The dos and don’ts of long term self storage

Commercial and Business Storage | 18.02.16

If you are planning to be away from home for a prolonged period it’s important that you make every effort to protect and preserve your belongings carefully. Perhaps you’re heading abroad on a gap year or taking a sabbatical, or maybe you are renting out your property and need somewhere to store the items you normally keep in your home. If so, long term self storage is an excellent option. Here are some dos and don’ts to help ensure that your belongings are kept safe.


  • Use plastic or cotton sheeting on the floor to protect items from damage and to make it easier to move items around inside the unit.
  • Make sure antiques, delicate items and furniture are packed well with bubble wrap, dust sheets or newspaper to prevent damage.
  • Find out if your storage provider offers space for vehicles if you are not taking your car, motorbike or boat with you. Make sure cars are clean, dry and have a full tank before you store them.
  • Make sure clothes are clean and dry, and place them in cloth bags, suitcases or polythene covers.
  • Cover curtains with a dust sheet or store in a large, flat container to avoid creasing.
  • Pack valuable items out of sight towards the back of your storage unit.
  • Remove batteries from all your devices as leakage could destroy electronic items.
  • Store heavy items at the bottom of your storage unit with lighter items on top.


  • Forget items that you normally store in the garden or outhouses, such as mowers and garden furniture. Make sure these items are clean and dry before you store them and drain oil from mowers.
  • Store unwrapped, breakable objects next to each other as they could be damaged in transit.
  • Pack assembled furniture if it can be dis-assembled, as doing so will take up much more space. If you remove any screws, make sure they are stored close to the piece of furniture so you are able to put it back together when the time comes.
  • Stand sofas on their ends as this will put pressure on joints that were not designed to take pressure and could cause damage.
  • Use moth balls as these should only be used in well ventilated areas.
  • Pack anything that is dirty or wet as this can lead to corrosion, mould and mildew, both in packaging and possessions.
  • Store items you may need unexpectedly, such as keys to your property and passports.
  • Forget to label your boxes so that you can easily find items when you come to unpack.

If you are packing items away for a significant period of time, it’s important that you find a storage facility where your possessions will be safe and secure, with controlled temperatures and adequate ventilation. Make sure the self-storage unit you choose is within easy reach so that you don’t have to travel long distances to retrieve items when the time comes.

Other issues to consider while you are away
It’s important that you leave contact details so that people know how to get in touch with you while you’re away and provide details of emergency contacts so that others can be contacted if you are unreachable for any reason. Also make sure that you have a facility set up to meet your hire costs. Should your payments stop while you are way, your goods could be at risk.

If you are in the Bristol, Stroud or Gloucester areas and are looking for long-term storage, talk to us at Space Centre Self Storage. Our experienced and friendly team will talk you through the options and help to ensure that your possessions are kept in excellent condition until you return.

Image copyright: Tim Gouw

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