You’ve found your storage unit and are ready to pack in all your belongings to be stored away for the season. You start to bring in all the boxes of items to be put away and begin to pile them as high as you can in whatever order you grab them. But wait. There is actually a strategy to the packing process. Make your life easier when it comes to packing and unpacking your valuables to ensure you get back exactly what you put away, in the condition you left it.
1. Pre-Storage Cleaning
Before you put your items in boxes to be put in your storage unit, there are a few steps you should follow. Clean all the appliances of dust and residue and pre-treat any metal surfaces to avoid rusting while in storage. If you are storing fridges or freezers, be sure to defrost them in advance. When storing clothing or linens, make sure to wash and dry them prior to packing them up. Clean any furniture as well, including couches or mattresses. If any furniture can be disassembled, do so- this will provide you will better packing options and ultimately more space in the unit for other items.
2. Come Prepared
Once your items are prepared for packing and storing, come prepared for the packing day with dollies, plastic wrap, plastic totes, boxes, moving blankets and loading straps if necessary. Often times, the self-storage store can provide you with many of these items- just ask the helpful associate at the front desk. You can also ask for a list of items that are not allowed to be stored in the units. For example, you are not able to store anything combustible, such as paint, paint thinner or gasoline.
3. Packing the Unit
Start with heavy items first. These items should be placed in the back of the unit to help with saving space as well as accessibility to other items down the road. When packing items into boxes, follow the rule of the heavier the item, the smaller the box. Avoid packing heavy items in a large box as it will be too heavy to lift and move. Make sure as you’re packing that you’re leaving space to allow yourself to move around and get your items out of the unit when you’re ready. It is advised to leave a small space around the perimeter of your storage unit to aid with circulation. Don’t pile anything too high as you may risk boxes falling down and causing harm to a person while you’re in the unit or damage to other items. When storing dressers or wardrobes, remove your belongings, such as clothing, from inside and store them properly to avoid damage from dust and moisture. Tape the cupboard door closed and use a moving blanket overtop to prevent scratches and dents while moving in other items. Use plastic totes to hold your clothing and linens to avoid damage from moisture. Use plastic wrap on couches and sofas to keep the cushions together and the dust off. You can also use plastic wrap or moving blankets to protect tables and chairs. Stack your chairs together to maximize storage space. For bed frames and mattresses, wrap the mattress in a breathable cover instead of plastic wrap and store flat to prevent the inner coils from warping. Wrap the headboard and footboard to avoid scratches, dents and stains. When storing electronics, if possible, use the original packaging. If not that is not available, store them in a box using bubble wrap or packing peanuts to protect them. Make sure you remove all batteries before putting any electronic in storage, especially for extended periods of time. Many items you may need to store could be breakable. Use the right sized boxes and lots of packing paper or bubble wrap to protect them. Wrap plates, cups and mugs individually and stack them based on size. Label the boxes as breakable or fragile so you know to handle with care when removing them from storage later. Keep breakable items in a safe corner of the storage unit.
Packing, whether it be a suitcase for vacation or a storage unit for the season, can be tedious. But if you follow these steps, unpacking your storage unit when the time comes will be a walk in the park.