Renting a storage unit is a perfect solution when relocating to a new home, whether you’re looking for temporary storage while unpacking or long-term housing for things your new home can’t fit. But before you start aimlessly tossing your stuff inside a unit, be aware there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. From general items to furniture and appliances, here are a few bits of expert advice for preparing your items.

General items

  • Pack only clean and dry items, disassemble large items to better protect each individual part, use quality packing materials, provide sufficient padding, pack the boxes full and seal them tightly.
  • Organize and pack them in a systematic and practical manner, so that you can easily find (and access) anything you may need at a given moment.


  • Disassemble large furniture pieces. Protect small protruding elements with bubble wrap or rags. Pack all the detached pieces from each furniture item together and put small hardware parts (bolts, hinges, etc.) in sealable plastic bags, which you should then tape to the corresponding furniture to prevent losing or mixing the small parts.
  • Empty drawers and cubby holes; use a vacuum brush to remove dirt and gently clean surfaces with mild soap and water. Let the furniture air dry fully, preferably in sunlight, then apply protection spray and leather conditioner to protect wood finishes.
  • Cover the furniture with sheets and blankets or specialized fabric furniture covers (especially if your items will be stored long term). Secure the blankets in place with rubber bands, cinch straps, or plastic wrap.
  • Bonus tips:
    • Never place plastic wrap directly on wooden or leather furniture; it can trap moisture and heat and cause the wood or leather to warp or mold.
    • Choose white cotton sheets to cover wood furniture; dark fabrics can bleed color onto the items if the humidity level in the storage unit is too high.


  • Make sure any water is completely drained from the attached hoses or internal mechanisms of your household appliances (dishwashers and washing machines, in particular), otherwise water can freeze and damage the appliance during the winter months or cause mildew during warmer weather.
  • Empty any appliances you intend to put into storage and clean them thoroughly (needless to say, freezers and refrigerators must be defrosted first). It’s a good idea to add bleach or baking soda to the cleaning solution to properly disinfect the appliances and remove any bad odors.
  • Tie down and secure any attached cables and hoses. Store removed hoses or other attachments inside the appliance.
  • Bonus tip:
    • Leave the doors of your household appliances slightly ajar when they are in storage to allow for proper ventilation (it will help prevent condensation and bad odors).

Now that you know exactly how to pack your storage items, contact the experts at Gotham Mini Storage the premier Manhattan mini storage location for a variety of packing supplies and the perfect place to put them.