By Tara Hackman, Certified Self Storage Manager
You’re planning to move your household items to a self storage unit. So, where do you begin? Proper planning and packing is the key to making the move stress free!
First, take stock of everything you want to place into storage. Make a list of large furniture and other items and smaller separate pieces that can be boxed or packaged for safe keeping. Remember to think about the negative space and inside drawers within your furniture so you can maximize the space inside your storage unit. You can plan to wrap small fragile items with bubble wrap or packing paper and place them inside dresser drawers.
Sofas, chairs and mattresses should be protected from the dust and debris by using furniture covers. We offer many plastic covers available for purchase in our retail shops such as dust, sofa, table and chair covers, plus mattress covers from twin through king size and even the thickest pillow top! Look for a cover that has micro-pores for air circulation and to allow moisture to escape, which will help prevent mildew. Take stock of how many covers you need and be sure to purchase them ahead of time.
Wrap chair legs and table legs with bubble wrap to help prevent damage. Use dust covers or large sheets of cardboard to protect the table surface, as you will likely want to stack boxes or other small items on top of it while inside the storage unit. Be sure to purchase specialty boxes for lamps, TVs, mirrors and other awkward sized and shaped items.
Once those larger items are protected it’s time to move on to the actual packing! You will want a wide variety of boxes to suit your needs. Look for boxes with extra thick side walls to resist collapsing. We offer boxes for sale that are specially treated for moving and storage, and are crush tested so they stand the test of time and the process of moving. Remember to fill larger boxes with the light items such as pillows, linens and kids’ toys. If a large box is really heavy, it makes it harder to maneuver, not to mention potentially dangerous to lift. You can also use large boxes for pots and pans, as oftentimes the handles and lids can make them harder to fit into small boxes. Just remember to check the weight as you go to prevent over-packing. You can place the pots and pans on the bottom and pack lighter items like plastic food containers with lids on top.
Smaller boxes are great for packing up your drawers in the kitchen or bathroom and for heavier items. When packing up your delicate kitchen items, use items like packing peanuts and bubble wrap to protect them from breaking. These are perfect for glass wares and dishes, and keep your valuables cushioned to help prevent damage. You can also use dish and glass cell kits that fit inside our boxes making packing and protecting them easy. Be sure to mark any boxes that are holding fragile items, so you don’t stack heavier boxes on top and you don’t shove them between other items inside the moving truck. Packing books inside smaller boxes will keep them at an easy to lift and carry weight. You can also use smaller boxes for photo albums, picture frames and other similar items.
If you are packing up an office for storage, purchase file boxes. They are easily labeled for convenience, have handles for easy carrying and fit paper and file folders perfectly. They also prevent you from filling large boxes with paper, which would be very heavy and unsafe. Plus, file boxes will stack perfectly on top of one another for easy storage. If you pack then just like you would organize your filing cabinet, you can access them as needed fairly easily while in storage.
What about your closets? How about a few wardrobe boxes! They enable you to transport the contents of your closet without having to fold or box them up. You can take everything on hangers and hang it right inside the wardrobe box like a smaller version of your closet. The box then folds closed to keep your clothes covered during the move and while inside your storage unit. Again, do not pack these too heavy. Avoid placing a box full of heavy winter coats. Spread out the load to make them easy to move.
Plan to stand your mattresses on end against the storage unit walls. You can also keep all heavy furniture along the walls and out of the way. Do not stand couches on end unless doing so will not damage them. If you are leaving them on the floor in their normal position, be sure not to place heavy items on the cushions or you will crush and ruin the foam over time. Keep tables standing as if they are being used. Stack boxes and small heavy items underneath, and stack lighter smaller items on top. This helps maximize the space inside your storage unit. Place small boxes or items inside your larger furniture. You can put boxes inside cabinet doors, place small items inside drawers, stack small light boxes on shelves and so on. Always remember to keep the heaviest items on the bottom and lighter items on top so nothing topples over. Also keep fragile items on top of other items, and in places they cannot fall over and be damaged. A good tip is to pack boxes completely full and fill in empty spaces with packing paper or packing peanuts to give them stability for when they are stacked together.
Other odds and ends you may want to utilize are gloves, nylon rope, tape and tape gun, and moving blankets. These are all great items to have during the moving process, and we offer them for sale in our retail shops. Taking the time to properly pack and preserve your goods will give you peace of mind that your items are safe while inside your storage unit, even for long periods of time. Having your contents boxed up will also allow for clean lines and easy stacking in your storage unit.
Please visit us at any of our locations to purchase your packing supplies. If you have any questions about what items you need to start packing, please contact us or reach out to any of our knowledgeable property managers. And, if you are ready to start using self storage to organize your life and maximize your space at home, you can rent a storage unit online 24/7.