Much like packing a moving truck, packing a self storage unit takes a bit of planning and skill. The goal is to use all of the space in the most efficient way, while still maintaining some access to your items in case you need them while they’re in storage. How do you do this? Simply use the tips below when you pack your storage unit.
Tip #1: Leave a walkway: When you are packing your unit, be sure to leave a small path through the middle of the unit. This way, if you need to retrieve something later you won’t have to unpack your entire unit to access it, even if it’s packed away near the back of the unit. It may feel like the space for a path is not being used effectively at first, but the second you need to find something, you’ll be very happy it’s there.
Tip #2: Use boxes and labels: Because you want to maximize the space in your storage unit, using boxes that are uniform and can be stacked high is important. This way, you are utilizing all of the available vertical space. Don’t forget to label the boxes, and be specific. After months in storage, you won’t remember which kitchen box the blender is in. Face the labels of your boxes toward the walkway for easy identification.
Tip #3: Take inventory: Before you pack up your items, make a list of exactly what you are placing in the self storage unit. This is important because it will allow you to recall what’s inside later in case you need to access something. It is also important because if a natural disaster occurs and you need to file an insurance claim, then you will have an accurate account of what was inside. It may seem like something you wouldn’t easily forget, but time may prove otherwise.
Tip #4: Use covers: Hopefully the storage facility you have chosen is safe and clean. But, they likely don’t provide cleaning services inside the unit! Cover your furniture to protect it from dust and moisture. Mattress bags, sofa covers, and upholstery bags should all be on your prep list.
Tip #5: Pack tallest to shortest: The tallest and bulkiest items like furniture and mattresses should be closest to the walls. Starting with the tallest items in the back and the shorter items in front, closest to the aisle, will give you a clear view of what’s inside your unit at first glance and help you use the space in the most efficient manner.
Here’s ten MORE tips for using self-storage:
1. Use dryer sheets to keep insects and spiders away. Place them in all corners and boxes especially by the front of the unit. The sheets will also keep your items smelling fresh! (Be sure to replace the dryer sheets monthly to maximize results)
2. Use breathable materials such as cardboard for storage so that moisture isn’t trapped. Never store your items in plastic bags or other airtight containers.
4. Put charcoal in a saucepan and leave it in your unit. It will help absorb moisture.
5. Make the most use of vertical space by stacking boxes of the same size and storing couches on their side. Use shelving along the sides of your unit for even more space and organization!
6. Use mattress covers to keep mattresses and box springs dust-free. Or you can use 2 fitted sheets to cover the top and bottom to keep the dust away.
7. Leave a small space between the walls and your boxes. It prevents mold and allows for ventilation. Also use our wood pallets to keep your boxes off the floor for further ventilation.
8. While most items you store will be temperature resistant, be cautious with very sensitive items like electronics. Don’t store them in extremely cold weather. Freezing temperatures can ruin electronics like flat screen TVs and can even wipe the hard drive of laptops and computers! If you remove the items in the cold, allow them to sit for 48 hours in your heated home before plugging them in to prevent plastic components from cracking.
9. Drain all fuel from leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other gas-powered machines. When storing your car, make sure the gas tank is either completely full or completely empty to avoid condensation!
10. Pack your truck backward from how you would like your unit packed. A little planning goes a long way!
These are just a few tips to get you started. Be sure to ask your A-1 Storage manager for more tips and tricks to make your storage experience the best it can be!