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How to Prepare Your Belongings for Storage
If you’re downsizing to a new home or simply doing some fall cleaning in preparation for the winter, a short term storage unit may be your best friend. Of course, you’ll want to do research and find a storage center that’s affordable and conveniently located nearby. But once you have a unit secured, the next step is packing your belongings and preparing them for storage. Here are some basic tips to help you get started.
Furniture. If possible, disassemble your furniture, including bed frames, tables, etc. Treat wood furniture with furniture polish, use leather conditioner if appropriate, and wipe down any metal with oil to prevent rusting. Protect your mattress from bugs and mold by using a mattress storage bag, and use vacuum-sealed bags for sheets and curtains. Finally, be sure to cover any couches or similar furniture with sheets.
Clothes. Be sure to wash your clothes – and ensure that they are fully dry – before packing them, or else you could have a mold or moth problem on your hands. Store clothing in wardrobe boxes so they do not become wrinkled and to give them room to breathe. If you prefer to fold them, seal them in airtight containers or a cedar chest.
- Books. For the bibliophile, there’s nothing more important than ensuring books stay in mint condition. If storing them in a moist environment, keep leather books from sticking together by wrapping each one in paper before placing in the box. Also, pack them flat so their spines do not become damaged.
- Appliances. Be sure to clean out any appliances you plan to store. Defrost freezers and refrigerators, and wipe the insides with baking soda to keep them dry. In addition, leave doors of such appliances slightly ajar to prevent mildew from forming while in storage.
- Electronics. It’s best to store electronics in their original packaging if possible.
Artwork and framed photos. You can usually purchase artwork crates from moving companies and storage facilities. Mirror pack boxes will work well for large framed artwork. You’ll also need bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and tape, and you should consider corner protectors as well.
In general, box up everything you can since anything can get dusty inside a storage unit. So make a plan, gather supplies, and get started!
David Shapiro works as a relocation marketing specialist for moving companies like Allied Van Lines. He lives in the south and spends his time hiking, biking, water skiing and rock climbing. David.Shapiro@sirva.com
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