When sorting out your belongings prior to an imminent move, you are inevitably faced with one difficult decision – what to do with all the possessions you will hardly ever need again and/or you will not have enough space for in your new home. If you want to keep certain items either for eventual future use or just for sentimental reasons, self-storage units may offer an easy solution: they provide a convenient method of getting useless items and nostalgic memories out of your way without losing them forever. However, in order to benefit most from your storage area, you need to pack and organize everything in a systematic and practical manner.
How to pack furniture for storage
You are recommended to dismantle furniture when possible and to protect small protruding parts with babble wrap or, at least, some rags. Keep all detached pieces together and put small elements (bolts, hinges, etc.) in a bag taped to the corresponding furniture. Arrange clothes and accessories in drawers, kitchenware in cupboards, etc. to save space. Consider placing large furniture vertically, as long as it is stable enough or arrange various boxes on top of a sturdy piece that is stored horizontally. Stack chairs one on top of the other and use the space between their legs to store pillows and other appropriate items. Apply furniture spray or leather conditioner for better protection and use sheets and blankets to preserve upholstery.
How to pack clothes for storage
Wardrobe boxes will preserve your clothes best because there will be sufficient air inside and the garments will be protected from dampness and dust alike. Folding clothes in drawers and boxes will also do, of course, but will not provide the utmost protection of the specially-designed wardrobe boxes. Avoid using plastic bags because these may dissolve with time. It is also a good idea to use some products that repel insects.
How to pack books for storage
It is of primary importance to keep books, artworks and other valuables in a dry and well-ventilated storage cell because dampness may ruin them completely. They may get stuck to each other or get wrinkled if moist appears, not to mention possible mold growth, etc. Smaller and medium sized books may stay upright but the large ones should be placed flat. Remember to put heavy books in small boxes and delicate artwork in specially designed crates that will best protect them.
How to pack dishes for storage
Wrap each plate individually or at least put a sheet of paper between the dishes. Be careful to use only small boxes with reinforced bottoms, edges and corners. Additional padding in the boxes and between the chinaware is highly recommended, especially for oddly-shaped objects (crumpled paper is actually good enough). You can nest smaller dishes in larger sturdier ones, but only when both are properly wrapped. Cups and glasses should always be placed with their rims downwards.
In conclusion, place all fragile items, including electronics, in strong boxes of appropriate sizes and provide sufficient wadding but remember that any suitable materials you have such as towels and old clothing will do the trick.
Extra tips for self-storage
- Always place the heaviest and sturdiest items at the bottom;
- Put heavy items in small boxes and secure them well;
- Fill the boxes tightly, provide enough padding inside and arrange them carefully;
- Label every box properly and precisely because you will forget which items went where. “Kid’s stuff”, for example, may be very confusing when you are looking for something specific – “Games and puzzles”, “Baby items” or “Stuffed toys” provides much clearer information;
- Put household items you intend to use frequently at the front of the storage unit;
- Do not store away irreplaceable items of high sentimental value;
- Make sure to use the maximum capacity of your storage space but leave a passage, so that you have access to all your belongings;
- Make a detailed list of all your possessions stored in the unit;
- Have shelves installed – this will help you organize your stuff in a tidy manner. Protective sheeting or boards on the floor will also do you good;
- Opt for a climate-controlled storage facility for maximum protection.