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Packing and Organizing Items for Long-Term Storage

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Whether traveling, deploying, or moving away long term, students missionaries, and military families often need help packing items for long term storage. Packing up your entire home in preparation for a long-term move is a huge task and staying organized is KEY! In this post, I share our best tips for getting organized for long-term storage. How to pack up your items and store them without losing track of your items.

Packing tips for missionaries and long term storage

I’m using the phrase “long-term” pretty loose here, we will be gone for 3 years and I’m considering anything over 6months long-term.

We currently have boxes, bags, and luggage all over the place. We hope to leave mid-August so the packing frenzy has begun!  We will be bringing at least 16 bags with us over to Ireland when we move and while I would love to pack my KitchenAid Mixer and nicer china that’s just not possible so those items need to be packed up and stored back here in the US. 

Some boxes will be stored in my in-law’s attic, some up in CT with my family, and other items may be in a storage unit. With boxes all over the place, we wanted to be sure to keep a good inventory of what we have.

Long Term Storage Packing Tips

I began to realize that I needed a system.  I needed to know what we’ve packed and where everything is stored.

Today I’m going to share one of the packing tips that I think will be will be a huge time-saver down the road.

First things first, gather your supplies

Collect your boxes, labels and other packing supplies.  We have been using large Avery labels to label our boxes. I like the larger labels so I can number each box and list what is in each box.

  • Boxes – We use egg boxes from a local grocery store. We love that these big boxes have handles and are very sturdy.
  • Sharpies The bolder the better!
  • Packing Tape – lots of it!
  • Newspaper, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts. – Call a few local stores and ask them if they could save packing supplies for you. or just ask your best friend  – worked for me!

Label and Track Everything

Each box we packed is labeled with a large white label in the top left corner of the box.

This is what I wrote on each label:

  • The room that the items were for
  • I gave each box a NUMBER (for tracking)
  • A detailed list of items inside
How I Labeled my Moving Boxes

 On a separate notebook, I tracked all of this information.

Moving Boxes List

If you need items while you are away family or a friend can find the exact box or item you need quickly.  This is useful if you need something that you’ve left behind. When you return home it will be easier to find what you need when unpacking. Once I’m done packing I’ll type up all of this in a spreadsheet that I can share with family or friends if I need to. I’ll also add to this list any items that we’ve loaned out so we remember who has what.

I’m hoping that these extra steps will be worth the extra time down the road when I’m wondering where my favorite cookbooks are.

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Hey Donna