Packing 101: What to Consider for Short-Term and Long-Term Storage

Packaging and packing are two very common terms used in the container storage industry. The two cannot be done without the inclusion of boxes or containers, and the quality of the packaging material also matters. In addition, the tape used to seal and secure the boxes and how they are stacked for storage is vital. Therefore, the material used for packing is as essential as the storage method (how you pack your belongings) after packaging them.

Believe it or not, how you pack your stuff will differ depending on how long you are putting them away for storage. The methods used for short-term storage does not always work well for long-term storage. How you put the items inside the storage unit also can differ. It all points to the crucial element of staying organised and ensuring your belongings are safe. Moreover, it will save you time and money.

Short-Term Storage

When it comes to short-term storage, you are talking of a period of anywhere between a couple of days to three months. It should be a stop-gap measure meant to offer some flexibility when you want a bit more space for your belongings. Short-term storage is a common consideration for people when moving house or office, renovating, or having relatives staying over for a while. They are the awkward times when that extra space becomes a saviour.

When putting things inside your storage unit, try to leave room for an aisle in the middle for you to move in and out of the unit comfortably. Arrange the boxes, containers, and other items against the wall, stacking them to ensure you take advantage of the vertical space.

When sorting through your things, note any fragile items that need extra protection and attention when packaging for short-term storage. Given the frequency within which you will be moving things in and out of your storage unit, the fragile or valuable items need a bit more care since they have a higher risk of getting damaged. Therefore, wrap them properly to insulate them from any impact when putting them away. Additionally, pick a spot where they will not shift or be moved a lot.

Long-Term Storage

Long-term storage is what you should consider when wanting your belonging stowed away for an extended period. That means you will be storing them for more than three months; therefore, you need to have a few things in mind when putting your things into long-term storage.

Not everything will go into plastic bags. While they might be an ideal option when you want to protect your items from water damage, they are excellent at trapping moisture, and this speeds up the growth of mildew and mould.
Instead, use sturdy boxes. You might be quick to use boxes you recycle from your grocery trips or packages you received from recent shopping, but they will not stand up to the strain synonymous with long-term storage. What you need are cardboard boxes with a corrugated lining. Pick a few of a similar size to ensure your stacking stays organised. Plastic stacking boxes are also a viable option, but they should be of high quality.

Again, be attentive when handling your fragile and valuable belongings. Wrap each item individually in newspaper or bubble wraps and place them in boxes stuffed with void filler, and mark the boxes accordingly. It will help you identify them from other stuff and to know where to keep them safely for the long term.

Keep your clothes or fabrics sealed. You can use vacuum-sealed plastic bags or containers for this; they are excellent for storing curtains, clothes, soft furnishings and beddings, protecting them from insects and water damage.

As is with any storage plan, you must label everything you plan to stow away for the short-term or long-term. Always do this even if you are planning to leave the times in there of a fortnight. We recommend keeping an inventory list of what you have in your storage unit. It can be on a clipboard hung on the inside of the door, in your mobile phone, or anywhere else you can remember and access as need be.