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How to Pack for Long Term Storage

By: Sean Zharfati

Packing for long term storage is a different ballgame altogether, compared with short term storage. You will need to think carefully about your storage solution and take several steps to ensure the safety of your belongings.

Long term storage

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One of the things that complicate packing for long term storage is that different kinds of items require different kinds of care. It makes sense – but it doesn’t make it any easier. Hopefully these tips will help you to sort out the things you will need to consider before starting to pack, and ensure that when you ultimately get your belongings back, they will be in the same condition as they were when they left your hands.

Electronic Items

Electronic equipment can be very delicate and needs to be protected during long term storage, mainly from jostling and from climate fluctuation. The ideal storage solution would be to place these items in the same cartons they came in; however if not available, put them in boxes that are close to their size and then surround them with packing peanuts or some other material that will prevent them from moving around inside. Also, try to put them into a storage facility that has climate control.

Kitchen Appliances

Do a very thorough cleaning job on these items before packing them away in long term storage, and make sure they are bone dry. You don’t want to come back a year later and find that some new form of microbe or algae has formed on your appliances, due to some particle of food or layer of water left inside. Just as with the electronic items, you will also want to place bubble wrap or some other protective covering on them.

Clothing

While you might be tempted to put your clothing into plastic bags, either garbage bags or the ones that come from the dry cleaners – don’t. During long term storage, this can encourage mildew and even damage your clothes if they will be in storage for an extended period of time. Best to use bags made from natural fibers, which will allow the clothes to ‘breathe’. And if you are truly meticulous, you will want to find a different storage solution for different kinds of clothing – such as hanging dresses on a garment rod, and packing sweaters with tissue paper between each garment so they don’t touch each other. Cedar blocks are also a good idea, to ward away pests.

Breakables

You want to take a great deal of care that any valuable or breakable objects are sufficiently protected for the long haul. Bubble wrap is a great storage solution; there are several kinds available today and you can choose the one that best fits the item and the box in which it will be packed. If none is available, consider towels or sheets, even stuffed animals can make a great protective barrier. And while it may go without saying, be sure to label the box in which they are packed, ‘Breakable’ so you will remember to handle them with care when you finally come to take them home.

With these tips to get you started, hopefully you will find that getting ready for that move just became a little bit easier.

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