When You Shouldn’t Use Bags for Self Storage

What shouldn’t you pack in a storage bag? Whether you use garbage bags, canvas totes, or your old purses, take a look at the top times to skip the bag — and what type of storage container to use instead.

Should You Pack Books in Bags?

The answer to this question depends on the type of books, number of books, size of books, and bag selection. If you want to pack your books in bags for self storage:

  • Don’t use garbage bags. The sharp corner of a book can easily pierce the bag’s surface. This creates a hole or a slit that allows debris or dust in and allows your books to fall out.
  • Do consider thick canvas totes. A thick canvas tote can hold a few hardback or several paperback books.
  • Do cover totes. If you do choose to store a bundle of paperback books in a thick tote, cover the entire bag in plastic or wrap it in a storage blanket. The open end of the tote allows dirt and debris to cover your books.
  • Don’t pack anything that’s heavy. Carefully consider how much the books weigh. A heavy stack of hardbacks can break the straps or the bottom of a tote or other similar fabric bag.

If you shouldn’t use garbage bags to pack heavy or hardback books, what type of container should you use? Instead of bags, use plastic bins with lids. This container option is sturdier than a cardboard box and won’t allow books to poke through in the way a plastic bag could. A bin also allows you to neatly stack books for safer storage. The same isn’t true of garbage bags, totes, or other similar options.

Should You Pack Your Tools in Bags?

Most tools should not go into garbage bags or other thin types of bags — especially if the items are sharp or heavy. Whether you have a small-sized tool box filled with screwdrivers and other basics, sophisticated equipment, power tools, or garden tools, when you pack these types of items for storage:

  • Don’t use garbage bags. Like heavy books, tools can pierce a garbage bag or cause it to break. Not only does this pose a risk to your tools, it’s also a potential safety hazard.
  • Don’t use tote bags. Not only can tools break through the bottom of totes, but the open end of the bag is a serious safety risk. Sharp tools can stick out of the bag and poke or cut you during the transportation process.
  • Do use a tool box. Are your tools already in a box? If the tools are safely stored in a heavy-duty box, store them as-is.
  • Do use metal or other heavy-duty containers. If your tools aren’t already in a box, use metal containers or other similar heavy-duty options.

Some larger tools may not fit into a box or container. You may need to transport and store these items individually. Carefully move anything with sharp edges, drain oil/fuel from motors (when needed), and use moving quilts to wrap tools. Always label the tools to reduce the risk of injury and make it easier to find these items.

Should You Pack Breakables in a Bag?

Your grandmother’s glass vase, fine china, and stemware don’t belong in bags. If you’re not sure how to store these items:

  • Don’t use garbage bags. Again, garbage bags aren’t appropriate options to store breakables. Fragile items can easily bump against each other, crack, or shatter in a flimsy bag.
  • Don’t use tote bags. Totes, purses, or other similar bags aren’t safe storage options for breakables.
  • Do use specialized packing materials. Instead of bags, use boxes with dividers or other specialized containers.

Even though you shouldn’t use bags to store breakables, you can cut a garbage or other plastic bag apart to wrap fragile items. This won’t provide a cushion but can protect the item from dust or debris.

Do you need a self storage rental? Contact North Star Mini Storage for more information.