There are several reasons for somebody to require either short or long term storage of their household goods. Regardless of whether you’re moving, renovating, in need of some extra space, or anything else, the goal of storage is the same – to keep your things safe, sound, and in great condition. In order to ensure that your belongings are just how you left them pre-storage, it’s important to pack them safely and efficiently before storing them at all.
Packing for storage is a lot like packing for a move with a few slight differences since when it comes to storage, your belongings will likely be packed for a much longer time period than when you are moving. Below are some practical packing tips to consider when packing for storage.
- Keep things organized in categories. For example, keep books with books, keepsakes with keepsakes, etc.).
- Use the right materials. You definitely want to use clean, sturdy cardboard boxes, plastic containers (NOT plastic bags as they increase the potential for mold), quality cushioning materials, packing/sealing tape, and furniture blankets.
- Ensure that everything is clean and dry before packing
- Heavy items on the bottom with lighter on top
- Don’t over pack anything. Try to keep each box at an absolute maximum of 50 pounds. However, you don’t want to leave boxes half empty either as they are more likely to collapse once stacked.
- Seal each box tightly to protect against dust, dirt, and pests.
- Label every box specifically using a permanent and waterproof marker. Similarly, be sure to mark fragile boxes “FRAGILE” and include any specific handling instructions.
- Electronic devices should be packed in their original boxes if possible. If not, aim for a box that is similar in size and shape.
- Pack books flat to avoid damage to spines
- Make a detailed inventory of everything you are storing.
Now that you know how to pack everything for storage, you want to make sure that the unit itself is organized in a way to optimize space and accessibility. If you can, it may be helpful to install shelves for easy access to everything you are storing. If not however, there are still things you can do to make the most of the space you have.
- Keep larger items against the walls and smaller boxes in front so you have a clear view of the entire unit. You can store large furniture pieces vertically and stack chairs to save space as well.
- Don’t stack anything on top of fragile items.
- Leave a little space between items and the wall to allow for better air circulation.
- Keep things you may need to access sooner or frequently towards the front.
It is not uncommon for people in the midst of a move, home project, or cleaning spree to utilize a secured storage unit for household items. But in order to keep everything in good condition for when you are ready to bring them back into your home, old or new, it’s important to pack properly and make the most of the space you are given.