By Alyssa Cody, Storage.com
Failed New Year’s resolutions, fizzled running passions, a move to a new home, a remodeling project, or simply not having enough space in your apartment are all reasons why you might be looking to move your treadmill into self storage. And it makes sense. A treadmill is a large, heavy, and expensive piece of equipment that you don’t want getting damaged—or getting in your way—when you’re not planning on using it for a while.
But you can’t just throw your treadmill into a storage unit and call it a day. You need to remove the tension from its belts before storage (which is necessary for both short-term and long-term storage), as well as find a climate-controlled unit that’s large enough to house it.
Remove Tension from Treadmill Belts Before Storage
Clark Stevenson, co-founder and CEO of Treadmill Doctor, says self storage is a great option for storing treadmills; however, it’s important that you take care of your treadmill before putting it in a unit. Specifically, this means removing the tension from the motor and walking belts.
If tension from the belts isn’t removed, Stevenson says that it will damage the treadmill over time. “The bearings in the rollers and the main drive motor can be damaged if they’re exposed to long-term non-use with the tension of these two belts being at the normal level,” Stevenson adds.
When adjusting belt tension, it’s important to have your treadmill unplugged. Also, be aware that these belts are adjusted separately, as they’re located in different places on your treadmill. You can read more about properly adjusting the belts on Treadmill Doctor’s “How to Adjust a Treadmill Drive Belt” page.
Seek Climate-Controlled Self Storage
Like any equipment with wires, motors, and electronic screens, a treadmill can easily be damaged by extreme temperatures and humidity. Unless you want to pull your treadmill out of storage to find that it doesn’t work and needs repairs, you should definitely look into climate-controlled storage.
Climate-controlled storage units, though more expensive than their standard counterparts, allow you to store your treadmill in an environment where temperature and humidity levels are kept consistent and moderate. In other words, your treadmill will be in good condition when you need (or want) to use it again—no broken belts, no cracked screens, and no unusable electrical plugs.
Find the Right Storage Unit Size
“One of the benefits of storing a treadmill in a self storage unit is the convenient ability to fit it into a small unit size that is cost efficient,” says Michael Calabrese, property manager of Boulder Self Storage in Boulder, Colo.
And it’s true—most treadmill models are able to fit into smaller spaces because they can fold up. The average motorized treadmill is about three feet wide and seven feet long when unfolded. But when folded, it only needs a space that’s three feet wide and about five feet tall (the height of which won’t be an issue since most storage units have an eight-foot vertical space).
Because of this, Calabrese recommends a 5×5 or 5×10 storage unit. These unit sizes are roughly equivalent to walk-in closet sizes, which means a treadmill and a few other items could easily fit in your unit. However, if you’re moving or remodeling your home, chances are you’ll have more to store than a treadmill alone, which means you’ll need a bigger unit size to accommodate all of your storage items—like a 10×10, 10×20, or 10×30.
Whether you’re storing a treadmill and a few nonessential boxes, or you’re storing an entire household’s worth of furniture with your treadmill, Stevenson recommends that you place your treadmill toward the rear of your self storage unit. That way, you don’t have to worry about moving it every time you need to grab smaller storage items.