Self-storage is actually an art and a science. Doing it properly and with some careful thought will ensure that your stacks of boxes will not fall over and possibly hurt you or damage your other things.
This will also help you know exactly where you put each item so that it will not be hard to find and retrieve later on. This way, you don’t have to open each box just to find one item. More importantly, packing and organizing your things will make them last longer – as they won’t be filled with dust or grime.
Here are 22 tips to help ensure success in using your self-storage unit.
Tips for Packing Boxes:
1. Stay organized: Before putting your things in a box, make a list and assign each item to its respective box. Make labels for each box and attach these labels to all sides of the box as well as the top of the box.
When making your list, also write down the estimated replacement value for each, particularly if you want to insure your things. If there are breakables, place “fragile” stickers on the box.
2. Use no more than two sizes of boxes: This way, stacking the boxes will be easier and more organized. Boxes should be sturdy enough that the bottom box can withstand the weight of all the other boxes being stacked on top of it.
3. Keep your items safe: As often as possible, put your items in boxes to prevent them from getting dusty.
4. Try not to waste space: Fill up the entire box but not all with heavy materials. You need to fill up a box completely to avoid its tendency to collapse or tip over. However, you should avoid filling it up with heavy items so that it won’t be hard for you to carry. When packing, fill the box with the heavy items first and then fill it to capacity with lighter items.
5. Avoid using plastic bags: Putting items in sealed plastic bags may seem like a good idea but it can actually invite mildew.
6. Pack books smart: When packing books, use smaller book boxes rather than putting them all in one large box. Store the books flat in the boxes rather than standing on end so that their spines will not be damaged.
7. Avoid a watery mess: Freezers and refrigerators should be stored with the door slightly open. Electrical appliances should be completely dry–defrost freezers and refrigerators, drain washing machines completely.
8. Pad your breakables: Pack breakables in bubble wrap or packing paper. Wrap mirrors and picture frames with bubble wrap.
9. Use wardrobe boxes: When packing clothes we recommend that you make use of clothes or wardrobe boxes where you can. Hang the clothes inside to ensure that they retain their shape.
10. Make use of old towels or sheets: When wrapping your things, use cloth and not plastic.
11. Store tools and equipment safely: When preparing metal tools and equipment for storage, you should drain these of fuel completely. A rub down with some oil will also help to prevent rust from forming.
12. Seal boxes with packing tape: Sealing your boxes will help ward off dust.
Tips for Organizing Your Self Storage Unit:
1. Plan ahead. Make a general plan of how you will place the boxes and furniture inside your storage unit before you get started.
2. Pallet the ground: Before putting the boxes in, arrange raised pallets according to your plan. This will prevent rats, silverfish and ants from making their home underneath your boxes. Be sure to also thoroughly clean the storage area.
3. Avoid mildew: Avoid putting in wet items as these may invite mildew, mold and other types of water damage.
4. Use shelves for storage: If there are shelves available, make use of them! Store smaller items or things you would like to keep handy.
5. Store smart: Store mirrors and frames standing on end, never flat.
6. Maintain accessibility: Stack boxes in such as way that each box can be easily accessed. Don’t store stacks and stacks of boxes together. Make an aisle that will allow you to access a box without having to move anything out of the way.
7. Keep important things front and center: Place the boxes with the things that you’ll most frequently need at the front part of a storage unit.
8. Dismantle furniture to save space: For instance, to store a table, you can remove the legs. Just be sure that all bolts and screws are kept in a labeled container and that you actually know how to put the piece of furniture back again.
9. Save space: Create more space in your storage box by using the hollow areas of big furniture. For instance, you can put in a box or two inside a wardrobe. The same goes for refrigerators, washing machines or stoves.
10. Avoid nasty situations: Place moisture absorbers, mothballs and rat bait in key areas.