Packing and Storing Tips from our friends at Westy Self Storage

Making a big move can be filled with new and unique challenges. Here are some things to consider to make packing and storing your items as easy and pleasant as possible, courtesy of the storage experts at Westy Self Storage!

Pack to make your home transition as stress and surprise-free as possible

  • When packing boxes, choose new, unused boxes of uniform size. Used boxes from the grocery or liquor store may be damaged, wet, or bear food residues that can attract pests. Uniform boxes will make it easier to move and transport the boxes, as they will stack securely.
  • Heavy items like books and dishes should be packed in small boxes, so they are easier to lift.
  • Fill all voids in boxes with packing material to prevent items from shifting when moving them.
  • Pack thin, fragile items like dishes and picture frames on their edges to lessen the chances of breaking. Wrap each item and fill all empty space in the box with packing material. The objective is to make sure these items do not move in the box.
  • Take a photo of the wire set up on the back of your electronics like your tv, desktop, or router to have an easy reference. Wrap cables up and label them according to which devices they connect to.
  • Color code your boxes with colored tape by the room the contents came from. This will help movers place your boxes where they should go, and help you unpack efficiently. Label boxes with the type of items in them, not only on the top, but on the sides as well, for visibility when the boxes are stacked.
  • Keep important documents and valuables like jewelry and cash separate, and move them yourself, if possible. Otherwise send them ahead via a secure method.
  • Pack a box or suitcase with the essentials like toiletries, a change of clothes, and a set of dishes, so that you can get settled in right away without having to do some major unpacking the first day in your new home.
  • Let the movers pack and wrap large, heavy items, and smaller valuables, as self-packed items often do not fall under the mover’s insurance.
  • Start packing early! A few boxes a day will get the job done. The same applies for unpacking.

When storing items at home, or in self-storage, consider some of your most precious items may need the right conditions to prevent damage.

  • Fabrics are susceptible to pest damage in storage situations. Prevent this by dry cleaning clothing, bedding, and rugs before storage.
  • Store clothing, sheets, and linens in airtight bags, or boxes. Rugs should be professionally cleaned and stored in plastic, ventilated rug bags.
  • Valuable furniture and artwork can be damaged by fluctuations in climate. Materials and finishes can warp, crack, or lift. Store these items in a place with a stable climate!
  • All paper is mildly acidic, which can cause personal mementos, and important documents to deteriorate quicker if not stored properly. Store important papers in acid-free cellophane envelopes, archival boxes, or between layers of tissue paper. Keep them flat in an air-tight container away from light, and in stable climate. Attics and garages are NOT ideal for storing papers!

Make the most of your storage space!

  • Sofas should be stored on their ends (except sleeper sofas, as the mechanism may twist), to minimize their foot print.
  • Many tables and beds manufactured recently can be disassembled to save space in storage. They virtually disappear when stored flat up against a wall!
  • Use sturdy plastic totes of uniform size for long storage, they are durable and stack well, making the most of the height of your space.
  • Try adding modular shelving sold at many home goods stores if you anticipate needing to access things in storage often. This will make it easier to look for the item you want.
  • Consider making an inventory list of what is going into storage. Keep a copy in your storage unit, and one at home so you’ll always know what is in your storage unit.


  1. New Jersey Warehousemen & Movers Association website (
  2. Allied Van Lines (
  3. American Moving & Storage Association (
  4. Orkin Pest Control (
  5. The National Archives (


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