Packing for Long-Term Storage
July 31, 2019

If you are looking to store your belongings for an indefinite length of time inside a storage facility, you have 2 storage options to choose from: general or self-storage.

A general storage system will store your items inside a single warehouse, stack your goods upon palettes and secure them by wrapping it around with cardboard. This system has become quite troublesome for its users because items are frequently misplaced and damaged, not to mention how highly inconvenient it is to access stored items. For that reason, self-storage facilities are growing in popularity worldwide. A self-storage system usually offers an array of various sized units for rent which can only be accessed by the tenant.

Your local removalist can provide you with recommendations of the closest and trusted storage systems available within your area.

Whichever storage system you’d prefer, it is crucial to note that packing for long-term storage requires a different procedure than packing for a move. On top of safely packing to prevent breakage, you should take into account natural elements that contribute to long-term damage.

To get better protection for your valuables, follow these storage packing tips for various items:

Fridges and Freezers

While in storage, fridges and freezers should be thoroughly cleaned out. Check the water collection tray behind your fridge and make sure everything is dry. Avoid placing any foreign items inside the unit to avoid damage. Unpleasant odors may crop up inside your fridge during long-terms storage, prevent this by keeping the doors slightly ajar by wedging a towel or box between the gap. Wrap your fridge with old blankets and secure with a loose tie.

Kitchen Appliances

Small kitchen appliances should be meticulously cleaned before getting packed for storage.  Dried out food could attract pests, encourage mold growth and build up unsavory odors. Dip a washcloth in a solution made of equal parts water and mild soap. Wipe down your small appliances with the wet washcloth and allow to dry afterwards.

Electronics

Before detaching cords from the main components, take a photo of the back of your appliances. This will help you identify where each cord goes upon re-assembly in the future. If you’re the meticulous type, you might be more satisfied with labeling each cord.

Take your cord and wrap it into a loop, secure each piece with a cable tie or twist tie. Place your cords inside a clear zipper bag and keep them together with the appliance they are paired with.

For battery operated electronics, remove all batteries before storage. Batteries will rust and leak through time and could damage your electronics.

Books

Long-term storage can take quite a toll on books and keeping them spotless is quite a challenge.

Other than yellowing pages, mold, mildew and humidity, a book’s nemesis in storage is a slew of silverfish. These bugs thrive in dark, damp places and feed on starch found in glue which binds the book pages together.

There aren’t clear cut do-it-yourself ways to avoid a silverfish infestation or mold after several years in storage, so your best shot at keeping these at bay is to pack everything in stellar condition.

Dust off each book and remove anything wedged between the pages (e.g. pressed flowers, bookmark) Pack your books in a new moving box, avoid using second-hand boxes as they can be soiled or too damaged. Lay the books flat inside the box and work your way up, starting from the heaviest to the lightest. Now, a good way to prevent mold is to maintain good airflow, keep your book boxes off the ground by acquiring storage palettes.

For extra measure, you can add a packet of desiccant (silica gel) inside the box.

Glass, Mirrors and Picture Frames

Flat surfaces made with glass can be very demanding, especially if they can’t fit into boxes. Each item has to be thoroughly wrapped and secured with plenty of butchers papers or tissue papers, and doubled with either bubble wrap or old blankets.

You can bundle similar sized items together, up to a maximum of 5 per bundle. Always place them in an upright fashion and position them in a secure space.

Keep these items within easy reach and make sure they are visible to avoid any injuries.

Fragile Items

Fragile and breakable items require special packing materials for long-term storage. Bring in foam paper, soft cloth, bubble wrap and packing peanuts when tackling this assignment.

Use small boxes when packing fragile items to easily place them atop other boxes in storage. Pad the base of the box with crumpled paper or packing peanuts. Now, wrap each breakable item in foam paper or cloth then secure with tape. Afterwards repeat the process using bubble wrap.

Place all items in an upright position inside the box and fill out all empty spaces with crushed paper.

Label your box carefully with “Fragile” and “This Side Up”. Place labels and stickers on all sides of the box for visibility. You may forget which box contains your fragile items in the future, so it’s important for the labels to be noticeable the moment you open your storage unit.

Additional Tips

Packing for storage requires a lot of cushioning material and boxes. As a safety measure, you can prepare old blankets, towels and extra boxes. These do not only serve as packing material but also a protective sheath for large furniture from getting scratched.

Our Oversupply System offers a complete set of packing materials with everything you’ll need for packing. If there are any materials you’ll need, call your removalists in advance as most removal services provide a variety of packing materials.

Talk to your removalists about the items you’ll need easy access to, this will allow them to plan on how to load the truck and place your items in storage.

If you don’t have time to pack, ask for assistance. We provide a pre-packing service to help you get packed as fast as possible. To further reduce your moving costs, our pre-packers can be hired at an hourly rate rather than charge by the box.

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