10 Tips for Packing Your Belongings for Storage

10 Tips for Packing Your Belongings for Storage

If you are in transition and are waiting to move into your new home, you may need to store your belongings temporarily until you are ready to pack your household goods onto the moving van.

Renting a space in a warehouse storage unit is a perfect option, whether you are storing some things during the staging phase of your house for the sale process or you have sold your home and are awaiting the closing of your new home. In either case, you’ll want to pack your belongings properly, so they are safe. Here are ten tips for preparing your household items for storage:

    1. Do Your Research
      Find out from the storage facility what can and cannot be stored inside the storage unit. Ask for a list of restricted items and for the rules and regulations for storing. (See Never/Never below.)
    2. Decisions, Decisions
      Before you take it to the storage unit, decide if you really need that item. The more you store, the larger the unit you will need and the more you will ultimately pay to move. If you haven’t used it in the last year, you probably don’t need it. If it doesn’t have sentimental value or isn’t useful, try to sell or donate it.
    3. Inventory Everything
      Create an inventory list so you don’t have to rely on your memory to know what is in storage. Make two copies — one to keep inside the storage unit and one to file.
    4. Store Clean Items
      Before storing anything, be sure to clean or vacuum it. Wipe down all surfaces with an all-purpose cleaning spray, vacuum fabric furniture and cushions, and clean appliances with disinfectant wipes.
    5. Plastic Bins Instead of Boxes
      Whenever possible, pack items inside airtight, clear plastic bins. You’ll be able to see what is inside and these bins can be stacked to save space.
    6. Label Liberally
      Whether you use plastic bins or boxes, be sure to label them specifically. You can label a bin: “Kitchen Items” … but it’s better to add: “Pots, Pans, Utensils.” You’ll be glad you did when it is time to unpack.
    7. Moisture is Not Your Friend
      Dust, moisture, mildew, and mold can develop over time if you don’t take proper precautions. This is especially true if your storage unit is not temperature or climate controlled.
      -Make sure everything is dry when you pack them.
      -Apply protective spray on wood furniture and leather goods.
      -Seal boxes tightly to keep moisture out.
      -Store electronics and cords in plastic baggies.
      -Place sweaters and clothing in wardrobe boxes or zipped inside a hanging garment bag.
      -Place mattresses in a special mattress storage bag.
      -Cover fabric furniture in a cotton sheet or place in a furniture bag.
    8. Disassemble Large Items
      Take apart beds and dining tables prior to storage. Put hardware and bed feet or table legs in plastic bags and tape them to the appropriate item so they don’t get lost when moving.
    9. Prep Appliances
      Wrap small kitchen appliances with their cords in bubble wrap or foam to prevent breakage. Secure any loose parts with rope or tape. When moving large appliances, such as washers, refrigerators, or dishwashers, leave the appliance doors open slightly to prevent mildew and moisture from building up.
    10. Strategic Positioning
      Where and how you place items in a storage unit is key.
      -To save space, store your belongings in a vertical position.
      -Large and heavy items should be placed on the bottom.
      -Store mattresses and box springs flat, but don’t put them on the bottom because things on top will cause pressure on the padding and springs.
      -It is not always good to position a couch on its side if it will be in storage for a long time. Better to place it in its normal position, being sure not to store heavy items on top of it or have other items leaning against it.


Here are some items you should never put in a storage unit:

    • Gasoline
    • Fertilizer
    • Paint
    • Chemicals
    • Fireworks
    • Explosives
    • Propane tanks
    • Perishable food
    • Medicine
    • Narcotics
    • Plants
    • Valuables
    • Firearms

It’s important to choose the right type of storage: self-storage or warehouse storage – and the proper size for your needs. Ayer Moving and Storage can help you select the appropriate size and type of storage. Call 978-772-2558 and speak with one of our relocation specialists.