Packing and moving your items into storage can be time-consuming, stressful and overwhelming. Whether you’re moving house, downsizing, planning a business relocation or simply placing some surplus belongings into storage facilities, knowing some of the best packing tips will make putting items into storage much more straightforward. In this article, we reveal our top moving storage tips to make your life easier.
1. Prepare your packing materials
First, it’s a good idea to plan the packing materials that you’re going to need. For moving your items into a storage unit you’ll require varying sizes of packing boxes, marker pens to label your boxes, bubble wrap, tissue paper or newspaper, packing tape, protective coverings and dust sheets. If you have large, bulky or extremely fragile items, wooden crates are recommended. Avoid plastic bags as these can harbour mildew in storage. Remember, if you’re on a budget, it is possible to get moving boxes for free.
2. Plan your moving day in advance
Whether you’re moving house, relocating your business or simply placing items into storage, noting your moving day a few weeks in advance makes it easier to book a moving van and organise a storage unit. If you need assistance with the moving process, you’re also going to require extra hands. That means you’ll have to plan with friends or book a removal team.
3. Keep an inventory of your items
As you’re packing your items, keep an inventory of the goods you’re placing into storage. This will enable you to keep track of your belongings, alerting you to anything that may go missing during the moving and transportation process.
4. Declutter anything you don’t need
Before packing your items, it’s best to declutter anything you don’t require. This means you won’t need to send as much stuff into storage. The most effective way to declutter is to separate your items into three piles – one to keep, one to throw away and one to donate to charity. It’s possible to apply similar principles when decluttering your workspace, too.
5. Never pack hazardous items
Dangerous items are unlikely to be stored by units. Before you begin your packing, you’ll need to make sure what you can send into storage and what items are forbidden.
6. Understand the size of boxes you need
Before you collect your packing boxes, you’ll need to know what size of boxes you’re going to require. Naturally, you’ll need larger boxes for big items and small boxes for smaller sized goods. Some items may be able to be stored in their original box if you have them.
7. Place heavier items at the bottom
One of the most effective moving tips for packing your goods is to place heavy items at the bottom of the box. It’s best to place things in similar sized boxes if you can as things can easily topple over if not packed correctly. Additionally, avoid placing soft items at the bottom of the box as these can easily get squished by things on top of them. Check out our guide on how to pack boxes for moving.
8. Use the correct packing tape
Are you using the correct packing tape for your boxes? Ideally, you should use strong brown tape to seal your boxes. This will prevent them from falling open easily. If you are packing breakable items in a box, place ‘fragile’ tape over the box.
9. Protect fragile items with bubble wrap
Fragile items should be thoroughly protected with bubble wrap to prevent damage or breakages. You should pack them into a box, surrounded by as much protection as possible. You can use packing peanuts, such as biodegradable ones which are better for the environment. Alternatively, you can stuff any gaps in the box with packing tissue paper or scrunched up newspaper to prevent your items from toppling over.
10. Clean items before packing them into boxes
If you’re keeping your items in storage for a while, it’s a good idea to clean them before you pack them away. This helps to remove any dust, dirt or grime, ensuring they’re in a relatively clean condition for storage. When the time comes to collect them, they’ll still look spotless.
11. Dismantle furniture items
Bulky furniture items can be a challenge to move, especially if you have a large piece like a bed or set of drawers. Make sure you dismantle furniture items as much as possible. Then, wrap each piece in bubble wrap to protect it. You’ll also need to label each part correctly, so you know which part belongs to which item. By doing this, you’ll be able to store each furniture item together, making reassembly a seamless, and less time-consuming, process. Remember to put nuts, bolts and screws in a clear bag and tape it to the item, clearly labelled. This will help you to put your item back together quickly. See our guide to dismantling a bunk bed.
12. Protect furniture with covers
Use covers or dust sheets to protect furniture items, such as sofas or armchairs. Any upholstery items can easily become covered in dust so it’s best to use coverings to keep them as clean as possible.
13. Protect mirrors
To prevent mirrors from breaking, place some masking tape over the front of it in a cross shape. This helps to decrease the possibility of your mirror breaking during transit. See our guide to packing a mirror safely for more detail.
14. Drain fuel from gardening equipment
Anything that has fuel, for example, garden equipment, should be thoroughly drained before packing and placing into storage. Any liquid is susceptible to leakages so it’s best to remove this to keep your goods as safe and secure as they possibly can be.
15. Label everything
All your items need to be packed into labelled boxes. This ensures you know where everything is when it comes to taking your belongings out of storage. Not only will you be able to find everything easier, but you’ll also be able to keep track of any missing items too.
16. Place items into categories
Categorising your items as you pack them is a great way to keep things from one area together. For instance, you could group together your kitchenware or office items. This will make the process of getting your items out of storage much smoother. An effective method for categorising your belongings is to colour code your labels. Either use coloured labels or write in different coloured markers to signify the varying categories. See our guide to moving kitchen items.
17. Make use of suitcases
If you’re planning on placing clothes, fashion accessories, shoes or towels into storage, then packing them in suitcases is ideal. They’ll keep them clean and protected from dirt and dust.
18. Vacuum seal home furnishings and clothes
Clothes items, towels, bedding, curtains and throws should be vacuumed sealed to save space. This method will also keep your items safe and secure too. Just remember to label each bag so you know exactly where each item is.
19. Keep electronics in their original boxes
If you’re putting electronic items, such as televisions or game consoles into storage, then placing them in their original boxes is highly effective. These boxes are the correct size and are likely to contain the original extra padding to protect them. If you don’t have access to any original boxes, you may need to pad packing boxes out with bubble wrap, blankets or polystyrene to keep your electronics extra secure during transit.
20. Secure bottled items
Bottled items like toiletries or cosmetics can easily spill during transportation. If you’re moving this type of item, secure them with tape around the cap, as well as placing them in sandwich bags or a cosmetics case for extra protection.
21. Place small things into plastic tubs or containers
If you are storing any small items, store them in plastic tubs or containers with a clear label. Very small items which do not have their original packing can become easily misplaced, especially during transit. Placing these items together helps to keep them secure.
22. Be extra careful with jewellery
If you own a lot of jewellery, you’re probably already aware how easy it is for them to become lost or broken. Long chains and necklaces can also become tangled, making it challenging to put them back in their original condition. If you’re planning on putting jewellery items into storage and don’t have a designated jewellery box to place them in, try packing larger pieces into an egg carton. You can store earrings in pill boxes, while chains can be put through a straw to prevent tangling. Remember to store all your pieces together with a label so you don’t lose anything.
23. Pack up unessential items early
If you need to use items that are going into storage, save packing these until last. Start packing your belongings with your unessential items first. If you have artwork, bulky pieces of furniture, rugs, other unessential belongings that you can avoid using, then pack these away as soon as you can. This means you can spend time securely packing them well in advance, leaving you less work to do closer to your moving or transportation date. Follow our guide to packing a picture.
24. Pack plates vertically
Plates are extremely fragile and require extra care. When packing plates, stack them vertically rather than laying them flat. This reduces the likelihood of them breaking or chipping. For increased protection, wrap each plate in bubble wrap or place scrunched up newspaper in between them. Also, remember to fill any gaps in your packing box with packing peanuts.
25. Use tissue paper for shoes
To keep your shoes in good condition while in storage, wrap them in tissue paper. Additionally, you can stuff rolled-up socks in them to help them keep their shape. Avoid using newspapers as the print can transfer across to your shoes.
26. Buy a mattress storage bag
Packing a mattress is no easy feat. However, using a mattress bag will give it some extra protection and it will be a perfect size. It’s best to ensure that your mattress is 100% dry before you store it. Once you’ve placed it in your mattress storage bag, tape up the ends to prevent any exposure to dirt, damp or dust.
27. Defrost your freezer before storing
Before storing a freezer or refrigerator, make sure they are fully defrosted and drained of water to prevent any mildew growth. Give both of these appliances a thorough wipe down to stop any bad odours. Leaves the doors open for ventilation but you can wrap bubble wrap around them and protect the corners of your appliances with extra cardboard. This will help to prevent damage.
Use These Tips To Move Your Items Into Storage Stress-Free
Now you know how to pack up a house for storage, alongside the very best moving storage tips, you can easily implement them to save time and make your move less stressful. Businesses can even use our moving house packing tips to transport their commercial goods into storage. Just remember to secure your moving boxes thoroughly and to take care when packing heavy or valuable items.
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Need help with your packing, moving and storage requirements? We’re here to make things that little bit easier. As trusted experts in packing, removals and storage, we understand how to take care of your items safely and securely, as well as ensuring they’re transported to and from storage with optimal care. Get in touch for a free, no-obligation quote today.