The Best Storage Stratgies

Packing your home for storage

by Elaine Johnson

Whether you're going on a long journey, have a gap between moving dates or just have more things than you have room for, you can keep your belongings secure in a self storage unit. To really get the most out of a storage space, however, you'll want to pack and prepare everything correctly. 


A lot of your storage space will probably be taken up by boxes full of clothes, books, dishes and similar small items. When packing these boxes, take care not to over-fill them: A heavy box can split and spill its contents. If you're packing dense items like books, fill the box only half-full before using either packing material or lighter items like clothes to fill the remaining space. Be generous with packing material; the key to keeping fragile items safe during your move is to stop them from shifting within the box. Use foam peanuts, bubble wrap or soft items like towels, bedding or clothes. 


Furniture can be challenging to move, but you can simplify it by dismantling as many items as you can. Take multi-part items like shelves and bookcases apart. You can also remove the legs of some tables or desks; store small parts in plastic bags with clear labels. If you don't want to remove drawers from desks or nightstands, wrap the whole piece in plastic film to stop them from sliding out. To protect vulnerable surfaces from scratching during transport, use padded furniture covers. You can get these covers, also called furniture blankets, from your moving firm. Alternatively, use old blankets to cover these surfaces, wrapping them tight with plastic wrap. 

Appliances and tools

Each different appliance or device has its own precautions you should take before putting it into storage. Make sure that anything that normally holds water, such as a washing machine, is completely drained and dry before storing it. You should also completely clean and dry the interior of a refrigerator. Similarly, remove all fuel from petrol-powered items like lawnmowers. Even a small amount of petrol left in a tank can fill your storage unit with fumes, leading to a chemical stink that's hard to remove. Remove any loose parts, such as refrigerator shelves, and store them separately. Finally, put your appliances into storage first; these bulky items take up a lot of space, and loading in boxes will be easier if you already know where they go.