There may come a point in time when you are faced with having to pack up some of your belongings for long-term storage. You might be headed overseas on a temporary work assignment; you might be temporarily downsizing while you work to overcome financial difficulties; you may be in between houses after selling one and waiting for another to be built.
Regardless of the circumstances forcing you to store your belongings, the goal is the same. You want to store your stuff in a safe and secure place that will protect them from even the slightest amount of harm. You want to eventually be able to retrieve your belongings in the same condition they were stored in.
How you pack your things is key to how well they store. Knowing and understanding your storage space is key to good packing. Will you be using a self-storage option? Has a family member offered the use of a garage or basement? Take a good look at your chosen storage space so that you are well apprised of things like climate control, possible pasts, etc.
Clean Everything First
A lot of people pack belongings simply by grabbing items and stuffing them into boxes. We advise that you clean everything first. Whatever you’re planning to put in storage should be free of dust, dirt, and debris. That way, unpacking on the other end is a lot easier. You can unpack and put everything in its place rather than having to clean as items come out of the storage container.
Follow a Logical Packing Order
Do you best to follow a logical packing order when putting things into storage containers. In other words, keep all your kitchen items together and separate from bathroom supplies. Keep a running inventory as well. Assign each container a number, then list the contents of each container on a piece of paper, your smartphone, your tablet, or by some other means. Knowing exactly what is in each container makes retrieving what you need later a lot more efficient.
Your Choice of Containers
Cardboard boxes are an excellent choice for transport and short-term storage; they are a poor choice for long-term storage. A better bet are plastic storage bins with sealed lids. They will keep out moisture, dust, and any pests that might be roaming around. If you must resort to cardboard because you cannot afford plastic containers, search for heavy-duty boxes that will last longer. Seal those boxes with packing tape once they are full. Never, ever put a cardboard box into long-term storage without sealing it up. You are asking for trouble otherwise.
Putting furniture into long-term storage is rarely an easy task. First, any furniture piece with drawers or shelves should be completely emptied prior to storage. Those furniture pieces that can be easily disassembled should be. That means things like kitchen tables, desks, etc. Disassembly makes moving easier and reduces the risk of in-transit damage.
Next, the furniture should be wrapped in some sort of protection. Moving blankets work well for this task, and they are relatively cheap. You can wrap a furniture piece in moving blankets and then keep everything together with some duct tape or commercial grade plastic wrap.
Long-term storage is something most of us will experience at least once. It seems to be one of those unavoidable parts of life. If you just apply a little common sense though, you can safely store all your belongings without worry.