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Self-Storage: Helpful Storage Tips

Moving can be a stressful time in life… follow these helpful tips to keep your move going smoothly!


Things to do before storing your items:


  • Make a list of all the packing supplies you will need. This includes items like boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and pens/markers for writing on the boxes
  • Visit the storage facility where you plan to store your items. Take a list of what you expect to be storing, so that the facility manager can help you to determine the correct unit size for your needs.
  • If you are using a moving company for storing your items, be sure to schedule this well in advance.
  • Be sure to read any lease/contract/etc before you sign. Make sure that you are aware of any move-out policies, how and when you will need to pay your rent, and other critical information.


Storage “DOs”


  • Use pallets to keep your items off the floor of your unit – this helps with air circulation!
  • Use as much of the available space in your unit as possible – make a plan regarding how you plan to arrange your items. A good plan will save you time in the long run, since you won’t need to rearrange your unit! Remember to plan for any necessary aisles or other walking/moving space.
  • Use freestanding shelves to help organize your unit.
  • Label your boxes on all sides, and keep an inventory list for easy reference. This will save you time later if you need to find a specific item!
  • When packing your boxes, fill them – but keep them light enough to lift.
  • When stacking your items in your storage unit, always put the heaver boxes on the bottom, and lighter boxes on the top. This will prevent boxes from being crushed.  Most boxes will collapse if stacked more than 3′ high
  • Store your frequently-used items at the front of your storage unit for easy access.
  • Protect your items by covering them with moving pads, sheets, or light blankets.  Tight plastic enclosure will promote mildew
  • Be sure to check your unit once a month!
  • Disassemble items like tables, bed frames, and other furniture. This will save you space in your self storage unit! Wrap and label all pieces to make reassembly easier. Put all hardware together in zip-top bags, labeled appropriately, and taped/attached to the furniture item if possible.
  • When disassembling electronics (like computers, stereos, and other items with numerous cords), use color-coded stickers to make reassembly easier! Simply place a small colored sticker on the cord, and another on the port the cord plugs into – this saves later hassle of matching cords when you hook everything back up! If possible, store electronics and other items in their original boxes for easy identification later.
  • Be sure that all appliances are clean and dry before you store them – leaving doors slightly ajar helps to prevent mildew.
  • If possible, store couches on end, and stack chairs seat-to-seat – this helps to maximize your usable storage space! When stacking furniture, use paper or furniture pads between items to help prevent scratching.
  • Store mirrors and paintings standing up,  not laying down.
  • When wrapping collectibles or anything breakable, be sure to label it as soon as you wrap it. This makes it easy to identify (and not mistake it for junk later on!). Use bubble wrap or unprinted paper to wrap delicate/fragile items. Group similar items together, and mark the boxes accordingly.
  • Clothing and draperies should be stored on hangers and in wardrobe boxes to help retain the original shape.
  • Purchase insurance! If your items are worth storing, they are worth insuring. Contact your homowners or renters insurance agent, and make sure you have appropriate coverage in place.  We do not offer insurance.
  • Plastic totess work great for storing your dry items! They have tight-fitting lids, and stack easily.
  • Keep off-season clothing handy and easily accessible – it is not uncommon to need to store your items for longer than originally anticipated, so you will be glad that this is easy to find later on.


Self-Storage “DON’Ts”


  • DON’T seal your belongings! Let the air circulate.  Especially leather.
  • DON’T store food items!
  • DON’T pack your boxes so that they are too heavy to easily carry! This is especially true when packing books.
  • DON’T use printed newspaper for wrapping your items! The ink may smudge and damage your belongings.
  • DON’T forget to clean your appliances before storing them! Make sure they are clean and completely dry.  Leave refrigerator ajar.
  • DON’T store anything toxic or flammable! No paint, gasoline, oil, pesticides, or household chemicals.



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