Guide to packing and organizing items for long term storage
There are many reasons why people decide to use storage units. Some want to downsize the number of items they have in their homes but are not ready to let go of them just yet. Others are moving, and they need a place to store their belongings until their new home is prepared. Whatever your reason may be, it is legitimate. But let us get one thing straight – you cannot just throw everything inside and be done with it. Well, you can, but do not expect to find your items as you left them later.
If you want to keep your belongings safe and secure in your storage unit, do your homework. That is, make sure you know how to pack and organize everything neatly for long term storage. We are also here to help you out. Thus, if you are interested in some tips and tricks on this topic, keep on reading.
Prepare Your Items First
Before you start packing up items for long term storage, you will need to prepare them first. This preparation is relatively easy, so do not worry. What you must do is ensure that every item you plan on storing is completely clean and dry. Otherwise, it may start to decompose in your storage unit, or it may begin attracting insects and rodents and, thus, compromise the safety of other items you have in your storage unit.
Once your items are clean and dry, do your best to disassemble as much of your furniture as you can. This will help you save a lot of space in your storage unit and enable you to move it around in a much easier way.
Finally, make an inventory of all the items you plan on storing. This inventory list should be as detailed as possible if you want to know exactly what you have in your storage unit, even after several months and years. If possible, create a digital version of this inventory as well!
Gather Proper Packing Materials
Gathering proper packing materials is of crucial importance here! Those boxes and bins you will use for storing are there to keep your items safe. If they are in bad condition, guess what – they will not keep your items secure. So, do not try to cut corners when choosing the right kind of packing materials.
If you are not sure which packing materials are best for you, talk to your storage unit provider first. Ask for his/her opinion. But, in general, you will need the following:
- Cardboard boxes
- Plastic bins
- Packing paper
- Plastic wrap
- Duct tape
- Permanent markers (for labeling)
You can get all of these materials in your local hardware store or stationery shop. If you buy high-quality packing materials, they will serve you for years to come.
Know How to Pack Your Belongings
When it comes to storage units, its benefits are numerous, and there are many reasons why people opt for renting them. They can be a lifesaver when you do not know what you will do with some of your items. However, if you do not pack those items properly, not even the best storage unit in the world can help you. So, before you start throwing the things in boxes and then throwing those boxes in a storage unit, try to learn how to pack items properly. That will ensure your item stays in the same condition even after years or decades of staying in a storage unit.
So, how does one pack items for a storage unit? Well, first, clean, dry and sort through your items, as previously said. Then, fill the boxes with carefully wrapped items (first in packing paper, then in plastic wrap). If there is a lot of room inside the boxes, fill it with packing peanuts or with crumpled paper. Do not forget to seal the boxes from all sides as well as label them.
Create an Organization System for Your Storage Unit
Before you start putting everything you packed into a storage unit, have a system or a strategy in mind. Think about the best ways you can store and stack your items. Of course, you will want to put the heavier and the bulkier items on the bottom and stack the lighter and smaller ones on top of them. But, besides that, we advise you to raise the items off the floor in case there is ever a flood. Moreover, try to disassemble larger pieces of furniture and position them against the walls of the storage unit.
It may be tempting to fill the storage unit from top to bottom but avoid doing that. You must let the items inside breathe. You must also leave room for you to go inside and take what you need when you need it.
Find a Storage Unit That Suits Your Needs
It is essential to know that not every item can be placed in every storage unit. Some storage unit providers have a strict list of prohibited items. Usually, those are hazardous and flammable items, but sometimes they also include things like foods, drinks, medicine, plants, etc. Thus, inform yourself before you sign any papers. Moreover, some storage units may not be suitable for the items you plan on storing. That is because some things like wooden furniture, instruments, art pieces, etc., require special attention. That is, they must be kept in climate-controlled storage units instead of in standard ones. So, think about the items you plan on storing, do some research, and find a storage unit that meets your needs.