Packing Belongings for Temporary Storage: A Checklist

Posted on 14 April 2024 | 4 minute read


When considering a temporary storage unit, it’s natural to be concerned about the state of your belongings when you have them returned. Whether you are planning to store items for a few months to a year or more, prepping them properly will ensure they are in as good a condition as you left them. 

Declutter First

Even with the cheapest temporary storage in Melbourne, storage rent is calculated on volume. So, before you place anything in storage, consider if it’s worth keeping. Non-essential items can be donated, sold, or discarded, saving you from storing them and paying for a bigger unit or container. 

Make an Inventory

When you’ve decided what’s going into storage, the next task is to make an inventory. Pack all small items into containers, and pull furniture apart so it takes up less room. 

An inventory can help you determine how many cubic metres you will need, which helps you get a more accurate quote on storage costs. 

Storage Packing Supplies

Properly storing and protecting your belongings will require high-quality supplies, including:

  • Sturdy cardboard boxes
  • Bubble wrap to provide protective cushioning
  • Packing paper
  • Packing tape
  • Permanent markers
  • Furniture blankets and covers
  • Plastic wrap for dust and moisture protection
  • Packing foam or peanuts
  • Towels or extra linen for padding

How to Pack for Storage

These tips are the best way to protect your belongings against damage, dust, temperature, light, and humidity. Rodents, insects and other pests if they can get access to your items. Mould, mildew, and bacteria will thrive in a warm, humid environment, and dust can settle in every nook and cranny. Follow these steps to keep your stuff free from damage.

  1. Clean everything before it goes into storage
  2. Use high-quality storage containers to block light and ensure adequate airflow
  3. Cover exposed areas and line the floor of the storage area
  4. Consider temperature-controlled storage for delicate items
  5. Group items logically and label your boxes to make unpacking easier

Packing Furniture

Furniture is one of the most popular categories for storage for various reasons. Moving home, storing a deceased estate, downsizing, or renovating are all excellent reasons for temporarily storing furniture. 

Dust, clean, and disassemble your furniture before storing it. Taking furniture apart will use much less room than when it’s complete. Screws and other fixtures should be securely stored in small plastic containers or Zip-Loc bags and clearly labelled.

Wooden and leather items must be treated and double-wrapped with protective coverings to protect against dust and moisture. White goods like dishwashers, fridges, and washing machines should also be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected so they don’t become a breeding ground for mould and mildew. Keep the lids cracked open with a door stop or a small piece of timber to prevent odours from building up.

This step can save you a few dollars each month because you can get away with a smaller storage unit. Keep the legs on the heavier items, such as couches. Leather surfaces should be cleaned and conditioned if stored for a few months. 

Storing Mattresses

Make sure your mattresses are clean and odour-free. Remove the bedding, sprinkle some baking soda, and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before vacuuming. Let the mattress air for another few hours before moving on to the next steps. 

  • Wrap the mattress in plastic (consider using a long-term mattress storage bag)
  • Keep the mattress raised off the floor using pallets
  • Avoid stacking mattresses on top of each other
  • Don’t store anything on top of the mattress,  especially heavy items

Packing Fragile Items

Ceramics, glassware, and electronics will require extra attention to prevent damage while in storage. Bubble wrap, tissue paper, foam peanuts, and sturdy cardboard boxes will keep every item in one piece and prevent breakages during moving and transport. 

When storing multiple fragile items in the same container, consider using dividers or compartments to separate them. Labelling your containers or boxes will help you take the appropriate level of care during handling. 

If you are stacking items, place heavier, more durable objects at the bottom and lighter, more fragile pieces at the top. 

Pack Efficiently

The great thing about storage containers is that you can pack them to the roof to maximise the available space. Stack boxes and use plywood planks to create even levels between uneven boxes. Stacking on wooden pallets will improve airflow and protect against moisture buildup. 

Pack gaps between boxes and walls with packing paper, bubble wrap, towels, or linen to prevent movement during transport. Avoid using newspaper as this can leave black stains on furniture.

Terry Davison