Tips for Storing Fragile Items

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Self-Storage is a great solution for storing so many things like furniture, appliances, electronics, photos and books, seasonal items, sports equipment, camping gear, and bikes. It’s also great for car storage, moving storage, garage storage, business storage, tool storage and so much more!

Self storage really is versatile, which is why we’re so passionate about it!

Whether you are storing for a couple of months or 10 years, it’s important to correctly store your items, especially delicate and fragile things like glasses, bone china, porcelain, mirrors, antiques, furniture, jewelry, paper items, clothing and fabrics, artwork, electronics, you name it. Why? Incorrectly storing fragile items can result in them breaking or being damaged beyond repair. And depending on what that item is, it could be costly to replace or fix, or it may be irreplaceable or even heartbreaking if it was a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation. 

With over 20 years of self-storage experience, we’ve seen our fair share of items stored, which is why we’re sharing our guide to packing fragile items and storing them. Whether you store fragile items at home or in a self-storage unit, there are things you can do to help prevent damage and maintain their current condition.

10 Tips for Storing Fragile Items

1. Use the Right Supplies

If you follow us on social media, you’ll know that we LOVE bubble wrap. It’s not just the soothing sound and the feel of popping it that we love so much, either. It’s a great storage supply to have, especially when you’re storing delicate or fragile items.

Overall, packing materials and supplies are essential in helping keep your fragile items in pristine condition when stored. What sort of packing supplies do you need for storing delicate items? It really does depend on what items you are storing.

The most important thing that you need are sturdy boxes, in a variety of sizes and types.  Depending on what you are storing, and how valuable these items are, you may want to invest in mirror boxes, dish boxes or wardrobe boxes, which are all specially designed for storing these types of items. Using them (and using them properly), can help minimize and prevent damage to these items placed in these boxes. You can also use quality plastic stackable bins with secure lid. They are a great alternative to cardboard boxes! 

Other supplies you may need or want to consider using include:

  • Bubble wrap – It’s a tried, tested, and true classic when it comes to protecting items in boxes or any packaging. We suggest that you wrap fragile items individually with bubble wrap (and secure it with tape so it stays put). Just laying bubble wrap in a box or covering items with a sheet of it does not stop or minimize items from jostling around and bumping into each other, which can cause damage.
  • Foam peanuts or packing peanuts – This is very commonly used loose fill-packaging that provides extra cushioning to fragile items when packaged in boxes for storage. It’s easy to use too – as you put your fragile items in the boxes or containers, pour the foam peanuts in so that they fill in all the empty spaces.
  • Packing paper or kraft paper – This is commonly used to wrap glassware, books, and items that you do not want to get scratched. It also provides extra cushioning and shock absorbing when bunched up like tissue paper and used to fill in empty spaces in boxes. Newspaper is commonly used in place of these higher quality papers but does not provide the same robust protection. It is very thin and tears easy. In addition it can leave marks or stains on certain items after prolonged storing.
  • Stretch wrap – This stretchy plastic film is great to use if you need to keep items tightly bound. It’s commonly used for wrapping pallets, but it can be helpful when storing large fragile items, especially antique furniture.
  • Packing tape – This is great for sealing up your boxes once they are packed up and ready for storage. Why invest in it? It’s more durable than shipping tape and continues to work in both hot and cold environments.
  • Cardboard dividers or felt dividers - While these are commonly used when shipping items, these are great when storing fragile items because they gently hold your highly delicate items in place, keeping them from jostling about which can result in cracks and breaks.
  • Furniture pads or moving blankets – These heavy-duty cloth coverings are ideal to use when you’re moving and storing delicate or vulnerable furniture items. They basically hug your stuff, creating a layer of cushioning and absorbing any shock.
  • Padded inserts or foam inserts These are fantastic to use when storing fragile items made from glass, ceramic, or porcelain. They are dense but very lightweight so you can fit or mold them to the inside of a box to create an effective barrier of protection. These basically give your fragile items something gentle and soft to snuggle against and into.
  • Markers – We explain these in #5 and #6 below.

Here at Storage Solutions, we make getting supplies fast and easy by offering quality and affordable moving and packing supplies at our storage facilities for purchase. If you don’t have a budget for supplies like these, common household items like towels, sheets, blankets, or comforters can be used to wrap larger items like antique furniture, pictures, artwork, mirrors, and televisions. 

2. Pad Your Boxes

Now that you have the right packing supplies, it’s time to prep your boxes by lining them before you start to fill them. Why? This adds an extra layer of cushioning and protection. Your fragile items will have something extra to support them anytime the boxes are moved around. What do you pad them with? Bubble wrap, foam inserts or padding, even packing or kraft paper. If you don’t have any of that, consider using an old towel.

3. Wrapping Your Fragile Items

Depending on what you are storing, use one of the appropriate packing supplies mentioned above in #1, to individually wrap each fragile item you want or need to store. Be sure to use tape to secure the wrapping around the item so that it remains in place, and therefore can do its job. If you need cardboard or felt dividers to keep the items from touching each other, this is the time to add them to the box. Once those are in place, cover with packing peanuts, foam padding, bubble wrap or bunched up packing paper.

4. Pack Light

No matter how well wrapped your delicate items or antiques are, if you put too many in a box, the chances for damage increase. It’s very important when storing fragile items to leave lots of extra space in these boxes so items have room to breathe and shift. That ‘breathing room’ is filled with packing peanuts, foam padding, bubble wrap, packing paper, or household towels or bedding so that when the items do shift, they are coming into contact with soft, gentle materials designed to absorb shock, cushion and protect them.  Whenever your packing boxes in general (fragile items or not), consider following the tips and advice in our how to pack a box infographic.

Another important reason for packing light is because boxes are commonly stacked when stored away. If they are over-filled, become too heavy or bulge out, as they are stacked, they could crush boxes beneath them, damaging what’s inside.

How many items per box is best?  That really depends on the size of the box, the type of the box (is it a specialty box that already has dividers in place?), and what you are storing inside.  

5. Take Inventory of What’s in Each Box.

Make a list of what’s in each box or container. This is one of our favourite tips to share, and one that we encourage our customers to do for anything they store. This tip is really helpful when storing fragile items because these type of items are wrapped up so even if you have a clear plastic bin, you cannot see what is inside. That’s not convenient or helpful. In fact it can make it very frustrating and time consuming to find something that you need. Taking inventory is pretty easy. Simply list the contents on the outside of the box or jot it on a price of paper and tape that to the outside of the box or container. If you’re worried the paper may get damaged or torn, put that in a plastic sleeve and affix that to the box. You just need to pull out the sheet of paper to update it or replace it.

6. Mark These Storage Boxes as ‘Fragile’

The items in these boxes are fragile, and it’s important that this information be clearly and boldly noted on these boxes. It acts as a visual reminder and will help ensure that they are handled with care by you or anyone else who happens to be moving them or has access them.

7. Stacking Matters

In this blog post we’ve commented on stacking boxes already, but it’s a pretty important thing so we’re still dedicating a section to it. Really, no matter what you are storing or for how long, how you go about stacking stored items matters.  We suggest that anytime you stack boxes, you always put heavier items on the bottom, and light ones on top. If you’re storing fragile furniture, we do not suggest you lay anything on top of these items.  Even with furniture padding on them and a layer of stretch wrap, you could still damage the furniture by storing things on top of them.

If you are storing lots of things and many differently types of things, #8 can really help.

8. Consider Shelving

Using shelving in your storage areas at home, work or in your self-storage unit is a great way to help organize and further protect the items you are storing. It keeps them off the ground, helps control how high you stack boxes (there is only so much space between shelves), and the shelves offer a study base to store your fragile items on. BTW - we have tons of great tips for how to organize and maximize your self-storage unit space In our blog.

9. Consider Temperature-Controlled Storage

Depending on what fragile items you are storing, which may have high monetary or sentimental value (or both), you may want to consider renting a temperature controlled self-storage unit. These types of units regulate the temperature across the units, commonly between 55°F and 85°F, which provides an added layer of protection for your belongings. Investing in the extra protection helps guarantee that your items will come out of storage in the same condition as when they went into storage. It’s definitely something to consider.

10. Security, Security & Security!

Fragile items often do have high monetary value (and sentimental value) and even with insurance, these items may not be replaceable. It is truly in your best interest to find a self-storage facility that is secure and makes your security a top priority. Here at Storage Solutions, we offer 24-hour surveillance, gated access, well-lit yards, and we have real staff regularly walking our facilities doing security checks. Learn more about what really makes a self-storage facility secure. Another important security must-have it a lock on your storage unit. Not all locks are created equal so it’s important to pick the right one. Here’s our expert advice on how to pick a lock for your self-storage unit.

 

And there you have it - lots of solid expert tips for storing your precious fragile items! We hope that you find these fragile storage tips helpful, and that by taking a little more time and care in packing these types of valuable items for storage, you keep them in pristine condition.

 

Choose Storage Solutions for Your Self-Storage Needs!

Want more information about renting a storage unit from us or looking for help figuring out the best type of self-storage unit for your needs? Give us a call or send us a text at 905-854-1008 or email us at info@storagesolutionsontario.com. If you want to discuss storing fragile items and whether a temperature-controlled unit is right for you, we’re here to listen to your storage needs and give the expert advice. We’d also be happy to help you rent a storage unit, or you can rent 24/7 online through our website.

You can also check out our sizing & pricing page to help you figure out the right sized storage unit to rent, plus you can visit our YouTube channel where we have lots of online tours of our Milton self-storage facility and Woodstock self-storage facility, including the many different sizes and types of storage units we have for rent.

For more helpful tips & tricks, advice, or a good laugh, keep up with our self-storage blog and like or follow us on Instagram & Facebook.

Your friend in self-storage,

Storage Solutions


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amer hashem (Milton)
a month ago

Very reliable storage. A good solution to park your car and keeping it protected from all weather conditions. Although a bit remote location.. but the price and the service was worth it.


Riley Rogozynski (Woodstock)
a week ago

I went in to find out some information on storage units for when I move in a couple weeks and was happily surprised by the customer service I received. I had looked at a few other storage facilities in Woodstock but their customer service was terrible compared to Jared's from Storage Solutions. He was professional and understanding of my needs and was ready to help anywhere he could. I will definitely be spreading the word to any of my friends looking for units!


Jennifer Sibbitt (Milton)
a week ago

Staff are very friendly and helpful. The facility is well maintained, clean and secure. I highly recommend Storage Solutions!


Janet Kennedy (Woodstock)
2 weeks ago

Great rates for a clean, secure, well lit place. Really good staff and a company that cares. New facility and the competitors are pretty tired looking and charging the same rates (if not a bit more).


Abeer Nauman (Milton)
a day ago

Very friendly staff. Always great service. Would highly recommend.


Lindsay Munro (Milton)
4 months ago

My husband and I recently relocated from the US and needed a place to store all of our belongings while we secured a new home. The folks at Storage Solutions advised us on the right size unit for our needs, at the right price. They were kind and helpful with all of our "first-timer" questions. We were very confident in the security of the place, and had absolutely no issues. I would highly recommend and use them again if needed.


Ashley Kelly (Milton)
a month ago

Been storing office and personal items for years. Have had various size units. Prices are great and staff has always been helpful.