How to pack for long-term storage

Whether you are going overseas, decluttering, or downsizing, investing in long-term storage rental units is the best way to protect and keep your belongings safe. They are an ideal solution if you need to put your items away for six months or longer.

When looking for a suitable storage rental unit, consider the location, size of the units available, and extra features or add-ons the company offers. For example, if you have fragile items or electronics, it’s best to find a climate-controlled unit to prevent damage to your things. However, keeping your items safe and secure begins with how you pack them before you store them.

Tips for packing your items for long-term storage

Moving can be a challenge, and the best way to overcome hassles is to plan and be prepared. Here are some of the steps you can take to prepare and pack your items for long-term storage.

Packing materials

There are different materials that you can use to pack and protect your items. Where you’ll be storing them and for how long play a big role in determining the right material for your move. Consider drop cloths or moving blankets for furniture and airtight containers for smaller items. It’s best to avoid plastic materials as they can trap moisture and cause mould to grow inside, ruining your belongings.

If you’re looking at purchasing new materials for packing up, look for sturdy cardboard boxes. Purchase several boxes in different sizes so they can be stacked easily.


It is good practice to wipe down your items before you pack them. This reduces the likelihood they’ll start to smell musty. You can use an all-purpose cleaning spray or some disinfectant wipes. It’s also a good idea to vacuum any upholstery furniture before you store it away. You can also apply a conditioner to keep them in good condition.  However, be sure that all your items are dry before packing them or putting them in your long-term storage unit.


Old televisions, computer monitors and other electronics are popular items for long-term storage units. If you’re considering packing away some of your unwanted electronics, it’s important to do so carefully to avoid damage. Here are some ways to properly prepare your electronics for storage.

Use original boxes

While not everyone is in the habit, if you’ve kept the original boxes that your electronics came in, use them to repack it for storage. These packages were uniquely designed to protect your device, and they’ll continue to do so.

Opt for climate-control

Opt for long-term storage rental units that come with climate control to ensure your electronics will stay safe no matter the weather. In climate-controlled units, the humidity and temperature levels will be consistent. It helps prevent damage to your electronics during the extreme weather that some Canadian seasons can bring.

Avoid dust

Even if you put your electronics into storage, you should give them some added protection by wrapping or covering them. This will help keep the dust out of your devices. You can use linen or bubble wrap to make sure dust won’t clog your electronics.


Seasonal clothing can be stored away in a long-term storage unit to help you save space at home. When you pack them, use a wardrobe box or a hanging garment bag. This keeps your clothing looking its best and avoids dust or mould damage. If you have thicker items like heavy sweaters, you can safely store those in vacuum-sealed bags. These bags keep your clothing clean and free from dust, but they are also ideal for storage units by condensing items.


Packing your furniture for long-term storage requires a little extra attention. You’ll want to begin by cleaning the furniture. Then disassembling larger pieces of furniture. Use plastic bags to keep all the smaller elements together like screws, washers, bolts, etc.) Wrap furniture legs with bubble wrap, furniture covers, etc., to protect them. Cover your furniture items with thick materials to prevent scratches and avoid dust getting on your furniture.

If your furniture consists of mattresses, you’ll want to inspect it to ensure it is dry before you pack it. Use a mattress storage bag to wrap your mattress in for the long term. This protects from dust, moisture or dirt. When placing your mattress in your storage unit, don’t rest it on its ends or sides because it may cause structural damage.


Another common item for storage units is books. Safely pack your books by wrapping them in soft packing paper for the first layer of protection. Then lay them flat in boxes, which protects the book spine from damage. Cardboard boxes are the best material to use for the long-term storage of books. Seal up the boxes to keep dust or moisture out.


When you move your items into your long-term storage rental unit, consider how and where you place them. If possible, store them a little off the ground, like on wooden pallets to avoid moisture. Lay down a tarp or sheet on the floor of your storage unit to protect your belongings from humidity that can be on the ground in your rental storage unit. It’s also a good idea to leave some space between your boxes and items. Ensure there is a clear row in the centre of the unit to allow you to get to your items in the back.

It can also be helpful to create a list of the items you have in your storage unit. An inventory list can keep you organized and also serve to remind you what stuff you’ve put in your long-term storage rental unit.

Storage unit insurance

When you store your belongings in a long-term storage rental unit, you may want to look into insurance to protect your items. Many of these insurance policies are sold at affordable rates that you can pay annually, bi-annually, or monthly. Talk to your homeowner or renter insurance company if you want to have an insurance policy that covers your storage unit.

For a reliable long-term storage option, contact Northern Mini Storage in Greater Sudbury.

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