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Storage Tips

for packing your storage unit

When Packing Up Your Self-Storage Unit

  • Try to use boxes that are a uniform size, they’re easier to stack (remember; keep the heavy ones on the bottom and the light ones on top).
  • Leave small walkways between the boxes and furniture in your storage unit so you can easily get to the items you want without having to move anything around.
  • If you’re storing a lot of packing boxes in your unit, try to fill them to the top, even if it’s just with padding and old, crumpled newspapers. Boxes that are only half-filled tend to collapse if anything’s placed on them.
  • If you’re putting any metal objects into storage – like lawnmowers or file cabinets – it’s best to treat them with rust protector first, or at least wipe them down with an oily rag.
  • It’s wise to take a few precautions of your own against theft. Pack your storage unit so that your most valuable items are at the back, and purchase a high quality padlock to put on the door.
  • The humidity in your self-storage unit can cause your furniture to warp and your appliances to mildew. Leaving a space between your stuff and the unit’s wall allows for air to circulate within the unit. Laying plastic sheeting on the floor and stacking boxes on top of wooden pallets can prevent condensation damage. So can using old linens or other fabrics, instead of plastic, to protect your stuff from dust.
  • If you’re storing a refrigerator in your unit leave the door ajar. This will prevent mold from growing inside.
  • Under no circumstances should you keep anything flammable or combustible in your storage building. This means no gasoline, oil, cleaning fluids or paint thinner. If you’re storing any machinery that runs on gas, drain the tank before you store it.

Pictures and Mirrors
Wrap pictures that are small and stand them on end in boxes. For larger ones, buy special picture moving boxes. Consider using foam or bubble wrap.

Storing Sensitive Material
Do not store combustibles, including paint and thinners. Purchase a good lock. Do not store perishables. Remove legs from tables, if possible.

Books and valuables
Pack books together in small moving boxes. Big moving boxes of books can weigh too much. Store your valuable papers in plastic bags. Consider putting moving boxes on pallets or something to keep them off the floor.

Crystal, China, and Fine glassware
Consider buying boxes designed for this with dividers. Wrap each item with paper or foam. Label boxes with glass items and stack these on top. Add packing material to both the bottom and the top of the moving boxes.

Packing Electronic Equipment
It is a good idea to use the original boxes. If you don’t have them, pack items carefully and use cushion material. Bubble wrap, cushion foam, and even wadded up newspaper will help. Pack items separately. Tie down tone arms for record players. Stack record albums on end to prevent warping and use small boxes to hold down the weight. Consider the temperature as heat can warp CD’s and record albums.

Moving Appliances
Tape doors shut while moving. Wedge doors open in self storage to prevent mildew. You can use this valuable storage space for items such as blankets and towels.

Use up partial bottles and boxes of laundry/cleaning products and food goods before moving. You can place laundry items in the washer and dryer. Be sure moving boxes are taped shut and bottles will not leak. You can always use plastic bags to insure against leaking.

Furniture Packing Tips
It might be a good idea to wax wood furniture before storing it. Some woods can be sensitive to moisture. Consider using climate-controlled self storage. Disassemble bed frames and tie them together. Use zip- lock bags to store screws and bolt and tape them to the items that they belong to. If you stack furniture items, place pads, blankets, or towels between them to prevent scratching. Take down lawn furniture and tables if possible. Store frames in back corner to prevent them from falling over on other items. Don’t use plastic to cover items in non-climate self storage as moisture can condense under it. Consider using sheets or cotton cloth. Stand mattresses on end, as well as sofas with pallets or cardboard under them. It is a good idea to wrap mattresses in mattress bags or cover them with paper or cloth. Stand mattress on something to allow airflow and to prevent moisture from getting to them. Walls may develop condensation, therefore it is not advised to lean items against the walls.

Helpful Tips for Moving

  • Plan your move early, if possible.     
  • Put in change of addresses to all subscriptions and other mailings.
  • Notify your postal service.     
  • Make sure you have a reservation for the equipment you need for the move: trucks, dollies, and othermoving items.
  • Change banks, if necessary.     
  • Have plenty of rope, tape and moving boxes on hand for packing and tying down.

Clothing, Curtains, Drapes
It is a good idea to store drapes and clothing hanging on non-rusting hangers. You can buy moving boxes designed for this. They are called wardrobe boxes. You can use drawers to store some items and to conserve space. If storing wool items, use cedar chips and or mothballs to prevent moth damage.

Kitchen & Laundry
You can put several small appliances in a box. Be sure to put packing material between them. Label all moving boxes. It is a good idea to label moving box indicating what room it goes in and the items it contains. You can stack pots and pans with padding in between. Bowls can be packed in a similar fashion. One idea for your drawer-type stuff is to use plastic bags and pack these bags in a moving box. Always consider the weight of what you are putting in moving boxes. It is better to use 2 smaller moving boxes than one heavy one.