Packing for storage – all you need to know

There are several reasons why people store things away. Some of them are moving out and they need a place to store their belongings until they have moved in into a new home. Others use storage facilities because they rotate their belongings seasonally and, in this way, they stay organized. Still, others need additional storage units since their closets are not enough. Other people need to move out of the country for work and their lease is up. It would be a shame to throw away their items. Whatever the reason, you should be familiar with how packing for storage should be like. There is no right or wrong way to do this, but Master Moving Guide gives tips and tricks you should know to make it more efficient.  Your items should be well protected not just because you placed them inside the unit, but because you packed them well.  

How to find a storage unit?

You should find quality storage services. But the question is how? If you have ever moved in your life, you probably hired movers. First, you had to find them. If you remember how you did, finding a storage facility is not different. You have the following options.  

  • Ask your friends and family – this is the best way to find your storage unit. Your friends and family would not recommend storage units that are in awful condition. 
  • Search online – since you can find basically everything on the Internet, you can find storage services as well. Google storage units near me, or in my city and see what the Internet has to offer.  
  • Check your local newspapers – local storage facilities advertise their services in local newspapers 
  • Use your social media – use your Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram account and ask your virtual friends for recommendations.  
blue storage units
Make sure to visit storage units before you rent one

What to look for in a storage unit? 

When you find a suitable storage unit, you should go and pay them a visit. You should never rent a storage unit without seeing the place in person. Some facilities only post beautiful pictures of their units while in reality, their units are fitly and in awful condition. In addition to this, you should the facility’s safety measures. Your items will stay there for some time. Therefore, they should be well protected. See if they have 24/7 surveillance, a guard in the facility, a fence around the facility, etc. Then, check who has access to your unit. Only you should have a key to your unit, but still, make sure to check as well. Next, ask about their rules and regulations. Can you access your items 24/7? How often do you need to clean it, or air it? Do not sign a rental agreement before checking these details.  

Get the boxes of the right size when packing for storage

This is quite a common mistake when people are packing for storage, in general. It is advisable not to use large boxes since there is a possibility you will overpack it and you will not be able to carry it. So, it would be best if you go for the small- to medium-size free moving boxes. You can use the small ones for heavier items, such as books and dishes. You should use the medium ones for lighter items, like blankets, beddings, linens, etc. Maybe you will be tempted to use garbage bags, but you should be aware of the fact that they tear easily. Because of this, it is a good idea to get more boxes than you think you will need. You can either buy them from moving companies or find boxes for free. Local supermarkets, liquor stores, and offices are your best choices.

Pack your boxes the right amount

Pay attention to the weight and type of your packed boxes– they should be neither too heavy, not too light. First of all, make sure that their shape remains the same. They should not bulge at the top or sides. The reason for this is that the boxes need to be stable when being stacked. On the other hand, it is also important not to under pack them either. This will only lead to having even more boxes to carry and there is also the possibility that something breaks during the transport. This scenario can easily happen if you put heavier boxes above the under packed ones. Therefore, put the heavy boxes at the bottom, the light one at the top. In case there is some extra space when you are packing fragile things, you should fill it with foam packing peanuts.

a man carrying three boxes for packing for storage
Make sure you neither overpack nor under pack the boxes

Label and close your boxes properly

You should make sure there is a black marker near you while you are packing. In this way, you will label each and every box and there will be no need to open them to see what is inside. You should pay special attention when fragile items are in question. Boxes containing them should be put on the top and this is something you should point out. Also, it is of great importance that the boxes are properly closed. By using professional packing tape, you will make sure all the items are protected. These are some things that will be helpful to your movers. They will know what to put where once everything is packed and labeled. In case you are thinking about what moving company to hire, be careful. There are many moving scams, so bear in mind that there are some cheap movers to consider.

Duck tape
Use a professional packing tape when packing for storage

Make items as small as possible when packing for storage

When you need to store some belongings, try to make them smaller, if possible. For example, when you need to pack a bed frame, there is a possibility to reduce its size by disassembling furniture. You can unscrew the frame and wrap the pieces together by using tape. Then, it would be a good idea to take all the screws, put them in a plastic bag, and tape it to the frame. Another piece of advice would be to use the non-sticky side when wrapping the frame and avoid tape residue in that way. In addition to this, it is advisable to pad and cover your furniture with protective materials. By doing this, you will ensure that it stays in good condition during the transport or while it is stored. The safety of your items should be your priority when packing items for storage. 

What to pay attention to while making a long-term storage

In case you need to store some of your items for a period longer than three months, it is advisable to keep them safely stowed and well organized. For example, you should avoid packing things in plastic bags. It maybe seems like plastic will protect your belongings better, but this is not the case. Namely, plastic bags trap moisture and humidity and, in that way, speed up the mold/mildew process. That is why you should buy sturdy boxes- your items will be much safer there. However, use plastic bins if you are not renting a climate-controlled unit. Cardboard can attract rodents and other pests. In addition to this, you should take good care of fragile items.  Wrap them individually in bubble wrap or newspaper and put them in a box. Make sure the boxes are not too heavy and make sure you put them away from other stored items.

A box with a sign 'fragile'
Take good care of your fragile items- make sure they are safely stored

Tips for a short-term storage

Although this means that your home will be decluttered for less than three months, it is not the reason not to be careful with your possessions. First of all, since there is not much time for dirt to settle, you can simply use dust covers when packing for storage. In that way, you can simply cover large pieces of furniture with a piece of cloth which will be easily removed later. Also, it is advisable to leave a path between your packed units. You will be probably walking along quite often, so it is better to avoid breaking some of your valuables. This is also beneficial if you need to get something from your storage. You will waste time looking for one item by taking the boxes out of your unit only get one item. Save time by making an aisle. 

All the tips when packing for storage

It does not matter what kind of storage you are packing your belongings. The most important thing you need to pay attention to is that all of the items are safe. This means that you need to ensure that each box is appropriately stored for its contents. So, when you are packing for storage, take your time, and do it properly- you may even be in a situation to cut some costs in the process. However, your main goal should be to ensure the safety of your items.

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