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How to Prepare Your Items for Storage

How to Prepare Your Items for Storage

Moving to a new place often requires a temporary or permanent storage facility to safely store your belongings. Renting these storage units allows you to minimize clutter, ensures surveillance, and makes the unpacking process easier. 

However, there are certain measures you will need to take before renting a storage unit, such as preparing and packing your belongings. This article tells you the A to Z of preparing items for storage and packing stuff for storage. 

How To Choose Your Storage Unit

Start specifying your storage requirements by deciding which items to store and which ones to get rid of. Then find out the specifics like: 

  • The total volume of storage space required for selected items
  • The renting charge per storage unit 
  • The type and quantity of packing supplies to order

After that, research some of the storage options keeping these requirements in mind. The major factors to consider while finalizing a storage facility are:

1. Restrictions

Every storage facility has a set of rules and regulations for its customers. This includes a list of restricted items where they specify which of your belongings cannot be stored in their facility. 

Typically, these items include dangerous and perishable objects, such as gasoline, fireworks, paint, narcotics, explosives, propane tanks, flammable materials, plants, fertilizers, medicine, and certain food items.

2. Distance

The distance between your home and your storage facility plays an important part in your move. If you need to access your belongings frequently, choose a facility that is closer to your home. This will save the cost and time required to travel between these two spots. 

A picture of an outdoor storage facility.
Choose a storage facility close to your home for easy accessibility.

3. Services

Each storage facility provides different services such as storing your belongings in a climate-controlled environment as well as automotive storage for your private vehicle. Hence, clarify your needs to your preferred storage company and see if they provide those services.

4. Budget

Compare the pricing of different storage facilities before finalizing your decision. It will simultaneously tell you if you are paying charges higher than usual and if there is any unnecessary service included. 

Preparing Items For Storage

Start preparing the items by creating an inventory list of them in order to know if anything goes missing. Make two copies of each list. Put one copy in the respective storage unit and keep the other copy for yourself. This way, you can cross-check the items while unpacking them.

1. Cleaning The Items

It is critical to clean the items thoroughly before putting them into the storage unit to prevent their musty mildewy scent after unpacking. If they are already cleaned before packing, it is less likely that they will smell bad afterward. An efficient way to do it is to wipe their surfaces with a cleaning spray or disinfectant and vacuum the furniture items such as couch and chair cushions.

2. Packing The Items Into Boxes

Before storing your belongings in storage, it is recommended to first pack them in boxes or containers. Among the options, the most common ones are cardboard boxes and plastic containers. If you are choosing the latter, go for the plastic bins which are airtight and transparent. They will let you see the items inside instantly and also prevent them from getting damaged.

A woman packing moving boxes in a storage facility.
Pack your belongings in boxes or containers before keeping them in the storage unit.

For cardboard boxes, choose the ones which are sturdy and long-lasting. Since these containers are opaque, remember to label them as precisely as possible with waterproof markers. This will help you organize and unpack the boxes later. You can also use color coding and stickers to make them more easily recognizable.

3. Protecting Items From External Conditions

The ideal storage facility should provide a climate-controlled environment. If your storage unit does not have it, you will need to take the necessary precautions to keep your stored items safe from dust, mold, and moisture. These steps may include:

  • Applying protective spray (especially on furniture and leather items).
  • Covering furniture with a cotton sheet to keep pests away.
  • Storing electronics in plastic bags to keep moisture away.
  • Sealing non-airtight containers to stop moisture from getting inside.
  • Packing clothes in zipped garment bags or wardrobe boxes.

Heavy Items And Appliances

1. Disassemble Heavy Items

Heavier items like furniture will need to be taken apart before putting in the storage unit. Dining tables, beds, and similar large pieces cannot be stored while assembled since they take up huge space. Besides, they are more prone to damage this way. So disassemble them beforehand to store them securely and save space for other items. 

Disassemble heavier furniture like dining tables, beds, and other large pieces to save space before storing them in the storage unit.

2. Electronics

While packing stuff for storage, clean the electronics and secure their loose parts with tape or rope for maximum safety. Then wrap these appliances and cords with foam or bubble wrap to protect them from breaking apart in storage. For larger appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators, keep their doors slightly open to stop the growth of moisture and mildew inside.

Storing Items 

It is important to be strategic while storing items in storage units. For instance, you will need to store some items vertically to save space. The larger and heavier objects must be placed at the bottom so that their weight doesn’t put pressure on the smaller objects. Additionally, the items you may need to use frequently need to be placed on top or in an easily accessible area. 

Once you are done sorting, preparing, and packing your selected belongings for storage, and finding a reliable storage facility in Portland, PacWest Moving and Delivery provides high security and a climate-controlled environment for storing items like furniture, office equipment, and commercial records.