If you store something while it’s dirty, it’s only going to be dirtier when you unpack it two, four, or twelve months later. Before you decide how to pack and organize your storage unit, don’t forget to scrub, wash, and dust your belongings. Here are a few tasks to keep in mind:
- Wash clothes and remove any stains
- Wipe down and wax wood furniture
- Clean leather furniture with a leather cleaner or gentle soap
- Scrub fabric-covered furniture with antibacterial cleaner and let it dry fully
- Wipe the inside and outside of appliances, and if applicable, run a final wash cycle with bleach or vinegar.
Before you find out how to pack and organize a storage unit, you need to get your storage unit ready to hold your belongings.
From cleaning your storage space to taking inventory of your belongings, here’s what you need to do to prepare to pack and organize a storage unit.
Make sure you have enough space in your storage unit.
Before your belongings get lost forever in a sea of boxes, write down a list of what’s going into the storage unit. With your inventory list in hand, you won’t have to spend hours trying to remember if your favorite winter sweater is hiding in your closet or packed away in your storage unit.
Before you decide how to pack and organize your storage unit, write down what’s being moved and include the details below on that inventory list.
- Photos of serial numbers, model numbers, and brand logos, when applicable
- A brief description of the item, including if there is any damage pre-move
- For expensive items, their relative monetary value (in case items are stolen from your unit)
- How and where you packed the item (in a box, storage bin, or something else)
- The name and location of the storage unit facility
If you’ve already booked a storage unit, you need to double check that your belongings will fit before you start packing the storage unit. You don’t want to start packing and organizing your storage unit only to return home with half your belongings when they don’t fit.
Create a list of how much furniture you’ll be packing in your storage unit, plus a rough estimate of the number of boxes and other items that you’ll need to make fit. Consider how much space these items will take up, and then compare it to the space available.
Your belongings can easily be damaged if you don’t know how to appropriately pack and organize a storage unit.
No matter what you decide to pack in your storage unit, the tips below will help you protect everything from your flat-screen TV to your winter coat.
Take extra care as you pack your furniture for storage. A good rule of thumb is to avoid plastic packing materials (unless you’re using bubble wrap for a lamp or picture frame) since it can suffocate the furniture and lead to mildew. Instead, drape furniture loosely with quilts, drop cloths, or old sheets.
If you need to tape coverings over more fragile items, be careful not to tape directly onto furniture. This could cause accidental paint or fabric removal, ruining the furniture you’re trying to safely pack for your storage unit.
When packing appliances for storage, drain any remaining liquid from the appliance, remove glass shelves or fragile pieces (to be packed separately), and do not plug the appliance in once it’s in your unit.
To avoid odors, you can place baking soda inside the appliance and prop the door open once the appliance has been moved into the unit.
The mechanical and electronic parts of your appliances are suspect to rust and fissures, so be aware that a non-climate controlled unit may not be the best choice for these items.
When deciding how to pack a storage unit, pay special attention to your electronics. Pack electronics properly by storing them in their original packing supplies and keeping them in a climate-controlled storage unit.
Label and take photos of wires before unplugging them. Then, wrap items in packing paper or household linens to ensure that electronics will be protected if the box they are in is damaged.
The best way to pack clothing for a storage unit is to use plastic containers with clip-on lids. This will protect clothes from dust, mildew, and moisture.
You should also pack cedar balls with your clothes to prevent damage from moths and to ward off musty odors.
Make sure items are neatly folded and extremely clean so that you don’t have to launder everything again when you eventually unpack your clothes.