Getting ready to whisk your cherished belongings to long-term self storage? Here’s your guide to keep them in excellent condition

Posted on: Tue Oct 25

packing for long term storage

Packing your belongings in long-term storage requires lots of tender loving care to ensure they’re in tip-top condition for years to come. Using durable, high-quality packing supplies is your best bet to protect your items from humidity, volatile weather conditions, physical damage, and a whole host of other destructive elements.

For more insight on how to pack for long term storage, read on for all the tips, tricks, and hacks. 

Strong cardboard moving boxes

The main packing supply you need to stock up on is strong moving boxes. These should be new and sturdy. Many people opt for used boxes from grocery stores as a free alternative, but these usually become more costly as they quickly fall apart in a few months, damaging the goods inside. Even worse, they may even have stains and contain bits of leftover food, which can attract pests and cause mould to develop. 

For long-term storage or even short-term storage, strong cardboard boxes keep your items perfectly protected and in excellent condition. They can last for years and even allow you to make the most of the space in your self storage unit, as they are resilient enough to stack. 

Packing boxes for storage – Best practice

Below is a handy list of best practices to follow for safe and efficient packing with cardboard boxes for long-term storage:

  • Each box should be lined with bubble wrap, foam pellets, or crumpled paper for cushioning and insulation. 
  • Make sure all storage boxes are packed to full capacity – not over or under. Boxes with space inside will likely cave when stacked in storage and those overloaded may tear or burst open at the bottom. 
  • Heavier items need to placed at the bottom of the box and lighter ones on top
  • Seal all boxes with durable packing tape – this prevents dust and moisture from getting inside

Out of the box

Many of the items you’re packing for long term storage won’t fit inside a cardboard box, like furniture and large appliances. But they still need to be protected from dust, dirt, moisture, and possible damage by completely covering them. You can use old sheets, blankets, and drop cloths as an inexpensive solution. However, we recommend the ultimate protection, such as sofa covers, armchair covers, mattress covers, and large dust sheets for general items. 

How to pack for long term storage

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to packing for long term self storage. Each cherished possession has its own set of best practices to remain intact and unscathed for years to come. 

Here’s a snapshot of the most popular items people store and how to pack these to last:

  • How to wrap furniture for long term storage:
  • Clean all furniture items and dismantle large pieces before storing them away
  • Rub oil on metal parts and furniture polish on wooden surfaces
  • Treat upholstery with fabric or leather protectors
  • Wrap all protruding furniture parts in bubble wrap or soft cloth
  • Wrap entire items in designated protective covers to safeguard against scratches and dents
  • How to pack books for long term storage:
  • Your treasured books need to be completely dry before storage
  • Wrap each book in packing paper to prevent yellowing
  • Both hardcover and softcover books can be stacked flat in a cardboard box
  • You can pack your books according to specific categories, such as genre or author, so you can easily find them
  • How to pack tools for long term storage:
  • Clean all tools and bubble wrap the sharp edges
  • Drain gas-powered tools
  • Place small hand tools in a toolbox or a similar size box
  • Wrap and bundle long-handled tools in shrink wrap
  • Place electric power tools in original boxes or similar size boxes. Make sure to remove detachable parts and batteries
  • How to pack appliances for long term storage:
  • Defrost refrigerators and freezers and drain water from the washing machine, dishwasher and dryer
  • Clean all appliances thoroughly 
  • Wrap in large dust sheet covers
  • How to pack clothes for long term storage:
  • Make sure all garments are clean 
  • Store in designated wardrobe boxes. 
  • Avoid folding clothes and placing them in a box as this causes stress tears
  • If a garment can’t be hung, store it in vacuum-sealed bags
  • How to pack dishes for long term storage
  • Wrap each dish individually with packing paper
  • Place saucers, plates, and bowls on their sides
  • Place cups and glasses with their rims down
  • Smaller dishes can be nested in larger ones
  • Don’t forget to label the box as fragile 

Are you on the search for self storage that caters to all your space requirements, from short to long-term storage? If so, you’ve found the best. At Masons Self Storage, our storage plans are flexible and you can access your belongings 24/7, 365 days a year. 

We are your trusted and reliable self storage partner across the Vale of Glamorgan and to the west of Cardiff. For more info, email our team at: [email protected] or give us a call on 0800 533 5708.