Packing and Storage Tips
Whether you are a first-time storage unit renter or have been using one for years, it never hurts to get a couple of pointers on how to best pack your belongings and get the most out of your space. For a stress-free move, follow our “best practice” tips below!
Start by gathering all of the supplies you will need to pack your belongings, such as boxes, tape, and permanent markers. You will also need packing materials like foam shipping noodles, bubble wrap, packing paper, newspaper, or towels, used to keep your items from moving around in the box and giving them extra protection in the case of a fall.
Whenever possible, utilize same-size boxes for all of your belongings for an easier time stacking. Fill the boxes tightly, but do not over (or under) – pack them to avoid tipping or collapsing when stacked. Use packing materials to fill in the empty space in each box.
Create Labels and Inventory Lists
Labeling the contents of each box and creating an inventory list will help you keep track of what belongings you have stored away and makes finding the item you are looking for much easier to locate later on. Number each box and list the contents on all four sides of it, so you can notate exactly where each item can be found. Keep the inventory list in a safe place at your home or office so it is easily accessible.
Use Strong Boxes with Strong Seals
Be sure to use boxes that are strong enough to hold 25-30 pounds without breaking (although we suggest not putting too much in each box). Make sure that each box is tightly sealed with packing tape, in order to prevent dust or other debris from entering.
Wrap Things Up
The best way to protect your belongings is to wrap them in protective materials.
- Dishes and glassware should be wrapped in paper and packed in sturdy boxes, placed on the top of stacks. Wrap each dish and glass separately and cushion them with more paper.
- Pictures and mirrors should be wrapped in cardboard, marked with “FRAGILE” and stacked on their end standing up.
- Furniture legs should be wrapped with bubble wrap. Use furniture covers or pads to prevent scratching.
Keep Boxes Light
When packing heavy items like books and tools, use small boxes to avoid overpacking them and to make handling easier. Pack books flat in the box to prevent damage to the spine.
Clean and dry appliances before storing them, in order to prevent mold growth and build up. Secure or wedge all moveable parts and use bubble wrap or other padding for protection. Tape all of the doors shut on appliances when transporting them but be sure to wedge them open when put in storage.
Items made of metal, such as bikes, tables, and tools, need to be wiped down with machine oil to prevent rusting.
Prepare the Space
The first thing you should do is prepare your storage space to hold your items. Place a protective cover on the floor under your goods and place your items on 2×4 boards or on pallets if possible. Concrete floors may easily become cold and damp, and this protects your belongings from that.
Plan Your Space for Easy Access
Try to leave an aisle down the center of the storage unit for easier access to your belongings. Place items that you may need access to often in the front of the unit. Leave a small space between the walls and boxes to allow for air circulation in the room.
Stack heavier boxes on the bottom near the floor and put lighter boxes on top. This makes your stacks sturdier and prevents greater damage to more items if it tips over.
Furniture with drawers and large appliances like washers can be utilized as storage places for pictures, knick-knacks, China, silverware, clothes, towels, tablecloths, and more. Wrap the fragile items in blankets or bubble wrap to prevent breakage.
Sofas, Loveseats, and Stuffed Furniture
Sofas and loveseats can be stored standing up on-end to save floor space. Wrap the cushions in plastic and place them on top of the sofas to keep them off of the floor. Cover stuffed furniture with cardboard or blankets to protect them against dust. Avoid placing sharp or heavy objects on top of upholstered furniture, as this can cause damage over time.
Place covers or plastic bags on mattresses to keep them clean during storage. Mattresses should be stored flat on level surfaces, but if you have to stand mattresses on their sides, prop them up so they stand straight. Otherwise, they tend to bend out of shape and become lumpy.
Tables and Removable Legs
Tables that have removable legs should be broken down to save space. Wrap furniture legs with protective bubble wrap, covers, or pads to prevent scratching. To save space, store tabletops and sofas on end, either on the floor or top of dressers and other large objects with flat surfaces.
Do not store anything combustible, such as paint thinner, gasoline, and solvents. Drain gasoline and oil from lawnmowers and other machines with small engines before placing them in storage.
Put TVs and other electronics in the rear of the unit away from the door, to decrease the chances that the outside weather conditions will impact them.
Store Outdoor Equipment Together
Hoses, shovels, hoes, rakes, and other tools with long handles can be stored together in empty trash cans to keep them organized. Stack extra cans inside each other.
Clothes and Draperies
Pack draperies, dress shirts and pants, or other nice articles of clothing on hangers in a wardrobe box to avoid wrinkling and pressing.
Items that are sensitive to heat, cold, or humid conditions should always be stored in a climate controlled storage unit to avoid damage.
Rent Your Storage Unit Today!
Now that you know the basics on how to safely pack and store your belongings, take the next step and reserve your storage unit online today! You can also swing by the office or give your nearest Storage of America location a call for more information on availability and storage features, or contact us virtually with any questions you may have.