No matter how long you plan to store your belongings, it is essential to pack and prepare them correctly. If you plan to store them for three months or longer, it’s a good idea to take a little extra when packing to make sure everything is safe.
Of course, you can trust our team of experts to come and pack your things properly and take them to our fully climate-controlled storage facility. Some people prefer to box their belongings themselves.
On The Move Moving and Storage has fully climate-controlled storage facilities, so you won’t have to worry about extreme temperatures or humidity, but it’s better to be cautious as you pack. Here are some tips and tricks to organizing and packing your things safely for long-term storage.
This might seem like a tedious task, but making a detailed inventory of everything you are putting in storage will help you remember what you have. If you are storing electronics or valuable items, take photos of each item before you pack it and note the estimated value in your inventory. The list will also be helpful for insurance purposes in the event of an accident.
Keep one copy of your inventory in the storage unit for easy reference if you need to find something. Store another copy in a safe place in your home or with your moving documents.
Clean before you pack
Before you pack anything, make sure it is clean, dry, and in good shape. This will help preserve your belongings, helps combat weird smells, and keeps everything fresh longer.
Dust and polish any finished wood. Take this opportunity to apply protective sprays or coating to things like leather, wood, and fabric.
If you are storing any appliances, clean them with bleach and water to disinfect them, and remove any smells. Make sure everything is completely dry to prevent mold or mildew. Make sure appliance doors and drawers are slightly ajar when you put them in storage to avoid moisture buildup.
Use heavy-duty boxes and containers
It’s tempting to save money by finding gently used boxes from grocery stores and other places. When preparing to store goods long-term, it’s worth the investment to get new, clean, heavy-duty boxes that are in good shape. It will be easier to stack these boxes, and they will hold up better than used boxes.
Your belongings will be safer in clean, sturdy boxes than if you go the “recycled box” route. On The Move can provide all the boxes and packing supplies you need and can even deliver them to your house to save you time!
Avoid using plastic bags
You might logically conclude that putting things in plastic bags makes them safer, especially against water damage. Plastic bags tend to trap moisture and humidity, which allows mildew and mold to thrive. It is better to pack your belongings in bags that promote proper airflow.
Many people opt to use vacuum-sealed bags to store their clothes and fabric long-term. Some people say it is better to store clothing in plastic containers that still allow airflow to prevent mold and mildew from growing. This is especially applicable in the southeast, where the climate is warm and humid. Because On The Move storage facilities are climate-controlled, either option is an excellent way to store your clothes.
Make sure you wash and thoroughly dry your clothes before putting them in the storage bins. Don’t use starch or fabric softeners before putting them in storage. Avoid packing the containers tightly to allow some airflow and prevent moisture from getting trapped. For added protection, you can throw a few silica packets or silica gel packs to help combat moisture.
Before putting your mattress in storage for more than a few weeks, take the time to make sure it’s clean and aired out.
The easiest way to clean a mattress is to vacuum both sides of the mattress using an upholstery attachment. First, strip all the bedding and take the mattress and box spring off the bed frame. Sprinkle baking soda on the mattress and let it sit for a few hours to absorb any odors. Vacuum the baking soda and all sides of the mattress, then let the mattress air out for a few hours.
Invest in a plastic mattress bag that will protect your mattress from dirt, dust, and pesky bugs. For added protection, consider taping the ends closed. If possible, it’s a good practice to open the plastic every few months to air out the mattress and make sure there is no moisture buildup.
It is best to store mattresses flat. Storing them sideways might save space in your storage unit, but this will break down the mattress. They aren’t designed to support their weight standing upright. The same is true for memory foam mattresses. The coils or memory foam will become misshapen if stored upright or sideways, and foam mattresses might not regain their shape.
Packing fragile items
Wrap fragile items individually with packing paper or bubble wrap. Avoid using newspaper to wrap things because the print can rub off onto your belongings. The ink washes off (most of the time), but it is a small risk, and you’ll probably have to scrub the ink off when you take your things out of storage.
If you don’t want to use ink-free packing paper, several alternatives will protect your fragile belongings:
- Dish towels, clothing, rags, and other cloth items make excellent packing material
- Bubble wrap
- Leftover holiday wrapping paper
Once everything is wrapped and carefully packed, label boxes with fragile items appropriately. Make sure to stack these boxes on top.
If all this seems like a lot, don’t worry! On The Move can send their team of packing experts to take care of it all for you. Contact us today to learn more about our moving and storage services that will meet all your needs and keep your belongings safe, whether you need to store them for a few weeks or a few years.