12 Tips for Successfully Storing Your Items
There are many reasons people need storage. Whether you are moving to the area for the first time, decluttering or downsizing your current home, or storing the belongings of a recently departed family member, there are several things to keep in mind to help make your experience as smooth and stress free as possible.
- Be consistent in the size of your boxes. Many people, when preparing for a move, will go out and collect boxes without considering their size. The more uniform in size your boxes are, the easier they are to store. Boxes of the same size are very easy to organize and stack. While it can be difficult to find boxes of the exact same size, try to be as consistent as possible to help conserve space and make stacking a breeze.
- Heavy stuff goes on the bottom. While it may seem obvious, make sure to place the heavy items on the very bottom, the medium weight items in the middle, and the lightest items on top. Stack your items as though you are bagging your groceries. This will ensure the lightweight items on top remain in good condition during storage.
- Give yourself room to operate. Particularly, if you are renting a larger space, leave yourself a walkway so that you can access your items throughout the storage unit. It doesn’t need to be a significant walkway, but enough room so that you can comfortably move from one end of the unit to the other without climbing over anything.
- Bubble wrap is your friend. Make sure that delicate items are protected; don’t go light on the bubble wrap.
- Take photos and video. Even the most careful of movers can accidentally damage items. Document the condition of your items before you allow them to be moved and stored.
- Label your boxes. This goes beyond simply writing “fragile” on certain things, although that is never a bad idea. Putting detailed notes on boxes as to what room they should go to, what order they should be loaded, and a general description of what they include, will make moving and storing them so much easier. Your future self will thank you!
- Pack the boxes until they are completely full. A box that is only partially packed is likely going to collapse before you get the chance to unpack it. The tighter it is packed, the sturdier it will be.
- Let your items breathe while they are in storage. Packing your unit tight can be cost-effective, and we can advise you on the best ways to do this. However, we advise leaving a small space between your items and the walls of the storage unit. This space allows the air to circulate, which is good for your items while they are being stored. It doesn’t need to be much space to be effective, and helps ensure that your items come out of storage in the same condition that they went in.
- Keep your appliances dry. Unplugging refrigerators and freezers a few days before moving will allow them to "dry out" and dehumidify. If you are storing a refrigerator or a washer and dryer, you should always leave the doors or lids slightly ajar. This will prevent your appliances from growing mold while sitting in storage.
- Do not store anything flammable. If you are storing a mower, a motorcycle or anything else that requires fuel, drain the gas and oil out of them completely before putting them inside of your storage unit. Even matches should not be placed in storage. If it can catch on fire, don’t store it.
- There are a few other things that should never be stored. Anything that is irreplaceable is not recommended to be left in storage. Similarly, things that are highly valuable like jewelry, high-end electronic equipment, art, or furs, should never be stored. Storing drugs, drug paraphernalia, hazardous waste, trash, used tires, or anything that emits a strong odor, are all against the rules of any reputable self-storage company.
- Get a good lock. While we strive to offer the safest environment to store your items, it is never a bad idea to invest in a high-quality lock for your unit. Disc, or round, locks are the hardest to cut. Disc locks offer the best protection for the best value. The piece of mind is well worth the expense of a good lock.
The 12 tips above answer the most common self storage questions our new customers have, but we know that every situation is unique. Remember, your best resource for storage knowledge is from your friendly facility manager. We’re here to serve, and happy to help. Give us a call or stop by the office today!