Freeing Up Space At Home

Freeing Up Space At Home

How to Pack Sensitive Items for Your Storage Unit

Billie Gonzalez

If you're like many Americans, you've had to downsize recently to save money. With downsizing comes trying to find a place for all of your most treasured items. Renting a storage unit is a fantastic way to hang on to these items without overcrowding your home. In this helpful article, you'll learn how to pack up sensitive or delicate items before bringing them to your unit. From protecting your photos to preventing wood warp on guitars, this guide will help you to protect your items for years to come.  

Musical Instruments

Musical instruments are incredibly sensitive to temperature, humidity, and mildew. If not packed or stored correctly, wooden instruments may warp or even crack. Instruments made of metal may rust, rendering them ineffective or destroying them completely. 

Protecting musical instruments in storage starts with renting a temperature and humidity-controlled unit. As much of the concern is related to extreme temperatures and moisture, this will single-handedly provide you with most of the security you need to ensure that they're safe. 

Humidity should be set to around 45 to 55 percent when storing wooden instruments. It suggests using a hygrometer near the instrument itself to detect levels each time you check on your items. If you aren't able to rent a unit with climate controls, use a case humidifier to maintain the right moisture balance within the case itself. You can purchase these at any music store.

To store metal instruments, disassemble them entirely and clean them as per the manufacturer's instructions.  If you aren't able to rent a climate-controlled unit, your biggest concern should be preventing moisture damage versus damage from temperature extremes. Store reeds in an airtight container with dark sides to prevent mold and mildew. Oil the instrument well before you put it into storage, and be sure to use an airtight case.


If you've ever left a cigar out overnight, and then tried to smoke it, you know why proper storage is important. Dry cigars taste like a burnt campfire when you smoke them, and often lack flavor and depth. If you're a true aficionado, you must invest in a humidor before you bring them to the storage unit. This is true even if your unit is temperature-controlled, as cigars tend to be very sensitive to minor changes in the air.

When you use a humidor, you control the humidity surrounding your cigars on a more exact basis. This prevents the tobacco leaves from breaking down, molding, or developing a crispy texture. Too dry, and it will burn down in just a few minutes. Too moist, and it won't burn at all. For the majority of cigars, setting your humidor to 60 or 70 percent humidity is just right. You should also ensure that the storage unit's room temperature is sitting between 68F and 72F whenever possible.

You may be wondering why you can't just set the unit's humidity and be done with it. This is a short-sighted approach, as minute changes in the air can still occur when changes occur outside the unit. Even opening the door to check on your cigars will throw the humidity off for at least a few hours. A humidor provides a much smaller space that's easier to control over large periods of time. 


Film prints are one of the most common items to keep in a storage unit. Many families leave a box of photos in their unit, as it provides protection in the event of a house fire or potential disaster. It also prevents them from being stolen during a break-in. Unfortunately, poorly stored photos may break down or disintegrate over time. 

To keep your beautiful printed memories looking their best, follow the same instructions as professional photographers. While packing them away, wear latex gloves to avoid getting oil from your hands on the print itself. The oil and salt present on your hands won't break the paper down right away, but it may over time—resulting in cracks and shredding along the areas you touched.

Before packing up your precious prints, scan digital copies just in case. If something happens to them, you'll still have the memories to look back on.

When storing photos, you want the temperature in your unit to be somewhere between 65F and 70F. Warm air will cause photos to degrade more quickly. Also, be sure to place each of the photos in an acid-free photo album that's designed for long-term storage. Then, close up the album and place it into a box to keep it in the dark. This is enough to protect the majority of photos. 

One final note: Never store photos with rubber bands, glue, tape, paperclips, or photo negatives. All of these break down over time, releasing gasses that will cause your photos to break down more quickly. You can store them in the unit, just not in the box the photos are sitting in.

Now that you have the information you need to protect your most precious treasures, you'll be able to focus on downsizing with far less stress. With a little know-how, a bit of organization skill, and persistence, even the most proliferate collector can safely store their items away. For questions about using a storage unit effectively, or to rent a unit, contact a storage unit provider today.


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About Me
Freeing Up Space At Home

About a year ago, I realized that my house was too jam packed with items. I was tired of dealing with the crowded space, so I decided to rent a storage facility to improve things. When I moved things out of the house, it was amazing to see how much more light and airy the space felt. Overnight, I felt invigorated and excited about my home. This blog is all about storing furniture to free up space at home, and learning how to store things in your storage unit the right way. You never know, you might be able to free up some space in your house, without compromising the integrity of your belongings.