How to Pack Your Belongings for Long-Term Storage

Storage units are widely available and they’re a cost-effective way to keep your items safe until you need them again. If you need to keep some of your household possessions for an extended period, you should learn how to pack them properly and keep them from getting damaged. Read on to learn how to pack your belongings for long-term storage.

Long-term Storage Units

Before you pack your belongings for long-term storage

Make a selection

Storing things for a while means that you will not need them, at least for some time, but that doesn’t mean you should pack absolutely everything. Quite the opposite, you should only pack those items you are sure that you will use again. Go through your entire household and make a selection of items that belong in storage Brooklyn.

Make inventory

Once you put certain items away, it’s easy to forget what those items were. Make an inventory list of all the stored belongings, and you can use it in case that some of the items getting damaged or lost.

Inventory of Your Belongings for Long-term Storage

Use sturdy boxes

Getting proper storage containers is important for keeping your items safe while being in the storage unit. The best option is to use plastic containers because they are sturdy and easy to seal. You can also get recycled ones if you prefer an eco-friendly move, and recycled containers are also available for rent. In case you don’t like the idea of using plastic containers or you can’t get ahold of them, simply use cardboard boxes instead. Just make sure to inspect each box before using it for storage – it should be in good shape without any signs of damage.

Check public storage policies

Any items that are hazardous are not allowed in the storage unit, so always check the restrictions and make sure you’re compliant. If you need to keep any sort of flammable, corrosive, or explosive items, it’s better if you store them elsewhere or move to your new home.

Prepare items

Before you go ahead and pack your belongings to be stored away for a while, you should prepare them. Every item needs to be clean and dry because putting the dirty or wet item away can lead to mildew and eventually damage all the other things in the storage unit.

How to pack your belongings for long-term storage

We’ll look into several most-common items that are being stored and tips for packing them.

Clothes

Placing your clothing pieces inside wardrobe boxes or hanging them on garment bags is the best option to keep your clothes in the best shape. That will avoid wrinkles and dust and it’s especially recommended for your high-end pieces of clothing. For storing voluminous pieces like winter jackets or duvets, consider using vacuum bags to save space and keep them protected.

Furniture

Use furniture cleaner to clean all surfaces before putting a furniture piece away. In case it’s bulky or too big, disassemble furniture and keep all the small parts in plastic bags, then keep them together with the piece they belong to. You can protect furniture legs by using bubble-wrap or specialized material like furniture cover. Wrap the entire piece of furniture to protect it from dust and mildew by using packing materials or items that you already have in your household, such as blankets.

Mattress

The best thing to do is to get a mattress storage bag that will keep the mattress away from moisture and dirt. If you can’t find this type of bag, use another type of sturdy plastic to cover it entirely and seal it with tape so no parts of the mattress are exposed.

Roll-packed Spring Mattresses

Appliances

As mentioned before, all the items you’re storing need to be completely dry. When packing large appliances like a fridge or a freezer, you’ll have to defrost them and make sure they’re dry. Wipe the insides by using baking soda to avoid odors. When packing a washing machine or a dishwasher, drain them completely and double-check if they’re completely dry. You should secure cables or leave them inside of the appliances, and wrap each item by using packing materials to make a protective layer.

Electronics

Electronic equipment is sensitive and it can easily get damaged if not stored properly. If you have original boxes, it’s best if you use them. But, if you don’t, wrap them with packing paper and then use bubble wrap for an extra layer of protection. Make sure to add crumpled paper or bubble wrap to fill in voids inside the moving box, and seal the box.

Packing Electronics in Bubble Wrap

Books

Books should be packed carefully because mildew or any type of moisture can get to them easily and destroy them while being in the storage unit, especially if you’re going for a traditional one. Wrap them using packing paper, and stack them horizontally inside the box. Always use smaller boxes when packing books, otherwise, they can get too heavy and break the box. Use tape to seal all the openings and protect them from moisture.

Breakables

Packing your fragile items always requires more effort than packing the usual items. For example, china, glassware, and other breakables that you want to store will have to be packed with extra caution. Start with wrapping each item individually using packing paper, which will protect it from scratching. Then continue to cover it with bubble wrap, which will protect it from breaking. When the box is full, add paper, bubble wrap, or any soft fabric to fill in voids and seal the box using tape. Eventually, clearly label the box as “fragile” to be aware that it needs to be handled gently.

Label Electronics Fragile

Artwork

Using a storage unit to keep your artwork can be a good idea, but each piece of art has to be protected and stored properly. Use packing paper and follow by using bubble wrap to wrap each piece individually. Use packing tape to make an X across the “face” of the artwork, and get professional packing supplies, such as cardboard corners and picture boxes to pack them the best way possible.

How to Choose a Storage Unit

Leaving your precious belongings behind because there is not enough space at the moment for all of them can be a difficult decision for you. However, renting storage is an excellent option that can give you peace of mind. Here are some important things to consider when you choose a storage unit.

Storage Units

Things to look for when choosing a storage unit

When you are considering renting storage for your belongings, you should pay attention to some essential things as:

  • Video and in-person monitoring of that place
  • How is the overall protection and security of the facility
  • How is light inside the storage, is it too light or too dark
  • Is there climate control inside the storage or not? 
  • How many locks are on the doors, and how easy the access to the storage is?

Is full-service storage better than self-storage?

Depending on your needs, you may pick among these two options.

Full-service storage

Choosing this type of service is a safer option for you because a storage company offers “valet-style” services to their customers. In other words, the storage company will pick up your belongings and deliver them to the storage unit. The storage company will do all work for you, from the beginning until the end. Moreover, they will even create an inventory list and take pictures of your belongings.

Self-storage

This is a more common type but it requires more work. When choosing self-service storage, customers are responsible for transferring their belongings to the storage unit themselves and for documenting their belongings too.  One of the advantages of self-service storage is that you can pick up your things any time you want, instead of with full-service storage where you need to request for them.

Why do I need climate-controlled storage?

Changing temperature can damage sensitive items. Therefore, climate-controlled storage is necessary and highly recommended for valuables like antiques, musical instruments, electronics, or fine art. Also, if you have the intention to store some items like clothes or furniture, then climate control will be a good option against mold, mildew, and pests.

Climate-Controlled Storage Unit

What are the most common sizes of storage?

There are different sizes of storage. Choosing the right size only depends on how many items you have to store inside. The most common sizes are: 5×5, 5×10, 5×15, 10×10, 10×15, 10×20, 10×30.

  • 5×5: This is the smallest storage size, similar to the average closet. In case you only have several boxes or few pieces of furniture to pack, this will be a good option for you.
  • 5×10: This is a little bigger than the previous size but is enough for 1-2 large pieces of furniture, 10-15 moving boxes, and some yard equipment.
  • 5×15: This storage unit can fit full-size bedroom furniture, 10-15 moving boxes, even a motorcycle.
  • 10×10: This is a medium-sized area, with around one-hundred square feet, or nearly half the size of a regular garage. Here we can fit the contents of a small apartment or some appliances and near 20 moving boxes.
  • 10×15: In this areayou can store the contents of two bedrooms, including large items like appliances, furniture, and even a piano. 
  •  10×20: This is one of the largest storage units. Here you can fit midsize cars or all the furniture, appliances, and boxes of a two or three-bedroom home.
  • 10×30: This is the maximum storage that you have to rent. This unit is large enough for the contents of a four-bedroom home, mattress sets, large appliances, and a massive amount of moving boxes Brooklyn. Make sure to pack appliances for relocation properly.

How to measure the size of your belongings before you choose a storage unit?

First of all, gather all items that you have for storage. Like this, you will have a clear picture of which size of storage you need. The next step you need to do is to take tape and tape measure. Before starting, make sure to use tape that will not leave a residue or ugly marks on your floor. After this, mark space that you need on the ground with dimensions of 5×5, 5×15, and 10×20. Before packing your belongings to the ceiling, keep in mind that the standard size of the storage is around eight feet tall. However, ask the storage company for more details about this before you start transferring your valuables.

What is the average price of the storage?

The price of the storage depends on the unit size. For that reason, larger units are more costly to rent than smaller storage. According to some researches, the average unit price for a standard storage unit is from $60 to $180 per month. If you prefer the storage unit with climate control, which is more expensive, their price is from $75 to $230 per month. The storage companies may have an option for monthly contracts, which can be more suitable for you, but this varies from company to company and their regulations.

The last steps to consider before you choose a storage unit

Protect your valuables and take insurance

Maybe this can be too much for your pocket, but it will save you from unnecessary headaches. Some storage facilities protect items against damage or loss – free of charge. On the other hand, many storage facilities offer their own affordable self-storage insurance options as well. Before you rent, talk with the company about whether you need additional insurance or not. Insurance for storage units ranges is from $100 to $500, depending on the amount of coverage you decide to go for.

Make Sure to Get Insurance Before You Choose a Storage Unit

Be aware of forbidden items

When you declutter your stuff, it is important to identify and separate items that are not permitted to be in storage. Here is a list of restricted items:

  • Plants: there are no windows, water, or light necessary for plants to live. Therefore, consider leaving your plants in your old apartment; give them to your close friends or relatives.
  • Food: because of their expiration date and perishability, keeping food may not be allowed in some storage. The rotten smell is not the only problem here because this kind of food can attract rodents, pests to your unit or the next unit, and making a bigger problem.
  • Firearms, gunpowder, and explosives: These kinds of items are strictly forbidden to keep in storage at any cost, and the same goes for stolen items.

6 Reasons to Use Climate-controlled Storage

After you found the right moving company and made a home inventory, you found yourself with some extra items. You decided to give some of them away, few can be sold, and some will end up being discarded. How about those ones that are not fit for the current situation, but are still in good condition and you will want to use them in the future? Climate-controlled storage might be the right solution.

If you have too many possessions for your current place of stay, probably you have already looked into some of the storage units for rent. If you want to store your belongings for a longer period, make sure not to overlook the fact that some of them might be sensitive to humidity, heat, or pests. While you want to get extra space by putting away things that are valuable to you, you also want to have a peace of mind and be confident it won’t get damaged.

Two questions to ask when renting climate-controlled storage:

Do I need it?

Before you go for this type of storage, take a look at your items to decide if those can be affected by storage conditions. For sure if you have only several things that are not so important to you, regular storage will do just fine. While traditional storage will work for some items, others can be susceptible to damage.

Climate Controlled Storage Units Dorothy & Martha Moving NYC

Items that could benefit from climate-controlled storage:

  • Important documents
  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Family heirlooms
  • Electronics
  • Cosmetics
  • Leather good
  • Metal appliances
  • Music instruments

How much does it cost?

The price will vary depending on your state, location, current demand, etc.
Typically controlled units are anywhere from 25% to 50% higher in price compared to traditional ones. Depending on the length of the time you plan on using it, as well as the value that items have to you, you can calculate if that extra money is worth spending. The best way to calculate the difference is to contact a few local storage providers and figure out how much extra money you will need. Sometimes spending more at the moment will pay off in the long term.

Here are a few advantages to the climate-controlled storage:

1. The temperature at the optimum level

If you are planning to store your items for an extended period, most likely the weather changes will happen a few times. Do you live in the area known for its extreme temperature, whether low or high? It will most likely be the case in the storage as well since isolation is not the priority for the traditional type of units. On the other hand, climate-controlled storage will keep the temperature at the optimum level for the best care of your goods. This fact especially comes handy if you are storing things that can be affected by extreme temperatures. Think about electronic equipment being exposed to freezing temperatures or cosmetics being exposed to extreme heat. Indoor placed storages with their controlled temperature are without a doubt a much better solution.

2. Circulating air

Climate-controlled Storage Brooklyn

In most storage spaces air does not circulate in or out. Most probably the airflow will happen only once when you store your things and once when you take them away. Poor quality of air can also tamper the condition of your valuables over time. Climate controlled storage is ventilated so that the air is constantly circulating. Documents or electronics are the items that will benefit from the fresh air flow the most.

3. Security benefits of climate-controlled storage

Climate Controlled Storage Units Brooklyn

Climate controlled storages use mechanical means for keeping the temperature and fresh air. They also require special materials to be made of and sealed properly. To make perfect conditions indoors is expensive, which leads to security being at a higher level. Minimizing the risk of theft is a great advantage when renting any type of space. You will benefit the most from this fact if you are storing valuable items, such as artwork or important family heirlooms. It is also way more convenient to walk in the secured area than to the regular one when you want to pick up your staff.

4. Pest protection

Have you ever found an amazing piece of vintage furniture only to find it was damaged by pests? Let this not happen to any of your things by placing them safely in the climate-controlled storage. Traditional units are not sealed, therefore pests, rodents, insects can crawl into them. On the other hand, controlled units are placed indoors which solves the pest issue.

5. Less dust and debris created

Walls and floors of controlled storages are sealed and the unit is secluded for optimum conditions. It also means that less dust and debris will be created, therefore less potential damage for your possessions. Besides being better for your goods, it will save time later when you decide to pick things up and have to clean them.

6. Less stress

A combination of security, circulating air and regulated temperature makes it a safe option to store more or less valuable items. By utilizing this type of storage, you can be at peace and not stress about the condition or safety of your belongings.

Whichever type of storage you choose to rent, take a bit of time to research what will fit your requirements the most – fine art storage NYC, piano storage, etc.

While you are searching for the storage to keep things not necessary at the moment, Brooklyn movers will take care of transporting all the other ones you decided to take on your new journey.

Free Moving Quote

YesNo
YesNo