Table Of Contents

Preparing your belongings for storage can feel like a lot. Whether you’re moving priceless personal possessions, large pieces of furniture or business assets, there’s certainly a lot to consider.

- What items can be stored?

- What type of boxes or wrapping should I use?

- How do I best prepare my belongings for storage?

- How will I remember what I’ve stored and where?

- In this article we’re unpacking all of these questions and more.

Identify what you can and cannot store.

Already scooping up all of your belongings and dropping them into boxes ready for storage? Stop right there. 

Here’s what not to include in your storage space:

Food / perishable items

It may seem obvious, but most food items cannot be stored. Aside from the fact that foods have expiration dates and will mould and grow bacteria over time, there’s also the risk of attracting pests. 

Pesky little intruders like insects or rodents will sniff out your food and chew their way through most wrappers and containers. And, once they’re in your storage space, who knows what else they’ll take a liking to. The best option - leave all food items out of your storage boxes.

Flammable or dangerous items

Got a whole heap of fireworks, flammables, fuel or ammunition lying around? For safety reasons, none of the above belong in storage. 

Items such as paint or household cleaner may seem harmless enough, but if spilled or exposed to flame, they present real danger to your belongings and those around your storage space.

Animals and plants

As living creatures, animals and plants need the watchful eye and care of a human. Dark storage spaces without sunlight or supervision are no place for your furry friends or pot plants.


While storage spaces come with a high level of security, they’re certainly not the place to keep your cash or precious jewels. Best to leave those items in the safe deposit boxes at the bank.

Illegal items

Unlicensed or illicit (counterfeit/smuggled) goods are illegal and storage spaces are no exception to the law.

Create a list of the inventory.

An inventory list gives you a quick and accessible overview of what you are storing and where.

In the first instance this helps you decide what size and type of storage you’ll need.

It can also be helpful if you find yourself looking for an item you’ve put into storage, or as a quick and easy reference when you come to take your items out of storage.

Get all your packing materials in advance.

The best way to ensure your items are protected in storage is to pick up all the boxes, air-tight containers, blankets and packing paper you need before you get started. 

Think about it, you’re more likely to wrap fragile items or organise more efficiently if you have everything you need in advance.

Note: If you’re using a moving company, this step won’t be necessary as all packing materials are usually provided.

Storage shopping list

New cardboard boxes (suitable for short-term storage). TIP: Pick up a selection of sizes so you can allocate space for all of your things.

Air-tight containers provide a higher level of protection for long-term storage.

Packing tape. You’ll go through a fair bit of tape while packing so best to grab a couple of rolls.

Blankets are great for items like computers or tvs. They easily wrap, prevent dust build up and offer a buffer from any impact from other items.

Vacuum bags are particularly helpful for items of clothing. They reduce the space needed to store them and keep them protected from outside environment.

Packing paper is an essential item when packing into boxes. It can be used to wrap your items, fill up unused space in boxes and can protect items from impact when the boxes are moved.

Shrink wrap provides a protective layer over your upholstery. 

Tarp provides an added barrier between your items and moisture. They may also be placed on the ground of your storage space to protect the underneath of your boxes and furniture.

Clean and disinfect all of your items.

  • Use all-purpose cleaning spray over all surfaces.
  • Vacuum / deep clean sofas, chairs and upholstery.
  • Apply a protective spray (as appropriate, always read product instructions) for extra safe keeping.

Make copies of important documents.

Over time, printed documents can fade. That’s why it’s important to make digital copies of any paperwork that you place into storage. This acts as your back-up in the event that they lose quality.

Check your insurance.

It’s a wise move to check if your home insurance covers property kept in storage. If it doesn’t, you may be able to add it on as an extra or chat to your storage provider about their insurance options.

Label label label...

Carefully pack up your items by room or category, labelling your boxes and containers as you go. 

TIP. Allocate box numbers / categories and update each item on your inventory as you go.

While this process takes a little longer, it makes the unpacking process a whole lot easier in the future.

Get help moving.

If all the storage prep is still feeling like too much, the best thing to do is reach out to a secure, reliable, professional moving company to help you get your goods from A to B.  

Tip. Get the best price by using Upmove to get quotes from multiple trusted removalists all in one place for you to compare.

Ready for storage

Each of the steps mentioned above will set you up for storage success. Whether you’re in between homes, heading overseas, or just don’t have the space to keep your belongings at home or work right now, there’s a storage solution for you.

Chat to the team to explore your options today.

This article was contributed by Upmove - expert removalist services, trusted by thousands of customers across Australia. Check out their 9.8 rating from 100’s of positive reviews.