When moving long-distance temporary storage can be a great option in certain transitional situations – for example, when you need some time before you find/move into your new place or if your home needs to be cleared before it's listed for sale.
When the new place is not yet ready to receive your household items, then placing your stuff in storage can be an excellent solution to your current lack of sufficient space to keep your things.
However, before your things 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 as part of your requirements, those items of yours will need to be well prepared in order to survive the storage period without any sort of damage.
Here are some valuable tips for preparing items for storage in order to protect and pack your household goods in the best possible way.
1. GET the packing materials for packing your items for storage that you will need – packing paper, bubble wrap, strong cardboard boxes of similar sizes (easier to stack up), and different tools to dismantle appliances and furniture, if needed. However, we can provide full packing services for boxes and fragile items as needed. Also, we include all disassembly and reassembly of standard furniture items.
2. INSPECT closely all cardboard boxes that you intend to use for storing your things. All cardboard containers have to be strong, dry (very important!), and without any signs of pre-existing damage or worrisome signs of infestation of any kind.
3. DO consider using durable plastic boxes to store your things, especially when you intend to store them for a long period of time. Plastic bins are generally more expensive than cardboard boxes, but they are reusable and provide a better level of protection for your valuables.
4. USE soft wrapping paper when packing items for storage. The packing paper has to be acid-free and print-free. Do not use newspapers since the ink can transfer onto the surface of more delicate things and ruin them. Also, avoid placing items in plastic bags because plastic tends to trap moisture, can rip easily and cannot be stacked with efficiently.
5. GO through all your belongings and decide on a case-by-case basis which items you will prepare for storage and which items you will simply discard for various reasons – too old, too worn out, too useless, or just too much of anything. Also, make sure that you separate the items that you will need immediately and while items are in storage so you're not left without them in the meantime.
6. GET rid of any items that are forbidden to be kept in storage facilities due to their hazardous nature. As a general rule, you are not allowed to pack for storage any items that are flammable, explosive, or corrosive. Also, you cannot store any types of foods, plants, or scented items.
7. CREATE an inventory list of all the things that you have decided to store away. You will be provided with this at pickup by the foreman and will help you keep track of everything while it's in storage and help you remember what to expect once your items are delivered.
8. START preparing your items for storage by following a few simple yet must-do tasks with priority. What you need to do first is to clean well all items that you plan to put into temporary storage. Use disinfectant wipes or an all-purpose cleaning product to wipe the surfaces of any furniture items or household appliances. This will limit any cross-contamination.
9. MAKE sure each and every item you place in storage is completely dry before you pack it and store it away. If not, then the risk of mold growth inside the storage unit increases dramatically. Mold is dangerous because it can spread fairly quickly onto other items and damage them as well.
10. CONSIDER treating any furniture upholstery and similar items made of leather with a special conditioning product intended for leather items. Leather conditioners will prolong the life of any soft furniture and will provide extra protection for such delicate items during the storage period. All of your furniture pieces will be wrapped in heavy-duty, quilted moving blankets and pads by our movers to avoid any necessary damage, but the pre-treatment never hurts.
11. PREPARE furniture for storage by wrapping all of them in thick padding blankets – after all, they will be moved out of your home first, then loaded into a moving vehicle, then unloaded at a storage facility, and finally, taken inside a storage unit. If you hire a professional moving company they will do this step for you. After a specific period of time, that process will be repeated in reverse order so you have to make sure your furniture units are well protected against accidental damage.
12. CHECK whether the mattress you’re preparing for storage (if applicable) is 100% dry before you slip it into a special mattress storage bag. Mattress covers are very important when moving in general to prevent your mattresses from getting dirty or dusty on the truck. This is also very important in order to prevent the formation of mildew and mold over time since the large bed accessory will be placed inside a plastic protective bag. The durable polyethylene mattress protector will keep the mattress from dust, dirt, and moisture.
13. USE baking soda to clean up well the inside of any household appliance you wish to store for a certain amount of time. Naturally, before the cleaning step, refrigerators and freezers will need to be defrosted and dried up.
14. SECURE all cables and hoses of household appliances with bits of masking tape or cable ties. This is helpful to do before the movers start wrapping all the pieces with moving blankets.
15. PACK electronic equipment in white, soft, and ink-free packing paper. Whenever possible, use anti-static bubble wrap over the initial paper layer as extra protection. In the best-case scenario, you will have kept the original boxes of your electronic devices and pack them up inside them. If not, use strong cardboard boxes of similar size.
16. BE aware of the fact that you should not leave any expensive electronics into the storage unit for safety reasons. Instead, keep those costly gadgets with you, especially when they are portable enough.
17. PREPARE your clothes for storage by either packing them up in large moving boxes or hanging them inside wardrobe boxes. Wardrobe boxes are also useful for things other than clothing due to their size. They are great for packing miscellaneous or oddly shaped items so they are no loose.
18. BEAR in mind that clothes and fabrics are common items to be put in storage, especially when those pieces of clothing are seasonal – for example, winter clothes during a summer move.
19. PREPARE shoes for storage by first cleaning well the pairs, then drying them completely, wrapping them up in soft packing paper, and finally packing them in either their original shoe boxes or cardboard containers of similar size.
20. 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. This is also something that you can request to have professional packed by our movers (it's something we usually suggest to leave to the pros).
21. 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 kept by tape and will not damage the actual artwork. This is also something that you can request to have professional packed by our movers (it's something we usually suggest to leave to the pros).
22. KEEP in mind that you should never leave any batteries in battery-operated items such as toys, electronic devices, remote controls, etc. Batteries tend to leak with time so remember to take them out and dispose of them properly during the packing task.
23. REMEMBER to label each box that you intend to put into storage – be it short-term storage or long-term storage. Labeling the boxes will help you when delivery time comes to be able to get organized and unpack more easily.
Whether you are moving some items from your home into storage while selling your house or have professional movers pick-up and store your items in their warehouse, these are good guidelines to follow.