When you are moving, and some of your things need to be stored, there are a lot of decisions to make. Which facility to use, what size and type of unit that you need, and how to pack and store your things are all important concerns. An organized self-storage unit with easy access to your belongings will help you get the most out of the space you are renting. Let’s take a look at what you can do to make things even easier on yourself.
- Decide what items you need stored in your unit.
- Identify which items you will pack in boxes or plastic totes to be stacked in the unit.
- Figure out which boxes of items you will want to access most often so that you can place them closer to the front of the unit.
- Group your things by placing heavy and sturdy items in one area, and fragile ones in a separate area.
- Get the proper supplies. Sturdy boxes or lidded plastic totes stack well and take up less space. Many moving companies require packing in boxes when they are transporting your goods.
- You can purchase sturdy, standard-sized boxes to organize your self-storage possessions, along with special boxes for books, pictures, and mirrors, televisions, and videotapes.
- Bubble wrap or wadded paper is good for packing breakables, but use clean paper and not newsprint, as it can be dirtier and transfer to your packed items.
- Get more tape than you think you will need, and consider getting tape that is pre-labeled or some colorful labels to help you differentiate between rooms or different family members.
Box things up
- Put everything you can into boxes, it will keep things from getting dusty in storage.
- Fill boxes up all the way, it keeps things from shifting or collapsing. Add foam peanuts or wadded paper in any gaps.
- Be sure to distribute the heaviest items among several boxes if possible. Keep boxes light enough to make them easy to lift and stack.
- Label boxes on several sides so you can find contents easily when needed.
- Books should be packed flat, so they don’t get damaged.
- Wardrobe boxes with hanging rods are worth the cost when storing clothes.
- Unplug and defrost refrigerators and freezers ahead of time. Prop the doors open and be sure to wipe them down with bleach to keep mold and mildew from growing.
- To keep pictures and mirrors safe, you can purchase cardboard corners to protect weak areas of your frames, add bubble wrap and mark things “fragile.”
- Use covers or sheeting for upholstered items like sofas and mattresses.
- Seal bedding and draperies in vacuum bags for extra protection.
- Keep all assembly components like bolts and screws in clearly marked plastic sandwich bags and tape them to the backside of the furniture.
- Use furniture polish on wood surfaces for added protection, wipe down tools and other metal objects with a little oil.
- Keep a list of everything you have packed, with an estimate of its current replacement value. For high-value items, it would be wise to take photos. These can both be helpful in the case of loss or damage.
Utilize Storage for Seasonal Items
For those of us, who don’t live in Hawaii or able to enjoy the entire year outdoors, we must find a place for our BBQ grills, sports equipment, lawn equipment, and furniture for the winter months. There is always the garage if you have one. However, if you don’t have a garage or want to tie up all your garage space, a self-storage unit might be the solution.
- BBQ Grills – Burn off all traces of food and clean grill racks, clean and dry exterior and remove fuel source such as propane.
- Lawn mowers, trimmers, and clippers – Clean and dry exterior to prevent rust and then drain gas from tanks.
- Gardening equipment – Clean and dry to prevent rust.
- Lawn furniture – Clean furniture and dry thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew.
- Sports equipment – Inflate footballs and basketballs so they don’t crack; Bicycles clean and dry thoroughly, oil chain and remove some air from tires; smaller sports equipment can be organized in bins.
Finally, when emptying the moving truck and placing your items in the unit, be creative and use all of the space, especially along the walls. Do leave yourself some room to move things around or access items when needed, though. Use each of these moving tips and your belongings should be in great shape regardless how long they are in storage. Loading and transporting might be a job worth hiring moving services to handle.