Preparing Your Items for Storage

Whether you're storing some boxes temporarily while moving house or looking for a long-term place to keep excess belongings, you'll get the most out of your storage unit if you pack and prepare your items before storing them. This quick guide will give you the basic tips you need to get ready. 

What you'll need

Before you get started, you'll need some packing supplies. In addition to sturdy cardboard moving boxes, you'll need packing tape and permanent markers; adhesive labels may also come in handy. Extra packing material such as bubble wrap or foam pellets will help you keep fragile items safe. You can protect larger items such as tables or desks with padded furniture blankets. Your moving firm may be able to provide you with these supplies; alternatively, you can use old bedding as a padded wrap. Another useful material is plastic film; this stretchy material can help you wrap up boxes and other packages securely, as well as protecting items from dust and stains. 

Pack boxes evenly 

Cardboard boxes are sturdy, economical storage options, but they can't carry an unlimited amount of weight. Overfilling a box can lead to splitting and make the box unsafe to carry or store. When you're packing heavy items such as books, therefore, use smaller boxes to keep the weight of any one box to a minimum. Alternatively, start a larger box with a dense bottom layer made of heavier objects like books or dishes, then fill the rest of the box to the top, either with packing material or with lighter, softer items like clothes or bedding. 

Care for clothes

When you put clothes into storage, especially if they're going to be there for a long period, make sure that they're prepared. Clean clothes before storing them; iron them if necessary. To prevent wrinkles, fold clothes loosely and don't pack them too tightly. Avoid using vacuum packing bags, which can damage natural fibres such as wool or silk over long periods. If you'll have room in your storage unit, consider using wardrobe boxes for dresses and suits. These upright boxes have integral rails that let you hang clothes from them. 

Label thoroughly

Label each box clearly using a permanent marker; for boxes you can't write directly on, use tape or adhesive labels. When marking your boxes, consider how you're eventually going to store them. You'll want to make sure that the labels are clearly visible when boxes are stacked. You may need to update your markings as you add or remove items, so keep a spare marker in your storage unit.