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 as many boxes as possible without considering the size of the box. The more uniform in size your boxes are, the better off you will be. Boxes of the same size are very easy to organize and stack. While they obviously won’t all be the same size, try to be as consistent as possible to help you conserve space in the long run.
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. Don’t stack the jar of jelly on top of the loaf of bread.
Give yourself room to operate. If you are renting a larger unit especially, leave yourself a walkway or two so you can access your items and leave yourself some options. It doesn’t need to be a significant walkway, but enough room so you can comfortably move from one end of the unit to the other without climbing over or under anything.
Bubble wrap is your friend. Don’t go light on the bubble wrap. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to more delicate items. Make sure they are protected. Moving can be expensive, so don’t put yourself in a position to have to pay for replacement items that could have easily been wrapped up.
Take photos and video. This is especially true for valuable items. Make sure you can document the condition they were in prior to moving them. And document them in storage also! Movers are mostly careful but things happen during a move.
Label your boxes. This goes beyond simply writing “fragile” on certain things, although that is never a bad idea. Put notes on them as to what room the items belong to or what order they need to be loaded. It’s very easy to do this in the moment so please don’t forget! You will thank us later.
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 more sturdy it will be.
Let your items breathe while they are in storage. Packing your unit tight is cost-effective and we can advise you on the best ways to do this, but one thing is very important, leaving a small space between your items and the walls of the storage unit. This allows the air to circulate, which is good for your items while they are being stored. It doesn’t need to be much, resist the urge to push things all the way up against the walls in the back of the unit.
What about heavy appliances? If you are storing a refrigerator or a washer and dryer, you should always leave the doors or lids slightly ajar. This will prevent them from growing mold while sitting in storage over a longer period. Unplugging refrigerators and frezers a few days before moving will allow them to "dry out" and dehumidify.
Do not store anything flammable. Shoot off your fireworks before moving, don’t put them in storage! 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. The risk of losing everything in a fire is not worth it.
A few other things not to store: Anything that is irreplaceable is not recommended to be left in storage. It isn’t a great idea to store things that are highly valuable like jewelry, high-end electronic equipment or furs. 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 offer a safe environment to store your items, it is never a bad idea to invest in a quality lock for your unit. Use a disc, or round, lock as these are difficult to cut and offer you the best protection at the best value. You want to make sure your home is secure, don’t treat your storage unit any different in this regard. The piece of mind is well worth the expense of a good lock.
Hopefully this has been helpful to review. While some of these points may seem obvious, there are a lot of things to keep track of when moving things into and out of a storage unit and it is easy to forget obvious things. If you follow these storage guidelines, you will be well on your way to having a positive experience with your move.