To avoid these mistakes, it’s important to plan ahead

Sometimes you need the calendar to stretch a little when you’re moving. Delays between moving out and your new lease start date, getting your apartment painted or the carpeting cleaned, are just a few of the things that can prolong the time between your move-out date from your move-in date. So what do you do with everything for a few days, a week or two, even a month until you can move in? There are a number of options for storage that you should explore.

Whether you’re moving across the country or just down the street, you need to ensure that your belongings are packed and stored safely. However, many people make common moving storage mistakes that can lead to damaged or lost items. To avoid these mistakes, it’s important to plan ahead and be mindful of the storage process.

Properly Prepare Your Things for Storage

A common mistake people make is not properly packing their belongings before placing them in storage containers. It’s important to use sturdy moving boxes and packing materials to protect fragile items, such as dishes and glassware. Additionally, it’s essential to label each box with its contents and the room it belongs in to make unpacking easier. Plastic totes might be fine for your local move but not for storage. Unlike cardboard boxes, once the totes are stacked up for storage, the bottom ones will begin to crush in a matter of days, causing everything stacked on top to shift or fall. If you know you will need to store everything for a few weeks, use cardboard boxes to pack. Be sure to fill them to the top with items of with packing paper. Cardboard boxes hold up much longer in storage than plastic totes.

What’s The Right Kind of Storage?

Self-storage is a good place to keep your holiday decorations or things that might clutter your apartment or your garage, but is it the best place for all your belongings between moves? What’s the occupant of the unit next to you storing? Food that might attract bugs? Chemicals or flammable items? In self-storage you will have to handling everything twice if you are moving yourself, or you will need to pay the movers for two moves as they deliver into the storage unit and then come back to load everything again. If you are hiring a mover, you’ll end up paying for two moves. Container companies offer their storage containers to hold your shipment, but there is often a prohibition against them dropping their container on the street near your home, and you’ll need to arrange the labor to load and unload. Movers offer full-service storage. They’ll load everything at your home, keep your furniture safely padded and protected, place the goods into storage vaults for up to 180 days, and deliver everything to your new location, all while being responsible for loss or damage to your goods. This “single source liability” increases the value of having your mover keep everything until you are ready to accept delivery.

Keep a Good Inventory

You’ll be amazed at how quickly you forget what you put into storage. MiniMoves® crews will place a numbered sticker on every furniture item and box that we remove from your home. We describe each item and note any condition issues before moving (nicks and scratches or no nicks and scratches). We give you a copy of the inventory so we both have a written record of the things you placed in storage. When your shipment delivers, we use the inventory to check off each item and record any change in condition. If you are putting your things into self-storage and handling your own move, creating a good written list is helpful for you and might be beneficial in case of an insurance loss if the goods are lost or stolen while in a self-storage facility.


It’s also important to consider the location of your storage and decide if you will need access to your items while in storage. If you are moving from state-to-state, it’s best to store your shipment at destination in a city near your new home. It is easier and faster to schedule delivery if the shipment is already in the area. MiniMoves® offers storage at any one of our 135 terminal locations across the country. We can delay the delivery of your shipment for just a few days at no additional cost or for up to six months with additional storage and handling fees. Call us for a free moving quote today. We can quickly determine the cost of storage if that’s a service you need. If you are moving locally in the Chicago area, we offer short and long-term storage at our headquarters facility. Ask your MiniMoves’ relocation consultant for a no cost, no obligation quote for moving and storage service.

Self-storage, container storage, or mover’s storage each have benefits, costs, and risks. Explore your options so you can find the best home-away-from-home for your furniture between move-out day and move-in day.