Are you moving to a smaller place? Temporarily leaving home for a short-term job or internship? Taking several months to backpack across Europe? Whatever your specific case, one thing is certain—you’re going to need to figure out how to store your possessions so that they’re still in good shape when you return from your trip or get settled in your new home. In some cases, you may be able to safely store most of your belongings in your home, but in other cases, you may be better off renting a storage unit.
Whether you choose to store your household items in your own home or a storage unit, Next Door Self Storage has tips on how to pack away just about anything. Read on for advice on storing some common household items, and check out their infographic for even more tips.
How to Store:
Start out by looking up the lifespan of your beauty products to make sure you can still use them when you unpack. Mascara and foundation will only last about 3 months, but powdered makeup and lipstick lasts around a year and a half, and facial creams can last up to two years after opening. Once you’ve tossed the products that are going to expire, you’ll need to make sure your remaining products are completely sealed and stored in an airtight container to prevent bacteria growth or decreased absorption. Keep these products in a space that is no more than 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Clothes are pretty easy to store, but you do need to watch out for mold, mildew, and pest infestations (opening a box to find your clothes full of moths is no fun). Keep your clothes in cardboard or wooden boxes (or garment bags) in a space that is between 66-70 degrees Fahrenheit, or slightly cooler for fur garments. If you’re leaving your clothes for a long time, you may want to rent a temperature controlled storage unit. If you’re leaving your clothes for a really long time, attempt to remove and rotate them every year for freshness.
Electronics can be both expensive and breakable, so it’s important to be strategic about how you store them. Keep items like televisions, computers, and appliances in upright cardboard boxes, and pad any extra space in the box with foam packing peanuts. Avoid stacking boxes with electronics, keep them in a space that is between 50-70 degrees, and don’t forget to take out all batteries!
Disassemble any furniture that you can to save space and prevent breakage. If you have to take out any screws and bolts, keep them in small plastic baggies labeled with the name of the piece of furniture from which they came. In order to prevent fabric furniture from becoming mildewed, clean these items and bundle them up in plastic wrap before storing. If you’re storing a desk or dresser, pull out any drawers and store them separately from the frame. As long as your furniture is carefully wrapped and kept in a space that is between 55-65 degrees, you can store it for an indefinite period of time.
Fragile kitchenware, such as ceramic dishes, can be challenging to store, but the trick is to make sure they have plenty of padding. It’s okay to stack dishes, but make sure that you put a piece of fleece or felt between each individual item. Carefully wrap any china cups and saucers in acid-free paper, and place saucers in a padded box rather than stacking them. The good news is that once you’ve cushioned your dishes, you can store them indefinitely at up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Even if you’re in a rush to store your household items, take the time to pack everything carefully. It’s much better to put in some extra time and care now than to replace expensive or sentimentally valuable items when you return.