How To Prepare Belongings For Long Term Storage

For valuable antiques, keepsakes, and other important and valuable items that you don't have a day-to-day use for, renting out a unit at a storage facility for longer term storage allows you to free up a significant amount of space without having to make any hard decisions about your belongings. However, before you move all of your items into a storage unit, you should make sure to take a few steps to ensure that all of your items are adequately packed, organized, and prepared to sit in storage to prevent them from becoming damaged or lost while in storage.

Proper Packing Materials

The most important thing that you can do when preparing your items for storage, no matter if you are planning on storing large pieces of furniture or small boxes of fragile china, is to make sure that you're using the right materials to pack them up. For smaller items, you'll want to avoid plastic boxes and stick with heavy duty cardboard: plastic can trap moisture and cause mold growth and water damage, whereas cardboard is breathable enough to prevent this from occurring. Likewise, for larger items, you'll want to cover them with sheets, quilts, or other breathable fabrics instead of waterproof tarps or plastic drop sheets.


In order to make it easier to organize your storage unit and to locate and remove items from your storage unit in the future, you should make sure that you label all of your boxes as clearly as possible. You can do this in a number of ways: using different colors of tape, which are available at most hardware and packing supply stores, can be used to categorize your items; and writing the contents of each box and sketching out a map that you either leave in the unit or take home with you are both good ideas.

Proper Storage

Finally, after you've actually packed and organized all of your stuff, you need to take care to pack it properly within the storage unit in such a way that it is at a low risk of becoming damaged. This means that you should avoid stacking boxes and items on top of each other, as this increases the risk of a fall. Further, you should take care to leave gaps between your boxes to make it easier for you to walk all the way to the back of the unit (and be sure to put the heaviest and largest items at the back). Finally, you should make sure that all of your boxes and pieces of furniture are stored on wooden pallets or another material to keep them off of the ground. This greatly reduces the risk of moisture damage.