Preparing Your Stuff for Long Term Storage

Prepping Your Things for Long Term Storage

Life can be an unexpected journey. At some point, you might end up in a situation where you won’t have a permanent home. Or maybe you get an opportunity to move to another country or city for a year or two. Whatever happens, sometimes you need a place to keep all of your things for a while.

That’s where a self-storage unit comes in.

However, you don’t want to just throw everything in a unit and call it a day. If you do this you might come back to an unsightly mess of ruined objects and lost investments. That’s why we want to share our best tips on how to prepare your things for long-term storage.

Dust is the Enemy

One of the main things to take into consideration is the accumulation of dust. If you choose a self-storage unit that uses strictly outside accessibility, you will likely see a larger amount of dust. This is because when it is dry and hot outside, it is easier for small debris and dust to enter. One of the best ways to avoid dust accumulation is to find a storage unit that offers indoor accessibility. When there are enclosed hallways involved, the chances of dust accumulation from outdoors is cut down almost 100%.

Be Thorough

Everything that you store will need to be stored differently. In order for your possessions to be kept in pristine condition, you need to be thorough in how you prepare them for storage. While you can keep them all in the same unit, the preparation will be vastly different depending on what it is and the materials used to make it. Here are some tips for storing the following items:


Furniture can be difficult to prepare for storage. It is large and can easily get dented or damaged during the move. In order to store furniture like a pro you should first clean each item as best as you can. Empty out all of the drawers – never use them as places to store extra things – and vacuum the interior. Clean all of the surfaces and let it dry completely. If you don’t let it dry, expect mold in your future. To go above and beyond, look into spraying your favorite pieces with a protection spray or conditioner.

Take large things apart and wrap extending pieces in bubble wrap. If you end up taking things apart and have a collection of screws or other hardware, put all of the small pieces in a plastic bag and tape it to your items or place in a corresponding drawer. Finally, wrap everything in white sheets, light blankets or custom furniture covers and secure them in place.


If you plan on storing any appliances, you’ll want to make sure you take extra care since they can be costly to replace. The first thing you want to do is to make sure that all appliances are empty and that any freezer or refrigerator is defrosted. Disinfect all of the surfaces to remove any unpleasant odors. When you empty everything, make sure you also check connected hoses and any other area that may have water buildup. When you place them in your storage unit, leave the doors open just slightly so that they can breathe.


One problem with storing clothes is that all types of clothing needs to be stored differently depending on their material. We have a great comprehensive guide to storing clothes here, but some general tips are as followed. First of all, make sure everything is clean, dry and undamaged prior to storing. You’ll want to store delicate items using tissue paper so that they are kept fresh and don’t have any colors transferring. Additionally, consider rolling clothes loosely and storing them in large plastic bins. Make sure that nothing is packed too tightly, as this restricts airflow and can lead to moisture build up and damage over time. Hanging clothes can also damage the shape over time, but if you take this route then make sure you invest in a proper wardrobe box or covered clothes hanger rather than cardboard.


If you want to store some of your electronics (DVD players, stereos, etc.) it is always best to do so in boxes. Storing them openly risks the chance of damage and dust accumulating in hard to clean places. If you have the original box that it came in, use that for storage. If you, like many of us, got rid of it after your purchase then find a similar sized box and place it inside. In order to keep it secure, fill the rest of the box with packing peanuts or crumpled paper. Seal the boxes and you’re ready to go.


When storing mattresses, you’ll want to make sure that they will be in good condition whenever you choose to take them back out of storage. The main concern with mattresses, as well as soft-furniture (couches, love seats, etc.), is making sure that they are clean. If there are any signs of infestations, get that taken care of before you put it in storage. You will thank yourself later. Another thing to thoroughly check for are any signs of moisture. Make sure that your mattress is completely dry in order to avoid mold and mildew growth. Then, place your mattress in a custom bag that fits snug. Usually, you can find these bags specifically for mattresses and they provide a higher level of protection. Seal the bag well and place into your unit.


Books can take up a lot of space, but they should still be stored properly in order to extend their shelf life. Make sure that they are as dry as they can be. If you store them with any moisture, you’ll come back to find a moldy, non-readable book. If you have any leather books, place paper in between each one or just wrap the entire thing. This will help avoid any of them sticking together. Next, since books are heavy, arrange them in small boxes as opposed to large ones and you’re all set!

Golden Rules

Whatever you are putting away into storage, there are a few “golden rules” that you should follow. These will make for a seamless and easy transition from your home to your storage unit and eventually back again.


Keeping everything organized is a great way to ensure that things are stored properly and easy to reach. Try to store heavier items on the floor with lighter items stacked on top. You can even attempt to keep areas of the house in similar areas of your storage unit. If you have any valuable items, we recommend storing them towards the back of your unit for added security while you keep the big furniture closer to the front. Finally, anything that you might need access to should be stored near the very front of your unit.

Label Everything

One of the worst things is when you get back to your unit and have no idea what is in each box. The best way to save time and energy is to label everything. Pack like things with other like things and stick a label on any box that you can’t see inside of. It’s an easy step that you’ll thank yourself for later.

Climate Control Matters

Always use a storage unit that has climate control when you need to store your things over a long period of time. Otherwise, you risk opening your storage unit to a mess of ruined items. For instance, even if you can’t feel it, humidity is in the air. Over time it can warp, yellow, tarnish, rust and ruin almost all of your items. Additionally, bacterial growth is more common in higher temperatures – which can be combated with a controlled unit. The same goes for any pesky pets or small rodents. It is much less likely that they will flourish in a climate-controlled unit. Better safe than sorry.

Remember Your Bills

One thing that may go overlooked in this process is making sure that you pay your storage bills on time every month. Since you are putting things away in storage for the long haul, you might want to consider an automatic bill payment system. Alternatively, you can ask if it is possible to make advanced payments. Anything that is going to make your life easier is worth looking into!

For whatever reason you need to put your things in long-term storage, never compromise the quality of your storage unit. Renting a climate controlled and secure storage unit is an investment that is sure to pay off when you return to all of your possessions in great condition. At The Lock Up Self Storage, there are tons of different options for each and every budget. Visit to look through all of our available self-storage units.Source: