Storage units can be useful in a variety of cases. From time to time, almost everyone needs to place their belongings in storage, be it because of personal or because of business reasons. And if you want to keep your belongings unharmed, this is the point when you'll ask yourself: how to pack different items for storage? Not all items should be packed the same way. How long your items will remain packed is another important factor that will influence the packing process. Hopefully, after reading our guide, you'll be able to keep your items safe from harm and well-protected, no matter the amount of time they spend in storage.
Use high-quality packing containers and materials
The first thing to do is to choose the appropriate packing containers. Unfortunately, people often choose plastic bags, as they believe that they can protect their items better than boxes. That is when they make one of the more common packing mistakes, as good boxes that haven't been used a lot actually offer much better protection. This is especially true in relation to potential water damage. Plastic actually works in favor of moisture, so the chance of mold or mildew appearing is much higher.
The good news is that you can get solid boxes for free. There are many people who are willing to part with their boxes. You can look online, you can check at your office, you ask at your local grocery store... The bad news is that buying new, sturdy boxes and other packaging supplies is still recommended, especially if you'll be storing your items long-term. Before buying, however, check if the boxes are in good shape. If they don't seem to be strong enough, they are dry, or you notice any kind of infestation - buy your boxes elsewhere.
Apart from making sure that the boxes' structure remains intact, another advantage to buying your own boxes is that you can get them in size that will suit your items the most. What's more, having most of the boxes in the same size is very useful, as they can easily be stacked together. In turn, this allows for a more organized storage unit, providing you with easier access to your belongings. If you're looking for even more functionality, consider custom box making.
Be careful when packing fragile items
If you'll be storing any fragile items, do so with utmost care. Begin packing fragile items for safe relocation by carefully wrapping them (you can use newspapers or other wrapping materials). Label the boxes where fragile items will be kept, and handle them with great caution.
Don’t let your fragile items break!
Be especially careful when you are shipping these boxes, even if you have securely wrapped your belongings. A simple bump on the road could cause damage anyway. If you'll be storing your items because you are moving, choose a good household relocation team that will know how to treat your items with due respect. Inform them which boxes hold sensitive items so that they can be careful as well.
No matter if they're fragile or not, however, all of your belongings should be carefully cleaned (otherwise, you're inviting nasty smells). You can use a cleaning spray to thoroughly clean each and every surface. And if you don't want to invite mildew as well, make sure that all items are completely dry after cleaning.
Tips on packing different items
You'll need to pack different items differently. Here are some packing tips for specific items:
- If you'll be packing clothes, we recommend sealing them with vacuum bags. Clothes and fabrics, in general, will need to be properly sealed if you want to avoid damages.
- If not properly prepared for storage, appliances can attract mold, that could easily spread to the rest of your belongings. Be sure to clean the appliances (both their exterior and their interior) before placing them in storage. Make sure that the cords are wrapped, and that the doors are left slightly open.
- Sometimes, it's a good idea to disassemble the furniture you're planning on storing. If you do so, you can have a more organized storage unit, and all parts of the furniture will be more easily secured. Also, use a leather conditioner to protect your furniture upholstery, as well as all other leather objects.
- No matter the item, obtaining some pallets can be very useful. If your boxes are placed on pallets, there'll be less chance of damage than if they were placed on the ground.
Pallets will keep your boxes safer.
Know what's safe to store
Bans for hazardous items exist for a good reason. Don't break them! Otherwise, you won't be endangering just the safety of your possessions, but other people's possessions and even lives as well. You can pack different items, but the ones that are dangerous (they are corrosive, flammable, explosive, etc.) should not be kept in storage. Also, don't pack perishables. These include food, plants, etc.
Before packing your belongings, be sure to check the storage facility's rules. Consult with their representatives to determine just which items are allowed. Some items could be dangerous even if you're not aware of that. Packing before checking the rules could, unfortunately, lead to unpacking.
Don’t be a menace to your storage facility!
Packing items for short-term storage
Finally, if you need to pack different items for short-term storage, slightly different (and some completely new) rules apply:
- If you'll be keeping your belongings in storage for less than three months, there's a good chance that there won't be enough time for moisture and dirt to ruin your items. Still, you'll need to take at least some measure of precaution. Therefore, dust covers are a good solution. While not providing much protection, they are most likely to keep your items unharmed.
- You'll need to leave some room, as you will probably be visiting your storage often. It's a good idea to pack your items as close to the wall as you can so that there's enough room for you to move.
For short-term storage, fragile items are in even greater danger. As they will be moved more frequently, you should be even more serious about protecting them adequately. Wrap each one individually, and don't take your mind off of the fact that you're handling fragile items.