Temporary storage can be an excellent option when you are transitioning between living situations. Maybe you’re making plans to remodel a part of your home and want to clear up space by temporarily storing certain pieces of furniture. Or you could be preparing for a permanent move into a new home. You might want to list your property as an empty space, without your personal belongings in the photos or around the house when you have potential buyers touring.

No matter the scenario, this advice can help you protect and pack your items in the best possible way. Moving items into storage isn’t exactly the same as a long-distance move, but you still want to keep everything safe!

Getting Ready to Pack

The first step in preparing for storage is to gather all the necessary packing materials. This list is pretty similar to any other set of moving supplies. You’ll likely need a few rolls of packing paper, bubble wrap, moving blankets, strong cardboard boxes of similar sizes or heavy-duty moving totes, and tools to dismantle appliances and furniture that might need to get compacted.

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary packing materials, create an inventory list of all the items you plan to store. This will help you keep track of what you have in storage, making it easier to locate items when you’re ready to move them out again.

Along the way, you’ll also be sure to label each box clearly with a quick description of its contents. Even when storing items for just a couple of weeks, it can still be difficult to remember what’s what. This way, you’ll know exactly where to find what you need without having to waste time rummaging around and opening random boxes.

How to Move Items into Storage

When packing fragile items such as china dishes or glasses, take the time to wrap each item individually in packing paper to prevent damage during storage. It might be tempting to skip this step when you’re packing for a short drive down the road for temporary storage, but you’re still moving items from Point A to Point B. Plus, you’ll have to carry them out of the storage eventually too! That’s another chance for things to break. Why risk it?

Framed artwork such as paintings and pictures should also be carefully prepared for storage. Instead of just leaning them up against your other boxes or the walls of your storage unit, you need to give them a little TLC to ensure they’ll be safe. Before moving your artwork, use masking tape to create a large X along the glass surface to hold any broken glass pieces in place and prevent damage to the artwork.

Avoid using plastic packing materials as they may trap moisture, which can damage your belongings. Instead, opt for wrapping paper, which will absorb any moisture in the air. Wrap each piece of artwork in large sheets of acid-free and ink-free packing paper. Use cardboard pieces to protect any extra fragile elements of the artwork.

You’ll also need to be sure that you’re arranging the storage unit in a logical manner. Group boxes of similar sizes and positioning heavier ones at the bottom to make the best use of your space. Then create a central passage to give yourself easier access to all of your items. Leaving some space between the boxes and the walls of the storage unit can help ensure that you’re getting decent air circulation. Even though some storage facilities provide temperature and humidity control features, it’s still a good idea to do what you can to lower the chance of any musty odors or mold growth to start up.

Plan Ahead—Or Hire Some Help!

Moving your items into storage may not be the easiest thing to finish up on your own. But it’s still doable! If you take your time, you’ll be able to protect your belongings during the move to the storage unit, and through the storage timeline. You just need to gather all the necessary packing materials, create an inventory, and start loading everything up.

If you want help with those last steps, though, you can always reach out to a good local moving company. Having a couple extra sets of hands will make the day go quickly, and you can even get some professional packers to wrap up your items and put them into boxes. When you want to lower your stress, it never hurts to hire some experienced, outside help.