If you're moving to a new home and won't have room for everything you own, putting some items in a storage unit is a great option. This way, you'll have them on hand later on when you need them and have more space for them. But in order to ensure your items emerge from storage in good condition, you need to follow a few tips when packing them away.

Make sure everything is dry.

You may want to clean some items before putting them in storage. For instance, you may want to wipe the dust off a figurine or wash some towels. Before you put any of these freshly cleaned items into a box, make sure they are 100% dry. Otherwise, you risk them growing mold and developing a mildew scent.

Choose smaller boxes.

It can be tempting to pack everything into a few big boxes. But when this happens, you're increasing your risk of dropping a box. You'll also increase the number of items that are damaged if a certain box should happen to fall or get knocked about in storage. So, opt for more smaller boxes rather than a few large boxes. The heavier the items, the smaller the boxes you'll want to choose. For instance, you should pack books in smaller boxes than linens.

Don't spray anything on the items.

Spraying air freshener or perfume into a box may sound like a good way to keep items smelling fresh, but the oils in these products can lead to discoloration. If you're really worried about bad odors, pack an open box of baking soda in the box. It will absorb odors, and if it happens to spill on the items, it's easily brushed away.

Put lighter items on top.

When your items are in storage for a long time, the weight of heavy items will compress lighter items. So always stack items within a box from heaviest to lightest. For instance, you'll want to put books on the bottom and pictures on the top -- not the other way around.

Label everything clearly.

You may not need everything in your storage unit at once. To prevent yourself from having to open countless boxes to find what you need, make sure you label each box clearly. Use permanent marker so the labels persist even if a box accidentally gets damp.

With the tips above, your items should stay in pristine condition even if they're in storage for a year or two. For information on renting a self-storage unit, contact a storage facility like Capitol City Storage.