If you use self-storage for valuable items, then you will want to make sure that your most precious belongings stay in perfect condition. Self-storage is a cost-effective way of storing excess belongings, business stock, and for a multitude of other storage requirements.
But, to get the best from your self-storage experience, then you will need to spend a little time making sure your valuables are properly packed and stored.
To help you, the experts at U Store It have compiled a complete guide to help secure and preserve your stored valuables.
Assessing Your Valuables
A crucial first step is to assess your valuables. This is important because it allows you to understand the unique requirements of the valuables you are storing. Here are some of the steps that can help you effectively assess your belongings.
- Create an inventory: Start by creating an inventory of all the items you intend to store. This will help you to keep track of your belongings and ensure nothing is misplaced.
- Categorise: The next step is to categorise and prioritise your goods. For packing purposes, the easiest way is to categorise them by fragility. This will help you to prioritise more fragile items, both for packing and when it comes to storing them.
- Insurance: For more valuable items, we always recommend that you consider specific insurance is taken out.
By assessing your valuables in advance, you’ll have a clear understanding of their unique characteristics and storage needs. This knowledge will guide you in selecting the appropriate packing materials and techniques for each item, minimising the risk of damage during storage.
Packing Techniques for Different Types of Valuables
Before we look at how to safely pack your different types of valuables, it is worth emphasising the importance of using good packing materials. Using high-quality packing materials lays the foundations for a painless self-storage experience.
With your quality packing materials at hand, let’s look at some of the essential packing techniques for different types of valuables.
- Fragile items (glassware, porcelain, etc.): Wrap each item individually in bubble wrap or packing paper, use dividers or cardboard inserts to separate them, and pack them in sturdy boxes with proper cushioning.
- Electronic devices (computers, televisions, etc.): Remove any detachable parts, pack cables separately, use anti-static bubble wrap or foam for protection, and consider storing them in their original packaging if available.
- Jewellery and accessories: Use small jewellery boxes or pouches for individual pieces, place them in a larger, padded jewellery box or organiser, and consider using silica gel packets to control moisture.
- Artwork and collectables: Use acid-free tissue or glassine paper to protect delicate surfaces, place them in custom-built crates or padded boxes, and add extra cushioning with foam or bubble wrap.
- Clothing and fabrics: Clean and dry garments before packing, use wardrobe boxes for hanging clothes, fold and pack folded clothes in sturdy boxes, and consider using mothballs or repellents for long-term storage.
- Furniture: Disassemble furniture if possible, wrap individual parts with moving blankets or furniture pads, protect corners and edges with foam or cardboard, and label and store hardware in sealable bags.
- Documents: Organise documents in labelled folders or binders and place them in suitable storage boxes. You may also want to consider making digital backups or using cloud storage for added protection.
- Musical instruments: Loosen the strings slightly for string instruments, place them in a hard case or padded bag, secure movable parts, and consider using instrument-specific humidity control packs.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, and you may need to look at specific instructions for particular items. But the important thing is to take your time and ensure that each item is adequately protected before they are placed in storage.
Securing and Labelling
Once you have your items packed, it is time to consider an often-overlooked aspect of self-storage. Proper securing and labelling of your goods:
- Use strong packing tape to seal boxes securely, preventing accidental opening or shifting during transport and storage.
- Label each box clearly with its contents and any handling instructions to easily locate and handle items when needed.
- Consider creating a detailed inventory list of all packed items, including box numbers or labels, for quick reference and organisation.
- Stack boxes systematically, placing heavier and sturdier boxes at the bottom and lighter ones on top to prevent crushing or damage.
This is an important step, and a little time spent here can ensure easier access, reduce the risk of damage, and makes it easier when you need to retrieve specific items.
Transportation and Storage
By spending a little time preparing and packing your belongings, the headaches of transportation and storage are substantially eased. But there is still care needed at this point. The following tips will help you to safely transport and store your belongings while maximising your storage space:
- Transportation: If you are using a removal firm, make sure they are a reputable company with comprehensive insurance coverage.
- Stacking: Place heavier boxes at the bottom of stacks to maintain stability and prevent crushing or damage to lighter items.
- Box size: There is always a temptation to choose the largest box. However, this can make them overheavy and/or difficult to handle and stack. Try to stick to appropriate box sizes, and for easier stacking, try to stick to one box size where possible.
- Optimising your space: Using your space cleverly is always beneficial, but don’t be tempted just to cram belongings in. Maximise your space by utilising vertical space (without dangerous stacking!) Storage accessories like shelves, hooks, and pallets can all help to optimise your space and keep valuable items off the floor.
It is advisable to periodically check particularly delicate items to ensure that the steps you have taken to prepare and store them have been successful.
Preparation: The Key to a Stress-Free Storage Experience
Taking a little time to prepare your valuables for storage and then ensuring they are properly stored is time well spent. The effort you put in at this stage will pay dividends by protecting your belongings for the duration of the storage period.
At U Store It, our experts are here to help. Please contact us if you need any advice about any aspect of storage or simply want to know more about our services and state-of-the-art storage facilities.