If you’re among thousands of people who have picked up and moved, have been deployed, or simply needed more space at home then you know that storing your furniture has never been easy. Drawing from personal experience in the storage industry, I will share some of the essential tips you need for not only moving into a storage unit but to packing glassware smarter and picking the right storage unit that can save you money. In today’s economy who can’t use some tips to safely store your valuables and save a few dollars. Read here to learn how to get your possession organized and move in ready for any size storage unit, and make life a little bit less frustrating.

Tip 1 – Having Plenty of Supplies

No one ever thinks of the moving supplies, but these items will not only secure your valuables but when organized will make getting in and out of your storage unit a breeze. Make a list of packing accessories you will need, oh you will probably need more boxes than you think.

Commonly used packing aids include such items as newsprint (quick note: newspaper can stain your items so be careful what you wrap) or wrapping paper, bubble-wrap, tape, rope, drop cloths, polyurethane sheeting, mattress and furniture covers, pallets, skids, dehumidifiers and cartons. The manager may have some or all of these items for sale on the premises. Many times facilities will give discounts on moving and packing supplies to new renters, so it doesn’t hurt to ask!  Some renters invest in shelving for their unit. This allows them to better organize their unit and make better use of the ceiling heights. You may be able to rent a smaller unit by investing in shelving. If you’re going to be renting long term you could save quite a bit of money by purchasing some inexpensive shelving.

Tip 2 Asking the Right Questions

Inspect your storage unit to determine how much space you really need; on-site storage facility manager can be quite helpful. Many storage facilities will offer a display unit or will give you an actual tour of the property to help you determine what unit size is best for you.

For the rest of you who don’t have that much time to inspect and rent storage on-site many self storage facilities website now offer a size estimator that can help you determine what unit size you will need. Remember when choosing your unit size that the ceiling heights are typically 8-10 feet high. This means that there will be plenty of room to stack boxes on top of each other and other furniture.

Tip 3 Organizing and Planning

A well organized unit will not only be easier to get in and out of and find things in, but by making the most of your space with proper organization you may be able to rent a smaller sized unit and save money!

Make a plan on how to organize your unit and write it down so you don’t forget. Label all boxes on all sides and create a simple record keeping system. For instance when describing box contents be specific and use “A-D  files” rather than just writing “kitchen”. This will save you time in the long run. You can store couches and mattresses on end, stack chairs seat to seat, and use larger items to store blankets, clothes, and smaller knickknacks. Use large boxes for light items and smaller boxes for heavier items. Stack your things in similar sized boxes as they will be easier to stack.

Take apart large items, such as bed frames, tables, etc. This will save space and prevent them from breaking. Be sure to keep all parts together. Keep screws and smaller items handy by taping them to the larger item they belong to. If storing appliances be sure to clean them out first! Leave the door slightly open on refrigerators and microwaves to prevent mildew. Rub a small amount of oil on metal tools, bikes, etc. This will prevent rust – but be sure to separate these to not get oil on other things!

Tip 4 Maximizing Truck Space

Loading your truck is going to be similar to loading your unit. If you have a lot to store including bigger items you’ll want to pack the truck smartly and efficiently in the same manner that you would pack your unit. This will save you from having to make too many unnecessary trips to get your belongings into the unit and that will save you money on gas and renting time!

You’ll want to stack larger items such as couches, mattresses, etc. on end to save space. Also, use larger items to store smaller items such as kitchen gadgets, clothes, blankets, etc. If you just have a few things you won’t need to worry about organizing the truck to save space, but you will want to pack and secure things in such a manner that nothing will get broken on your way to the unit.

Investing in renting straps, bubble wrap, foam padding, etc. will prevent your belongings from shifting and breaking on the way to the unit.


Tip 5 Keeping Things Together

Insist on keeping things together when you are moving into your storage unit. Keep bookends with books, light bulbs with lamps, and extension cords with appliances. Arranging your unit can be one of the most difficult tasks but since you have followed the tips above I believe your ready! Some of the secrets to arranging are:

  • Use pallets or blankets to keep items off the floor of the unit
  • Stack heavier items on the bottom; be sure not to over pack boxes so they get too heavy and dangerous.
  • Store  your value items towards the back of your storage unit in unmarked boxes
  • Avoid stacking things directly against the wall to leave room for some air flow in the unit
  • Leave a walkway down the center of your unit to make accessing all items easier
  • Pack items that you will be frequently accessing towards the front
  • Lay blankets or cloth over and between furniture to prevent scratching.

Whether you’re moving into a new home or into a storage unit remember the tips that I have shared and hopefully they will save you some time and money. I also provide you a quick guide on getting your items ready for packing.