Take a deep breath and relax. You know you have a lot of items that need to be moved and your first instinct will be to just start packing…but don’t. Before you begin, you will need to plan ahead.
Your first step should be to take an inventory of everything you need to store. It doesn’t need to be written down but you’ll need to think through all the items that you plan on putting into your self storage unit for easy access later.
Group all your frequently-used items together. You will want to pack these items last and keep them together in the front of your storage unit.
All right, it’s time to start packing. Remember, you’ll want to maximize the use of your space while at the same time protecting your delicate items. Don’t forget, a typical storage unit is eight feet (8′) high. Use that vertical space.
Protect your valuables by using bubble wrap, newsprint and other covers designed for your specific items. Mattress covers work well, as well as old blankets.
Utilize the empty spaces in dresser drawers and appliances. Don’t forget to clean the appliances out first. This is a great place to store things like linens, bedding, clothing or even books and CD’s. Remember to leave that drawer or appliance door open a little so that air can circulate.
Put all your garden tools together in empty trash cans.
Break down furniture with removable legs and stack chairs. Don’t forget to put a blanket or sheet between surfaces so they do not get scratched or damaged. If a table can’t be broken down, don’t forget to store items underneath or on top.
If you plan on storing any gas-powered equipment, don’t forget to drain the tanks. Remember, state laws prohibit the storage of any hazardous or flammable materials.
While you are stacking items in your self storage unit, make sure to put the heavier items underneath the lighter items.
It is also a good idea to write down where you are storing your items in your unit. A map works really well when your loved one asks you to go to your storage unit to get that item he/she needs!
Lastly, try to organize your unit so that you have an aisle down the middle from the roll-up door to the back. This will allow you to navigate your space much more efficiently. Don’t forget to keep your frequently-used items at the front of your storage unit.
Planning is paramount when packing your things. Make sure you have all the right packing supplies: boxes, packing materials (bubble wrap, newsprint, peanuts, etc.), tape, markers and furniture covers. If you don’t know how much you’ll need, call your local storage experts.
Correct box size is important. Large boxes should be used for light items (e.g., bedding, linens, lamps) and small boxes used for your heavier items like books and documents.
Label every box. This may sound obvious but people often think they’ll remember what they store in each box…but they won’t!
Make sure you take the time to properly wrap and protect your delicate items. Individually wrap dishes, glasses and other fragile items. Bubble wrap is excellent for this. Don’t forget to mark on the box – ‘FRAGILE’ and ‘THIS SIDE UP.’
Keep in mind the weight of the box. Packaged boxes should not weigh more than you can lift. Heavier items should always be placed at the bottom.
Securely seal each box. Use packaging tape and keep the tops of the boxes flat for easier stacking.
Wardrobe boxes allow you to quickly package up your clothes that are on hangers. They also help keep your clothes from getting wrinkled.
Remember to take apart bed frames and other furniture that can be disassembled. Use small plastic bags to hold your hardware and tape the hardware to the furniture.