For many people, the decision to move from their own home into an assisted living center is an incredibly painful one. Along with all the complicated emotions that come with making the decision, you might also have to deal with difficult financial decisions about which facility to choose and what to do with the elderly person's possessions and home.

If you're helping your aging parent move into a care center, you don't have to wrangle with the same level of emotional difficulty that your parent does. Instead, you'll probably help them by handling the bulk of the packing, storing, and cleaning as they assemble the items they're taking with them and store the others so someone else can move into the home.

Ensuring your parents' items are stored correctly and cared for can go a long way towards improving their state of mind while they go through this challenging adjustment. Below, we'll walk you through a few steps you can take to pack your parents' lifelong possessions carefully so they come through their stay in storage intact.

1. Choose the Right Storage Facility

Before you even begin deciding which items you're storing and how you'll pack them, choose the place you're going to store them. You should look for a facility that has versatile storage options so you can find the perfectly sized unit to store a lifetime's worth of possessions.

Most importantly, though, you need a storage facility that promises to take good care of their customers' items. The units need to be clean and dry, especially if you live in a humid area like Virginia. The facility should also have adequate security, including 24/7 cameras and experienced site managers.

It won't matter how carefully you pack your parents' possessions if the storage facility you choose doesn't work hard to keep their units dry, clean, and pest-free. Talk to the on-site managers of any facility and tour the units before you make a choice about where to store your parents’ items.

2. Pack Carefully

The items you end up storing could be as diverse as the clothes your parent doesn't want to take with them to the prized china you might sell in a later estate sale. To make any future sales easier, pack like things with like — all the dishes together, all the clothes together, all the books together, and so on. Doing so will also protect the items from damage during their time in storage.

If you only need short-term storage, you can probably get away with storing certain items in cardboard boxes as long as they're tightly sealed. However, plastic airtight boxes will do the best job of protecting your parents' items from damage. Plastic boxes tend to cost more, so if you have to make hard calls about which items to store where, put the most perishable ones (like books and clothes) in plastic.

Consider wrapping fragile items like paintings or delicate glassware in bubble wrap. To keep dust off of furniture, cover it with old sheets.

Finally, take care as you stack the items in the storage unit. Remember that they'll be there for a long time, and you obviously don't want to crush anything under too much weight. Place the heaviest things on the bottom, and don't stack too high — you don't want anything tipping over.

Whether you're looking to store some of your parents' items while they settle into a new lifestyle or you need a unit of your own, Tysons Self Storage in Vienna, VA, is here to help. We have several dozen unit sizes for you to choose from, so pay us a visit today and find the perfect unit for you.