Helpful Storage Hints

Moving, Packing and Storage Tips

  1. Plan your storage space. Place those items that you may need to access often in the front. Allow for walkways
  2. Make up an inventory of your stored items and keep it in a safe place at home or in a safe deposit box.
  3. Place your storage items on 2 x 4 boards or on pallets to guard against dampness. Any concrete floor may become cold and damp.
  4. CAUTION: Do not store anything COMBUSTIBLE (paint thinner, gasoline, solvents, paints, etc.).
  5. Use uniform size boxes for easy stacking. Be sure your boxes are strong enough to hold 25 lbs. to 30 lbs. (It is best not to put too much in each box.)
  6. List the contents of boxes on all four sides; number the boxes and seal them with tape.
  7. Stack lighter boxes on top of heavier boxes.
  8. Dishes and glasses should be wrapped in paper and packed in sturdy boxes. Stack them on top.
  9. Pictures and mirrors should be wrapped in cardboard, marked “FRAGILE” and stacked on end.
  10. Furniture with drawers can be utilized as storage places for pictures, nick-knacks, china, silverware, small items, etc. Wrap them in table cloths, towels or blankets to prevent breakage.

11. Larger appliances make excellent packing cases for blankets, towels, tablecloths and clothes.

12. Shovels, hoes, rakes and hoses can be stored together in empty trash cans. Stack extra cans inside one another.

13. Tables having removable legs should be “broken down” to save space.

14. Sofas and love seats can be stored on their ends to save floor space. Always place a protective cover under the item on the concrete. Cushions should be wrapped in plastic and placed on top.

15. Cover stuffed furniture with cardboard or blankets to protect against dust.

16. If you stand mattresses on their side, “prop” them up so they stand straight. Otherwise they may tend to bend out of shape and become lumpy.

17. Rent the smallest amount of space you need and packed the space full.

18. Prepare your space by placing a protective cover on the floor under your goods.

19. Do not place heavy or sharp objects on top of upholstered furniture.

20. Use a good quality lock on your door. Cheap locks rust and do not provide good security.

Tips for Storing Specific Items


A refrigerator or freezer should be thoroughly dry and stored with its doors slightly ajar. Some items can be stored inside large appliances. Cartons can be stacked on top of stoves, refrigerators and freezers. Make sure that stove and baking equipment are cleaned before they are packed.


To prevent rust, white all metal surfaces with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil.


Pack books flat to protect their spines. Do not place boxes directly on the floor. Use pallets or skids to prevent moisture. Use packing paper to fill out and the pockets in the cartons. Do not pack fragile items in the same carton with books. Do not overload.


Clothing, curtains and drapes should be stored on hangers. If hanging facilities are not available, such items should be carefully folded and stored in dresser drawers or cedar chests along with bedding and linen. Some facilities sell wardrobe safe cardboard cartons which help protect your clothing. Food crumbs or stains should be removed before storage. Avoid storing anything that will attract rodents.


Place a pallet, cardboard mat or plastic sheet on the floor and stand sofas and mattresses on their ends. Disassemble beds and tables and wrap table legs in paper. If a table will not disassemble, put padding on the floor and place the table on its top with the links pointing up. Use dresser tops for stacking cartons and dresser drawers for linens or small delicate items. Keep upholstery off the floor. Most lightweight chairs should be stacked seat to seat or placed upside down on tables which cannot be disassembled. Place a light dust cover over your furniture.


Place a layer of packing inside both the bottom and tops of cartons containing glassware. Label all cartons containing glass. All items should be individually wrapped. Nest cups and bowls and stack plates, saucers and platters on edge. Wrapped glasses should be placed towards the top of the carton with padding above them. Fill all pockets with newspaper. Do not place heavy items on top of boxes containing glassware.


Save the cartons which contained delicate ornaments and pad the ornaments with packing paper and newsprint. Wrap strings of lights around a piece of card board before placing them in a carton lined with packing paper.


These items should be stored on edge, not flat. Mirrors and windows should be wrapped in cardboard and labeled “FRAGILE”.


Wrap large lamp bases in padding. Wrap smaller lamps and place them in cartons. Pack delicate lamp shades separately. Do not use newsprint to wrap lampshades or any other goods which may be damaged by ink stains. Do not store heavy items on top of cartons containing lamps or lamp shades.


Records should be stored on their edge to prevent warping. When moving a record player the tone arm and turntable should be secured to prevent bouncing.


Metal tools should be cleaned and wipe with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil to retard rust. Long handled tools such as rakes, shovels and hose should be cleaned, lightly oiled and tied in bundles.