How to Pack: Long vs. Short-Term Self Storage: Holiday Edition

Posted on December 09, 2019

holiday storage tips

Keep your Christmas ornaments shiny and neat by storing them in plastic containers for long-term self-storage after the holidays are over.

Did your artificial Christmas tree come out of its self-storage slumber, looking like the sad one from A Charlie Brown Christmas? Damage to seasonal decorations and other items can occur when not packed properly. Keep your things safe while saving space with our handy guide and learn how to pack for both long-term and short-term storage.


Contain your Christmas Spirit

Just like at the grocery store, you may wonder whether plastic or cardboard is best when choosing a container to pack and store your items. While all boxes and containers help to save space in a unit, not all are created equal.


Cardboard: While cardboard is less expensive, lighter, and easier-to-use, it is not always the best vessel for long-term storage or for use in a mobile storage container, as it can be susceptible to heat as well as moisture. However, cardboard works well in a temperature-controlled unit for short-term storage. The boxes can also be broken down easily after use. 


Plastic: Sealable plastic bins are the best for long-term storage as they are sturdy, stackable, and can protect items better from moisture and heat. However, plastic bags or containers are not recommended for clothing and fabrics, as they can trap moisture, causing discoloration and mildew. Wardrobe boxes are a better alternative. While reusable, plastic cannot be broken down and recycled like cardboard, posing a less-than environmentally sensitive solution.


Specialty moving boxes: A combination of cardboard lined with plastic bubble wrap or other protective packing material, a specialty box is best for packing fragile items such as holiday decorations, mirrors, electronics, and larger-than-normal items for both short-term and long-term storage.


Don’t Break your Bulbs

From crystal wine glasses to Christmas lights and ornaments, glass is one of the trickiest items to pack for either short-term or long-term storage. Glassware can become brittle in cold air, so it's essential to look for self-storage options such as heated storage units if you plan to store glass items for the long haul. Take further precautions by individually wrapping all glassware in packing paper, making sure to stuff paper inside bowls and glasses. Pad the interior of the container with more paper or use a specialized cardboard cell box for stemware.

Seasonal tip: Store string lights by winding them on a plastic coat hanger or a piece of sturdy cardboard. Use an egg carton to pack and store small glass ornaments.


Make Merry without Mildew

While most storage facilities protect your items from the elements, moisture can still permeate your belongings if you don't correctly pack them for long or short-term storage. Prevent moisture and mildew by packing items such as clothing, leather furniture, paper, and soft plastics in a climate-controlled storage unit. Pack all items in waterproof containers, and use a file box for relevant documents. Use moisture absorbers or desiccants to limit humidity. Make your desiccant by filling a small cloth bag with either: 

  • Rice
  • Salt
  • Silica gel
  • Kitty litter


Seasonal tip: Protect Christmas decorations by packing them in clear plastic storage containers. Take extra precaution with battery-operated decorations by first removing the batteries before packing.


For more information, read 5 Tips for Using Portable Storage Units in Kelowna During Winter.


Are you looking for a great deal on a mobile storage unit in Kelowna and Vernon? Ask about Space Centre Storage’s MI-BOX storage containers. We deliver your MI-BOX to your home or business. Load it at your convenience. When ready, have it picked up for storage inside our climate-controlled warehouse or delivered to the location of your choice.


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