How to decide what to put in storage and when

What to put in storage when moving

Deciding what to keep and what to discard when moving out can be harder than you think. Once you’ve gone through the must-take and will-leave lists, you’ll be left with a number of household items that you won’t be sure what to do with.

Sometimes the stress of having to make those decisions right there on the spot may be too much to bear. So, keeping your undecided belongings in a safe place, usually accessible 24/7, is a good way to reduce the stress of moving as it gives you more time to make the right decisions later when you’ve already moved into your new place. After all, it’s not a secret that extreme time pressure can often lead to bad decisions.


Without a doubt, furniture is one of the most common items in storage units. Why? Most furniture pieces are rather bulky and they tend to take a lot of space.

First of all, you may not have enough space in the new home for all the furniture items you want to take with you.
Secondly, your current pieces may not match the interior of the new place.
And thirdly, some of the furniture you’re moving may have already been made redundant by the fact that the new house or apartment is fully furnished.
And yet, the logical choice of getting rid of your unneeded furniture pieces prior to the move (like selling them at a garage sale) may not work for you in case you wish to keep them for their sentimental value. Another good reason to place furniture in storage is that you think you will need those items again sometime in the near future.

Furniture items most commonly found in storage units include:
Beds that have been disassembled to their main components;
Mattresses protected in plastic mattress bags;
Tables and chairs, often part of a dining room set;
Patio furniture, usually stored away for the winter.
When placing any furniture in storage, consider disassembling the larger pieces to save space in the storage unit. Also, make sure all furniture items are clean and 100% dry to prevent the growth of mold.

Seasonal items

Seasonal items such as clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. are one of the most frequent items people place in storage when moving simply because they won’t need them until the next season. And until that next season comes along, most people will have had enough time to figure out what they will do with the seasonal belongings they’ve stored away.

When you’re moving house, you can do the same and put some of your seasonal items in storage:

Clothes and shoes. You can choose to store away temporarily your out-of-season clothes and shoes until you decide what to do with them. For example, your winter clothes and heavy boots can be comfortably stored away during a summer move.
Various seasonal equipment. You won’t need your ski gear during the summer so you can put such season-specific items in temporary storage. Summer or snow tires are another example of things that you can store away according to the season.
Holiday decorations. Major holidays such as Christmas and Halloween are only once a year, so you can practically store away their holiday-specific decorations until you need them again. However, those decorations don’t usually take a lot of space so it may be better to keep them stored away somewhere in your new home.

Large household appliances

Kitchen stoves, washers, dryers, dishwashers, and refrigerators are big and heavy, so you may not have enough space for them in the new home. If you happen to be moving into temporary housing and you know you’ll be moving out again soon, then it makes sense to store away some of your large appliances until you come to need them again.

Another scenario where you may wish to store your big appliances for later use is when you’re moving into a new home that already has some of those units in there. And since you know that duplicating appliances is a bad idea in terms of living space (how many dishwashers do you need?), then it’s not really surprising that household appliances are one of the things you find in storage units.

Files and documents

You should always keep your important documents with you wherever you move to. However, there are many documents and work files that are not that important and yet you have to keep them for a number of years until it is safe to dispose of them properly – usually destroy them.

Examples of such documents include warranties for items you bought recently (you need to keep them safe until their respective warranty periods expire), receipts, certain medical records, financial documents, employment records, school records, etc.).

Renting a reputable storage unit will give you the chance to keep those important but non-essential documents safe until you find a good place for them in the new home or you make up your mind what you should do with them.

Books and magazines

Regardless of how small your new place is, you should definitely have some books in it, at least your favorite ones. However, the living space may not let you move all of your books or magazines, so it’s only normal that you should consider placing your most loved volumes in storage until you come up with a better solution in time.

Make sure you do sort out your book collection prior to moving out with the purpose of getting rid of the books you don’t like anymore or you won’t ever read again. Remember that books become super heavy when packed in boxes, so give away, donate or sell the copies that are no longer important for you. In the best case scenario, the books you decide to put in storage will be the ones you want to keep having in the future.

Collectibles and artwork pieces

From all the things to put in storage, collectors’ items and artwork pieces are ones of the most common things that get stored away during a house move. Such a decision does make a sense in most cases considering the chaotic nature of most house moves – after all, people do want to make sure their valuable items are safe and sound until they move into a new home and settle down. And so do you.