Long-Term Storage: A Step-by-Step Guide To Preparing Your Items

Long Term Storage | 18.08.23

Whether you’re downsizing, travelling, or simply decluttering, long-term storage offers a secure and convenient solution for keeping your belongings. However, preparing your items for long-term storage requires careful planning and execution to prevent damage and preserve their condition. This blog post provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to help you prepare your items effectively for long-term storage, ensuring they remain safe and in good condition for when you need them again.

Understanding the Need for Long-Term Storage

Before beginning the process of preparing your items for long-term storage, it’s essential to understand why long-term storage might be the right choice for you. Long-term storage provides a way to hold onto possessions that hold sentimental value, accommodate seasonal items, or keep belongings safe during extended periods of absence. By acknowledging your storage needs, you can better organise and prioritise the items that truly require long-term storage.

Deciding What Goes into Long-Term Storage

When it comes to organising and decluttering your belongings, categorising them into different groups can be incredibly helpful. One popular method is to divide your items into four categories: keep, donate/sell, store, and throw away. By doing so, you can efficiently assess the value and purpose of each item, making it easier to make decisions about what to do with them.


This category includes items that hold significant sentimental value or are regularly used in your day-to-day life. These are belongings that bring you joy or serve a practical purpose. For example, family heirlooms, treasured photographs, essential kitchen appliances, or frequently worn clothing fall into this category. It’s important to be selective and only keep items that truly enhance your life.


In this category, you’ll find items that are no longer useful or meaningful to you but could still benefit others. These might include clothes that no longer fit, books you’ve already read, electronics you’ve upgraded, or furniture that no longer matches your style. Consider donating these items to charity or selling them online or at a garage sale. Not only will you free up space, but you’ll also contribute to reducing waste and helping those in need.

Store: What You’ll Place in Long-Term Storage

Some items may not fit into either the keep or donate/sell categories, but you’re not quite ready to part with them. These could be seasonal decorations, out-of-season clothing, or items with potential future use. Place these belongings in labelled storage containers and find an appropriate storage space, such as a closet, attic, or rented storage unit. Remember to periodically reassess stored items to determine if they are still worth keeping.

Throw Away

Lastly, there will be items that have no value, use, or sentimental attachment. Broken or damaged items, expired products, outdated documents, or items beyond repair should be discarded responsibly. Dispose of them in accordance with your local waste management guidelines to ensure proper recycling or disposal.

By following this categorisation process, you can effectively declutter your space, reduce unnecessary storage costs, and create a more organised and functional living environment. Remember, the key is to be honest with yourself about what you truly need and cherish, allowing you to let go of the excess and make room for what truly matters.

Recommended: Decluttering Tips For A Proper Clean Out

8 Steps to Help You Prepare Your Items for Long-Term Storage

Step 1: Thoroughly Clean and Prepare Items for Long-Term Storage

Before storing your items, give them a thorough cleaning to prevent dirt, stains, or odours from setting in during storage. Wipe down surfaces, launder fabrics, and ensure everything is dry before proceeding.

Step 2: Gather High-Quality Packing Supplies

Collect sturdy cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, tape, and other necessary packing materials. Investing in high-quality supplies will provide better protection for your belongings.

Step 3: Disassemble for Efficient Storage

If possible, disassemble furniture or large items to save space and reduce the risk of damage. Take note of any hardware or small parts and label them clearly for easy reassembly later.

Step 4: Wrap Fragile Items with Care

Take special care of fragile items. Wrap each delicate item separately in bubble wrap or packing paper, securing it with tape. Place these items in padded containers to ensure added protection.

Step 5: Clearly Label Each Box That You Place in Long-Term Storage

Before sealing each box, take the time to label it clearly. Include a brief description of the contents and mark fragile items accordingly. This will make it easier to locate specific items when retrieving them later.

Step 6: Opt for Climate-Controlled Storage

Whenever possible, choose a climate-controlled storage unit. This type of storage space regulates temperature and humidity levels, protecting your belongings from extreme conditions that can cause damage over time.

Step 7: Strategically Arrange Items in Boxes

When packing your boxes, place heavier items at the bottom to provide stability. Protect fragile items by positioning them on top, ensuring they are secure and won’t shift during transport or storage. Fill any empty spaces with packing material, such as foam peanuts or crumpled packing paper, to prevent movement.

Step 8: Avoid Plastic Bags for Storage

Avoid using plastic bags to store your items, as they can trap moisture and encourage the growth of mould or mildew. Instead, choose breathable materials such as cardboard boxes or fabric storage containers. These options not only provide better air circulation but also help maintain the quality and freshness of your belongings.

By following this enhanced step-by-step guide, you’ll be well-prepared to store your belongings for the long term. It ensures thorough cleaning, proper protection, strategic packing, and consideration of the conditions in which your items will be stored. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that your cherished possessions are well-preserved until you need them again.

Choosing the Right Long-Term Storage Unit

Choosing the Right Long-Term Storage Unit When it comes to selecting a storage unit for your long-term needs, a few key factors can make all the difference. Consider these factors to make an informed decision:

  • Size: Find a storage unit that offers enough space to comfortably accommodate your belongings without feeling cramped. Avoid overcrowding to ensure easy access and prevent damage to your items.
  • Climate-Control: Look for a storage facility that provides climate-controlled units, especially if you are storing electronics. These units regulate temperature and humidity levels, protecting your items from extreme conditions that could cause damage over time.
  • Security: Prioritise the security of your stored items by choosing a facility with robust security measures. Look for features such as surveillance cameras, on-site staff, controlled access, and sturdy locks to provide peace of mind.
  • Location: Consider the convenience of the storage facility’s location. Choose a facility that is easily accessible to you, reducing travel time and making it more convenient to retrieve items when needed.

By taking these factors into account, you can choose a suitable long-term storage unit that ensures the preservation and safety of your belongings.

Recommended: Storage Unit Sizes: Choosing The Right Size For Your Needs

Maintaining Your Items in Long-Term Storage

To keep your items in excellent condition while in storage, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Regular Checks: Make it a habit to visit your storage unit periodically and inspect your belongings for any signs of damage or pests. Early detection can prevent further harm and help you address any issues promptly.
  • Rotate Items: Whenever possible, consider rotating the position of your stored items. This helps distribute pressure evenly and prevents prolonged strain on one side, reducing the risk of damage over time.
  • Insurance: Protect your stored items by considering insurance coverage. While storage facilities often have security measures in place, unforeseen events can still occur. Insuring your belongings provides added peace of mind and financial protection.

By following these practical tips, you can maintain the quality and value of your stored items over the long term. Remember, a little proactive effort can go a long way in ensuring your belongings are preserved and ready for you whenever you need them again.

Long-Term Storage with Space Centre

Looking for reliable and affordable long-term storage? Look no further than Space Centre Self Storage. With over 20 years of industry experience, we are the go-to choice for self storage in Bristol, Gloucester, Stroud and Stonehouse.

At Space Centre Self Storage, we prioritise the safety and security of your items. Our facilities are equipped with 24-hour CCTV surveillance and fire alarms, ensuring that your belongings are protected at all times. Whether you need to store personal belongings, business inventory, or furniture during a move, we have the perfect storage unit to meet your requirements.

Don’t settle for anything less when it comes to long-term storage. Contact us today and let our friendly and experienced staff assist you in finding the perfect long-term storage solution for your needs.

Not sure how much space you will need?

If you would like to talk to a member of staff about your requirements contact your local branch.

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