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Expert Tips for Preparing Items for Storage

Temporary storage can be a great option in certain transitional situations – for example, when you’re moving away temporarily, traveling long term, or when you’re downsizing your home.

However, before your things can go into a self-storage unit (or into the hands of a moving company that will then store them at their own storage facility for delayed delivery), those items of yours will need to be well prepared in order to survive the storage period without any sort of damage.

Here are our most valuable tips for preparing items for storage in order to protect and pack your household goods in the best possible way.

Get all of the packing materials for packing your items for storage that you will need – packing paper, bubble wrap, moving blankets, strong cardboard boxes of similar sizes (easier to stack up), and different tools to dismantle appliances and furniture, if needed. This should be your very first task on your list when preparing items for storage. Don’t look to cut corners here. High quality materials will help keep your possessions protected for the long term.

Create an inventory list of all the things that you have decided to store away. This list will help you keep track of what you have in storage since it can be easy to forget it during the busy move. Make a copy of the inventory list and keep it in a safe place.
Be extra careful when packing extra fragile items for storage – breakables such as china dishes or glasses, for example. The trick is to make sure each fragile item is wrapped up individually in packing paper. Remember that wrapping paper will absorb any moisture in the air and not trap it against your item the way plastic packing materials do.

Prepare framed artwork – paintings and pictures – for storage by making a big X with masking tape along the glass surface. This way, in case of accidental breakage of the glass, the glass pieces will be held by the tape and will not damage the artwork itself. Wrap each piece of artwork in large sheets of acid-free and ink-free packing paper. Whenever needed, use cardboard pieces to protect any extra fragile elements of the artwork item.

Remember to label each box that you intend to put into storage – be it short-term storage or long-term storage. Labeling the boxes meant for storage will save you tons of valuable time in the future because you’ll know exactly where to find whatever it is that you’re looking for without having to open random containers in the process.

Organize the storage unit in a way that makes sense: stack up boxes of similar sizes but make sure the heavier ones stay at the bottom. Also, leave a passageway through the middle of the storage area so that you have easy access to all your items when needed. And most importantly, leave some space between the stored items and the walls of the storage unit so that air can circulate freely and prevent potential buildup of mold.