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Properly Preparing Your Belongings Before Storing Them

Mobile Storage Solutions explains how about properly preparing your belongings before storing them. Moving and packing are just two parts of the moving process, but there is another part that can pose just as much stress – especially when your moving timelines don’t match up: storage. Sometimes you need a convenient, safe place to put your stuff in between moving or when renovating your home. This is where a portable storage unit can offer the best solution.

However, just because you have secured an on-site or off-site storage unit doesn’t mean you should just throw your belongings in there without a care. There’s a methodical way you should be storing your belongings so they stay safe until you need them. Here are some tips to properly prepare your items before storing them.

Check Storage Restrictions

Your first step is to determine what you can and cannot store in the unit. Your mobile storage company will be able to tell you what those restrictions are. For example, you may not be able to store these things in your storage unit:

  • Dangerous or hazardous items (gasoline and fertilizers)
  • Explosives/fireworks
  • Chemicals and paint
  • Narcotics
  • Flammable items
  • Perishable food, medicine, plants

Decide What You Will Put In Storage

Next, think about what you need to store before adding it to the unit. Make a list of all items so you don’t forget something, which is easier to do than you think. This will also help you plan out how you will add items to the unit, and in which order. The more stuff you have, the bigger unit you will need and the more you will pay.

If you’re on a tight budget, think carefully about what items you really need to store so as to keep the cost down as much as possible.

Keep an Inventory

As we said, it’s wise to create an inventory of what you have before packing a single item. Include all items, from pictures to furniture to souvenirs. Make two copies of the list and let someone know where they are.

Clean Your Stuff

Cleaning your belongings before storing them will ensure you don’t end up with a mildew odor when you next open the unit. This will also keep dirt and mold growth at bay, which can happen with dirty or not-quite-dried items that have been locked away for an extended period of time. Depending on the material, use the appropriate cleaner and a warm wash cloth.

Empty out all furniture, vacuum with a brush to remove dirt and dust, and clean the surfaces with soap and water, advises My Moving Reviews. Let it all air dry fully, outside in the sunlight if you can.

For wood furniture, spray on some furniture protection to keep it looking glossy and new. You can even apply a coat of wax, which looks great but also reduces the chance of mold growth.  If you have leather items, apply a leather conditioner. Wipe down metal items and furniture with oil so they don’t rust or tarnish.

Label Your Boxes

If you have leftover moving boxes, use them for storing the things you don’t need right away. Plastic bins are also a good choice because you can see the contents inside. But if you are using cardboard boxes, do yourself a favor and clearly label everything that is inside. This will help you quickly determine later what’s in each box so you can organize better.

For example, don’t just label a box ”bathroom” – add “towels and toiletries” too.

Protect Your Items From the Environment

Most reputable storage unit providers offer climate-controlled spaces to keep your belongings protected in the best way possible. Moisture, dust, mold and mildew will develop on your items if you don’t make sure the surrounding environment is optimal.

Cover your furniture and other items with sheets and blankets, securing them with rubber bands, straps, or plastic wrap. Just don’t apply plastic wrap directly to your wooden or leather furniture because these plastic covers may trap moisture and heat, causing the material to warp or gather mold. Also, extended contact with plastic can damage paint jobs and result in staining.

Use white cotton sheets to cover upholstered furniture; dark-colored fabrics may bleed color onto your stored items if the humidity level gets too high in storage.

Disassemble Large Items

Before packing large furniture such as dining room tables and beds, disassemble as much of it as you can. This will save you a lot of space in the unit. This also helps to protect them from wear. Keep track of all nuts, bolts, accessories and hardware in separate baggies or boxes, clearly labelling everything. Take a picture of the piece of furniture before you take it apart, which will help you put it back together again later.

Prepare Appliances

If storing small kitchen appliances, wrap them in bubble wrap so they don’t break. Clean these appliances before you store them, securing loose parts with tape.

Put Your Belongings in the Unit

The last step is to add your properly prepared items to the storage unit. This is where strategy comes into play. Take measurements and come up with a plan on how you will place each item. Think of it as one big jigsaw puzzle in many cases. To save space, consider placing some items vertically.

Keep large objects at the bottom, with smaller ones and objects you use most frequently at the top.

Contact Mobile Storage Solutions

Our on-site and off-site storage units are available in any size you may need to fit your items in between moving or renovating your house. We make it easy to store stuff in the interim so it doesn’t get damaged. Get your free quote when you call us today at 224-249-5792 or fill out our online form.


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