Include whatever details or insights you consider relevant in a separate notes section of your inventory list. You must be patient with each physical component, as some can take up a lot of time to prepare for storage. The labels should be easy to read (and unambiguous). If the letters are so small that you have to come closer to read them or if the labels blend in with the colours, you’re opening yourself up for mistakes. 

Store The Computers and Other Electronics in Their Original Packaging

It’s good practice to save the packaging your electronics come in. We’re talking about the original boxes your phones, laptops, tablets, etc., arrived in from the manufacturer. Attention must be paid to the fact that most boxes are intended for palletised shipping, which is why you should consider double boxing. The outer box should be about six inches wider in all dimensions than the original container. To prevent anyone from accessing your data, ensure it’s permanently deleted. There are multiple options for saving information, such as hard drives, flash drives, and online options. 

Minimise And Control Dust 

Dust, an organic by-product from human skin or fabrics, increases the surface for mould spores to settle onto and take hold. Accumulated dust in computers and other electronics results in damage, leading to system failure, to say nothing of data loss. Heat builds up on some components faster the next time you turn them on. The build-up of contaminants can also compromise the cooling systems. Therefore, make sure you have suitable cleaning tools and products that won’t leave scratches or smudges; you can’t use solvents or water directly, so try proven methods of cleaning and disinfection. 

Final Thoughts 

If you’re storing computers and other electronics together with office furniture, place them off the floor, with the right side of the box facing upward on the deep back end of the storage tent. If you follow the rules discussed above, you’ll give your prized possessions a much longer lifespan. Maybe you get stuck. Get professionals to help you out.