Preparing your belongings for storage
Whether you're storing belongings you don't have room for or just need some space to keep business inventory, you'll get more out of your self storage solution with the right preparation. Packing your items correctly will help keep them in great condition no matter how long you put them in storage.
Clothes and fabric
Clean clothes and other fabric items before putting them in storage. Fold them neatly, but don't ball them or wrinkle them. If you have space, consider hanging shirts, suits and dresses in a wardrobe box: these tall containers have an upper rail that lets you keep clothes hanging for wrinkle-free storage. Avoid mothballs, which can leave an overpowering odour that's difficult to shake. Consider using cedar shavings as a natural insect repellent alternative.
Books should be packed in small boxes; large boxes of books may be too heavy to lift safely, and you run the risk of tearing out the bottom of a cardboard box. You can pack smaller books upright as though they were on a bookshelf, but larger books should be laid flat in the box to avoid the risk of warping their covers. Wrap leather-bound books in acid-free paper to avoid damaging their covers. If you have other valuable books, consider protecting them with plastic sleeves.
Dishes and glasses
Pack dishes on their sides. Cups and glasses should be stored with their openings downward. Wrap everything in bubble wrap or tissue paper. You should also use this packing material to fill any empty spaces in the boxes you pack these items in. You want to limit movement within the box as much as possible. If you have very delicate items you're worried about, use special dish packs to protect them.
Clean furniture and allow it to dry completely before putting it into storage. Give any metal components a light coating of oil to protect them from rust. If you can, disassemble furniture, taking shelves out from bookcases and unscrewing legs from tables and desks. Keep screws, pegs and other small components in small plastic bags, and either attach them to the furniture, or store them in a clearly marked place. Cover furniture, especially vulnerable items like tabletops, either with a special furniture blanket, or in spare bedding. Secure the padding with plastic wrap.
Proper packing can help keep your belongings safe and secure both during transportation and while your items are in storage. It can take a little longer to prepare correctly, but the benefits are well worth it.