Storage Tips

Proper packing is vital to protecting your personal items. Commonly used packing aids include: plain wrapping paper, Bubble Wrap, tape, rope, drop cloths, mattress and furniture covers, and cartons.

What Not to Store
Know Before You Start Packing
Packing Tips - General
Packing Tips - How to Pack Individual Items for Storage
How to Use Your Storage Space

What Not to Store
  • Dangerous Materials
    You are not permitted to store any goods that are illegal, stolen, flammable, explosive, environmentally harmful, hazardous, perishable, or that are a risk to property or person, e.g. chlorine, acid, paint, gasoline, etc.

  • Food
    Never store food, not even canned goods in your space; time and/or temperature can cause a can to burst. Food also attracts pests.

  • Valuables
    Important items (such as photographs, wills, jewelry, home videos, and important documents).
    If these items must be stored, a safety deposit box is the best place.

  • Delicate/Special Items
    Our storage units are not "climate controlled" (no air conditioning or heat).
    Glass globes filled with water or other liquids may freeze and burst during the winter. Candles could melt during hot weather.
    Items such as oil paintings, delicate/antique fabrics, or any item that could be damaged by changes in temperature or humidity should be stored in a climate controlled facility.

Know Before You Start Packing

Make sure you have the right assortment of boxes. Large boxes are not always the best to use. Think about weight rather than size. Dishes and books get heavy, small boxes allow for easier lifting.
Remember, It is easier to stack boxes if they are a uniform size.
  • Strong Boxes
    Use professional storage/packing boxes. They are sturdier than regular cardboard boxes, and they come in standard sizes.

  • Wardrobe Boxes with Hanger Bars
    These boxes make it easy to unload your closets - simply transfer the clothing on hangers into the wardrobe box.

  • Packing Tape
    You can buy special packaging tape, or use wide cellophane tape to seal boxes to keep dust out.

  • Packing Materials
    Bubble Wrap, Plain White Wrapping Paper, Tissue Paper, Styrofoam Peanuts
    Note: Newspaper is cheaper than buying wrapping paper, but it will stain clothing, plastic, glass, etc.

  • Zippered Plastic Bags
    Great for keeping smaller items together.

  • Magic Markers
    ("fine point" is easier to read).

  • Labels
    Use large colored labels to quickly identify boxes. Boxes should be numbered with labels containing the room name and contents.
    You can buy pre-printed colored ID labels for Kitchen, Dining Room, Bath, Living Room, Bedroom, Storage, Office, Fragile, etc. Place the ID labels on large white labels (if you place them on the cardboard box, they are harder to see).

  • Inventory List
    Before you begin packing, prepare an inventory sheet to record what is going into your storage unit. This information will come in handy later when you need to locate something.
     Download/Print Inventory Form
     Click to View Sample Inventory Entry

  • Camera
    Photograph or videotape any unique or valuable belongings.

  • Purchase a High Quality Padlock
    Barnyard Storage provides ample security to the premises, but you are responsible for providing the lock for your storage unit door. The lock should be a high quality padlock to help protect against theft. Most lock manufacturers recommend lubricating to insure performance.

    Locks are available for purchase in our office.

General Packing Tips
  • Pack up one room at a time.
    This makes it easier to group items for storage and moving to a new location.

  • Fill boxes completely to prevent tipping or collapsing.
    However, do not overfill - bulging boxes won't support as much weight when stacked.

  • Avoid packing boxes with too much weight. Make sure you feel comfortable carrying them.

  • Fragile items should be wrapped in tissue paper and packed loosely with plenty of padding. The boxes should be clearly labeled "FRAGILE".

  • Non-breakable items should be packed tightly in smaller boxes.

  • Books should be laid flat. Alternate the bindings so they will stack evenly.

  • When possible, small appliances and electronic equipment should be re-packed in the original boxes and then taped securely.

  • Use packing paper, Styrofoam peanuts or Bubble Wrap to fill gaps at the top and sides.

  • Number each box and label it with room destination and contents.

  • Label all cartons containing fragile items and avoid storing heavy items on top of these cartons.

  • As you finish each box, add it to your inventory list. Make sure every box is accounted for.

  • Group all boxes containing more valuable items together. They should be placed together in the back of your storage unit.

How to Pack Individual Items for Storage
  • Major Appliances
    • Refrigerators/Freezers
      Glass shelves should be removed and stored separately in boxes to prevent damage during the transport from your home to the storage facility.
      Wire shelves should have foam/Bubble Wrap between them and the inside walls to prevent movement during transport.
      Place an open box of baking soda inside to maintain freshness and leave the door ajar.
      Do not store other items inside; the shelves and linings can easily be marked or damaged.

    • Stoves/Ranges
      Make sure cooking appliances are CLEAN and DRY before storing.
      Wire racks should have foam/Bubble Wrap between them and the inside walls to prevent movement during transport.
      Glass doors should have should have foam/Bubble Wrap between them and the inside racks to prevent movement and damage during transport.
      Do not store other items inside appliances; the racks and/or heating elements could be damaged.

  • Furniture
    • Wood Furniture
      Disassemble large furniture as much as possible. To avoid damage and save space, remove table legs, tie together with twine or rope and label. Put screws and hardware in a plastic bag and attach to furniture. Do not use tape, it may damage the finish.
      Drawers should be filled with wrapped items or clothes.
      Polish wood furniture before storing it.
      Cover table tops and wood furniture with heavy craft paper or padded furniture covers. Do not use plastic.

    • Upholstered Furniture/Bedding
      Vacuum upholstered furniture and place mothballs in crevices to prevent insect infestation or nesting rodents. Note: Mothballs may stain certain fabrics when placed in direct contact.
      Mattresses should be covered and stored flat on level surfaces.
      Use pallets or pieces of wood under upholstered furniture, mattresses and box springs to avoid contact with concrete or metal.

  • Clothing
    Clothing and personal goods should be cleaned and packed in strong, secure cartons. Use wardrobe boxes for better clothing; they can be reused for off-season storage later!

  • Carpets and Rugs
    Roll up and secure with tape or rope.

  • Dishes, Glassware, Breakables
    Place a layer of packing material (e.g. scrunched paper or Bubble Wrap) inside the bottom and top of carton.
    Wrap each piece individually in tissue paper.
    Pack all of these items in such a way so that they won't bang against each other and fill any gaps in the carton with packing ... or use a "dish barrel" (with separators for glasses).
    Label the carton as "FRAGILE".

  • Mirrors, Windows, Screens, and Flat Artwork
    These items should be protected by packing material (e.g. Bubble Wrap) or stored standing upright in a flat-pack carton or a wardrobe box.
    Small mirrors should be carefully wrapped and packed in boxes.
    Cover large paintings, artwork, or wall mirrors with cardboard.

  • Electrical items
    Your electrical equipment should be handled with care. Wrap items individually in Bubble Wrap before placing in cartons. Fill any gaps in the cartons with Bubble Wrap or crumbled paper.

  • Electronic Equipment
    (computers, home entertainment equipment, cameras, etc.)
    If available, repack in original boxes; otherwise, wrap items individually in Bubble Wrap before placing in cartons. Fill any gaps in the cartons with Bubble Wrap or crumbled paper. Mark the boxes "FRAGILE" and identify which room they are to go.

  • Books
    Pack in small boxes or use "file transport boxes" which have hand holes that makes them easier to lift.

  • Battery Operated Appliances and Toys
    We recommend that you remove the batteries to avoid damage, as batteries can leak.

  • Silver, Gold, Brass, and Other Precious Metal Objects
    Wrap each piece individually in tissue paper. Wrap silver in NON-ACID tissue paper or plastic bags to help reduce tarnishing.
    Wipe all surfaces clean. Wrap these items in materials that will not mar the finish, such as Bubble Wrap. Make sure that any wrapping or packing material used with these items is chemical free (don't use old cleaning rags, etc.).
    Put packing material (Bubble Wrap or Styrofoam) in the bottom pf the box and seal it with tape. Mark the boxes "FRAGILE" and identify which room they are to go.

  • Non-Precious Metal Items
    Humidity can rust metal. Wipe chrome or cast iron with a little machine oil to help retard rusting.
    Items such as lawnmowers or file cabinets should be treated with a rust protector, or wiped with an oily rag before storing.

  • Mowers and Other Machinery
    (things in your garage or shed: snow blowers, lawn mowers etc.)
    Gasoline and oil are a fire hazard. Drain fuel and oil from all machinery.
    Follow the tips in your owner's manual or contact the original manufacturer if you no longer have the manual for reference.
    Do not put these items in boxes. Cover them in cloth tarps and secure with rope or heavy tape.
    Label each item after covering.
    Do not put boxes or other heavy items on top of your mechanical items.

  • Garden Equipment/Power Tools
    Use trash cans to store brooms, shovels, hoes and rakes and other long hand tools.
    Wrap sharp edges on tools or attachments to prevent injury.
    Power tools should be packed with plenty of cushioning.
    Tie or tape tool chests closed.

  • Sports Equipment
    Bicycle handlebars should be loosened and turned sideways. Cover the chains and pedals to prevent grease and oil from touching other items being stored.

  • Business Files/Inventory
    When storing business files and inventory, label all boxes and construct aisles so files are easily seen and accessible.

  • Miscellaneous
    Pack vinyl records on their edges to prevent warping.

How to Use Your Storage Space
  • Prevent Condensation Damage

    Humidity can damage boxes, cause furniture to warp and appliances to mildew.
    Help prevent condensation damage by leaving space between your boxes and the walls for air to circulate.
    Lay plastic sheeting on the floor and stack boxes on top of wooden pallets.

  • Plastic traps moisture. Use furniture covers, blankets, old linens or other fabrics, such as dust covers.

  • Place your more valuable items in the back of your unit and furniture towards the front.

  • Group items by label color for easy access.
    Stack boxes to the ceiling.
    Place large, heavy boxes in the rear of the unit.
    Stack lighter boxes on top.
    Place fragile items on the top of the stack.
    Store furniture carefully on boards or pallets.

  • Avoid placing boxes on top of dressers and appliances.

  • If your items will be stored for a long period (more than 6 months), or if you need to access items frequently, create an aisle down the center of the unit for easy access. Place items that you may need to access often in the front of the unit.

  • Check the unit often; over time, objects can shift. Check for insects, rodents, moisture, etc.