Before you move into your storage unit, a little pre-planning and effort will go a long way in utilizing all available space and keeping your belongings safe from breakage.
How and in what you pack your belongings will make a big difference:
- Pack in boxes. Boxes designed for storage are sturdier and stack well, taking up less space. Box up as much as you can and avoid plastic bags as they trap humidity that can cause mildew. Tape up boxes securely, labeling each box with contents.
- Fragile items should be wrapped individually using bubble wrap or paper. Or instead of packing materials, use your towels and linens to wrap fragile items. (Or click here) for a full list of packing materials you already own. Mark these boxes “Fragile.”
- Distribute the weight in boxes evenly and make sure they are not too heavy.
- Pack books flat and in smaller boxes as they tend to get heavy.
- Storing clothing items, invest in a wardrobe box with a built in hanging rod that will keep your clothes from damaging wrinkles.
Preparing other types of items for storage
- Large Appliances: thoroughly clean and remove all traces of food to avoid attracting vermin. Tape down hoses and cords or if able remove and store inside the appliance. Defrost refrigerators and freezers to prevent water damage and mildew growth. Secure doors during transport, but leave slightly open before storing them.
- Furniture: Disassemble furniture if possible, put assembly hardware in a plastic bag, label, and tape to appropriate furniture item in an inconspicuous place. Treat wood with furniture polish and leather items with leather conditioner before you store. Wrap legs of chairs with bubble wrap.
- Electrical items: Pack in original boxes whenever possible otherwise choose boxes close to the original size and fill in empty spaces with paper.
Before you start placing items in your self-storage unit, determine what kind of access you’ll need to your stored items. Will you only need access when you move the items out or will it be more frequently? For the items you frequently need to access, place them in the unit last and near the front. All other items can be efficiently arranged in your unit to maximize space:
- Largest items should be placed against the far and side walls of the unit, working forward.
- Sofas and other large furnishings can be stored vertically saving space. If you have to store a sofa flat, a love seat can be placed upside down on top of the sofa. Chairs can be stacked seat to seat.
- Store smaller boxes on bookcases or boxes containing fragile items inside large wardrobes or other cabinetry.
- Stack boxes placing heaviest boxes on bottom, lighter ones on top. Fragile boxes can be placed on top of appliances.
- Pillows, blankets, and other bedding can be stored inside washers and dryers.
- Folded clothing can be stored in dresser drawers.
- Mirrors, framed artwork, and photographs should be wrapped and stored standing up.
- Try to group boxes for rooms together whenever possible.
- If possible leave some aisle space for accessibility.
Your planning before hand and when arranging your storage unit will pay off; moving out will be a breeze and you will have peace of mind knowing that your belongings are well protected and conveniently accessible.
This article was contributed by Eva Prada, a writer for the Self Storage Blog at usselfstoragelocator.com and omgstorage.com.