Tips to prep your things for storage
No matter how long you’re planning to put items in storage, it’s important to pack correctly to keep everything in good condition. Follow these tips to protect belongings from potential exposure to temperature changes, excess moisture and pests.
Know what to store
Most storage solutions aren’t open 24/7 (and may not be accessible at all if you’re moving), so don’t prep anything for storage that you may need soon.
Do not store:
- Anything you might need to access quickly. Keep items like important paperwork, medications and children’s favorite toys with you.
- Things that might be harmed by extreme temperatures. Unless your storage solution is climate-controlled, it’s best to avoid packing away anything that needs to stay at a certain temperature or humidity level (like crayons, candles, wax air fresheners and musical instruments).
- Perishables. Anything perishable like food or plants could cause problems with pests, so it’s best to keep those items out of storage.
Talk to the storage facility managers or moving company about any specific restrictions they have. Moving with U-Pack? Check out our do not ship list for a full list of items that shouldn’t be placed in our equipment. Anything that can’t be stored should be taken with you in a personal vehicle, donated or thrown away.
Gather the right supplies
Having the proper materials is important to keep everything in good condition. Here are the must-haves to pack for storage:
- Cedar rings or balls, which are natural moth deterrents
- Vacuum-sealed bags for storing pillows or blankets
- Mattress bags if you’re storing a bed
- Cloth sheets or tarps to protect furniture
- Acid-free packing paper
- Desiccants, like silica packets, baking soda or moisture absorbers
Take extra care packing for storage
Protecting your things during moving is always a good idea, but there are some packing differences when you’ll be storing stuff for a while. Some items need a bit more attention to keep everything in tip-top shape.
Storing things during a move? Be sure to read these packing tips, including guides on how to pack each item in your home.
Keep furniture clean
Make sure furniture is clean and dry. Then, cover it with cloth tarps, blankets or sheets to protect it from dust. Avoid using plastic wrap on furniture during storage because it could lead to moisture buildup.
Properly pack clothes for storage
While it’s important to pack clothing carefully when moving, this is especially true with storage. Make sure to wash or dry clean clothing before storing because any dirt or oils might stain the fabrics over time.
Pack hanging garments in wardrobe boxes using plastic or wooden hangers (metal can cause rust stains) and place cedar rings or balls in the boxes to deter insects like moths. Also, you’ll want to avoid plastic wrap or bags for cloth items because built-up moisture can cause mold.
Note: Most clothing manufacturers don’t recommend vacuum-sealed bags for storing clothing long term because lack of air circulation and creasing might damage the fibers.
Protect delicate objects
Wrap items made of leather, suede, fur or other sensitive materials in acid-free paper to keep them safe and dry before placing in boxes.
If you’re packing books, cover them in acid-free packing paper or clean cloth for protection and to absorb any excess humidity in boxes.
Prevent mold on packing boxes
With changing temperatures, moisture can build up inside storage solutions that are not climate controlled. But there are lots of ways to prevent excess moisture, such as:
- Only packing things that are clean and dry
- Making sure boxes are not stuffed too full so that air can circulate
- Placing a desiccant (such as baking soda or silica packets) inside boxes
Need to add storage to a move?
If you’re moving with U-Pack®, adding storage is easy. With our service, you only have to load your belongings once. Then, we can store everything in the moving equipment at origin or destination for as long as you need (based on availability). Using a storage unit? Check out our tips for moving into and out of a storage facility to help make the process easy.
If you have questions about moving, packing or storage, let us know in the comments. We’re here to help!
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