Portable storage and self storage are two convenient ways to free up space in your home while also keeping your valuables safe. Once you’ve chosen a storage unit, you’ll need to consider the necessary precautions to safely pack and store your items to avoid damage. Alternatively, if you opt for portable storage, be sure to go with a storage company that can keep your contents level at all times.

To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of the most difficult and delicate items to store, and the extra steps you should consider when packing them. Follow these guidelines to store your belongings like a professional!

Important Documents

It’s easy to misplace or damage loose documents. Paper sleeves and folders can help categorize paperwork and protect them from moisture and dust. We recommend creating your own filing system by using labeled filing boxes to organize documents by type, date, or in alphabetical order. For added security, opt for a plastic or metal file box with a lock.

Musical Instruments

First, you’ll need to ensure your storage unit is climate-controlled. Musical instruments are sensitive to temperature and should be kept above 5 degrees celsius and at 40% humidity. If you don’t have a hard case for your instrument, it’s time to make the investment. Hard cases provide support and protection against physical damage. Before placing the instrument in its case, ensure it is clean and free of dust. Next, loosen the strings and disassemble any parts that can be stored separately. Add extra padding but avoid using small, loose materials such as packing peanuts since they can get stuck inside the instrument.

Vinyl Records

You’ll need to clean your records before putting them in their sleeves (use a vinyl brush or microfibre cloth). To prevent warping, records should be stored standing up, never flat on top of one another. Use durable plastic crates or reinforced cardboard boxes. Ideally, records should be kept at a temperature of 20 degrees celsius.

Delicate Dishware

Unfortunately, there’s no way to simplify the cumbersome process of packing dishes, you’ll need to wrap each individual dish with a cushioning material such as bubble wrap. When placing dishes in a box, add a protective layer of material on the bottom and place heavier items first. Your best bet will be to use a reinforced cardboard box or sturdy tupperware container to store your dishes.


When wrapping your paintings, choose a material that allows air to circulate but prevents contact with dust. Plastic wrap can lead to condensation, so stick with tissue paper or sheets of fabric. Always store paintings vertically– a painting rack will be the safest option. Paintings are also extremely sensitive to temperature, so aim for about 55% humidity and temperature of 20 degrees celsius/


First, use thick masking tape to make an “X” across the mirror. Lay a sheet of cardboard over this surface for extra protection. In the event that it falls, this will prevent it from shattering. The corners of the mirror should be covered with cardboard before wrapping the entire mirror with bubble wrap, covering all directions. Finally, store the mirror upright with nothing on top of it.

Oversized Furniture

You’ll first need to remove all of the extra pieces (cushions, legs, screws, etc.) and put them in labelled bags or containers. Next, use old sheets, blankets, or drop cloths to loosely cover the furniture. Again, plastic locks in moisture, so avoid using it when you can. Pay extra attention to hard, sharp edges– they should be wrapped individually with an extra layer of padding!

One last tip of expert advice–don’t cram too much inside your storage unit! You don’t want things falling over and damaging other delicate items. To avoid this, ensure you map out your storage unit ahead of time and have a designated spot for everything. If you are using boxes, don’t forget to label them as “Fragile”!

To help keep track of what you stored, download our useful inventory checklist.