How to Pack a Storage Container

Plastic storage containers on shelves


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Storage is a fact of life for many of us.  There just doesn't seem to be enough space for all of the things we need, but don't need right now.  Packing a storage container well can mean the difference between damaged storage and safe storage.  It all starts with the right container.

Pick the Right Container

Choosing the right type of container for your storage makes a big difference in how protected your items will be. Choose the right size, color, and be sure to check out the handles and lid. Remember that the light empty container may not be so easy to move once it is filled with your stuff. If one large container will be too heavy, choose several smaller ones instead.  Some people like to coordinate the color of the container with the type of storage. They might use green containers for Christmas, blue for seasonal clothes, and so on.  Choose the system that best fits your storage needs.

Clear the Clutter From the Storage

It's amazing what we think we need to store. Once you've gathered all the items that need to be packed, go through them again and weed out any items that can be thrown away, given away, or actually used. Don't be afraid to get rid of unnecessary items in order to have room for the stuff you really need to store.

Create a Packing List

Even with a label, it's a good idea to make a more detailed packing list for your storage containers. Write brief descriptions on a list and put copies in your household notebook, in the box itself, and in your files. These lists will be helpful not only when you need something out of the box, but also for insurance purposes. Be sure to update the lists when you change out storage container contents. Lists of the contents of your holiday boxes can also go in your Holiday Planning Notebook. 

You can take pictures of the contents of each box and save those in a folder on your computer.  Just change the file name to correspond with the label you gave the box.  This is especially handy for visual people who would rather have a picture than a list.

Pack the Container

Packing the container carefully will allow you to prevent damage, and maximize your space. Group like items together. Don't be afraid to pack a smaller container inside a larger box if it will help consolidate and sort smaller items. These smaller containers can add structure and support, protecting items inside the box.​

Label and Store the Container

Label each container once it is packed up neatly, and your packing list is complete. A good system is to label each container with a number that corresponds to a number written on the top of its packing list. If you want to add additional labels, (Christmas garland, baby girl size 6 months) you can do that as well. Having a number that corresponds with a packing list will help you find items quickly.