Our team has assembled these self storage tips to help you properly store your belongings.
Taking the time to get organized before moving into your storage unit can pay off big time. Before you get packed, make sure to clean your items going into storage, and make it a point to sort out the items you don’t need anymore, too. Donating and throwing away the items you won’t use anymore can be helpful for saving space and keeping your storage unit from becoming full of items you won’t use.
Making a list of everything you have to store before you get started can also help you stay organized and plan out the packing materials you’ll need better. Leave yourself plenty of time to organize and pack. It’ll save you time in the long run, whether you’re using your storage space long term or plan to unpack your boxes again soon.
When it comes time to pack your items into boxes and bins, make sure to tightly pack your items to help keep them protected (loose space can actually lead to some of the biggest risks of damage when packing). Use packing materials and paper to fill extra space without adding unnecessary weight. Consider color-coordinating boxes of similar items to help yourself identify them later on. Make sure to think about the weight of your boxes as you pack them and try to keep boxes of heavy items smaller. Label your boxes and keep a list of everything you put into storage for future reference. Make sure to add a label noting if your boxes contain fragile items, too.
Be sure to fully close or tape your containers to help keep items protected and clean. As you’re packing items up, make sure to use materials specifically designed for packing. Using other materials can lead to unanticipated damage in the wrong conditions. For example, newsprint can bleed ink and ruin certain types of items.
Generally, you’ll want to keep the items you’ll use most frequently at the front of your storage unit, while less frequently used items can go farther back. As you’re packing your unit, leave a clear center aisle so you can walk back into your unit and grab whatever you need with ease.
Make sure to leave some space around the perimeter of your storage unit to help aid with ventilation. When you’re moving boxes into your unit, it’s best to put them on pallets or skids, not directly on the concrete floor. This helps prevent moisture absorption. Similarly, you’ll want to set furniture down on pallets, corrugated cardboard matts, or plastic sheets.
Along with general packing tips, we have some tips for those items that do best with some extra special care. We’ll walk you through a few of the common items that go into storage and the extra things you can do to help keep them at their best during storage. Note also that we recommend climate-controlled storage for temperature-sensitive items.
Refrigerators and freezers should be completely dried and stored with the door slightly ajar. Take care to clean your appliances, including stoves and microwaves, before storage. Consider stacking some of your boxes on top of larger appliances to get the most use out of your storage space. If you choose to store some smaller boxes inside your appliances, just make sure to make a note so you remember where you put them.
Dishes and glassware can be tricky to pack, but it’s not impossible to keep them safe. Place a layer of packing at the top and bottom of boxes with glassware and individually wrap all glass items. Try nesting cups and bowls together for packing. When you do to store plates, saucers, and platters, try standing them on the edge. Make sure to use packing materials to fill any empty spaces left in the boxes and keep fragile items from sliding and moving around. Keep your glass items at the top of the boxes, and take extra care to label boxes with dishes and glassware as fragile. Avoid stacking heavy items on top of these boxes.
Place your furniture on a pallet, corrugated cardboard mat, or plastic sheet, and not directly on the floor. When possible, try to stand sofas and mattresses on end. If you can, disassemble your bed frame or tables and wrap the legs in paper. For tables that don’t disassemble, put padding on the floor and place the table top down with the table legs pointing up. Try and use the surfaces and drawers of any dressers to stack and store other items. Lightweight chairs can be stacked seat to seat or placed upside down on tables (if left standing).
Make sure to keep upholstery off the floor of your storage unit. Additionally, you’ll want to keep a cotton dust cover, like a bedsheet, over all your furniture to help keep it clean and protected. You can also leave slipcovers on upholstered chairs and cover them with plastic covers. If you’re storing lamps, separate the lamps and lampshades, and wrap and store the bases and shades separately.
To help protect the spines, you’ll want to store books flat. Be cognizant of the weight of your book boxes as you pack them, and make sure these boxes aren’t stored directly on the floor of your unit.
Hang on to the original boxes for your delicate ornaments and use them for storage. Pad ornaments with packing papers to help give them extra protection. Keep your strings of lights in order by wrapping them around a piece of cardboard before putting them in a container lined with packing paper.
Aim to store mirrors, windows, glass sheeting, and screens on their edges, not flat. Getting a mirror or picture box can help protect these items. Check with your StoreLine Self Storage facility office to see our selection of boxes available for purchase.
Clean your tools fully before putting them into storage. Additionally, treat metal tools with machine oil to help prevent them from rusting. If you’re storing long-handled tools, like shovels and rakes, consider tying them in bundles while they’re in storage.
Just like with tools, you can help keep your bicycle or other metal items from rusting with machine oil. Just wipe metal surfaces with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil before you put them into storage.
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