Don't let packing get you down! Have a plan in place to help you out. (Photo courtesy of Grace Bailey)

By Grace Bailey, Guest Blogger

Self-storage units are not visited very often under ideal circumstances and this is why we are often suffering from the effects of poor organization. Without the right amount of planning you will only feel frustrated as you can’t seem to find what you need as you wade through your storage unit. It is best to begin your planning long before the moving truck arrives. Here are some self-storage packing tips you can take to ensure everything will go smoothly:

Don't let packing get you down! Have a plan in place to help you out. (Photo courtesy of Grace Bailey)
Don’t let packing get you down! Have a plan in place to help you out. (Photo courtesy of Grace Bailey)


Storage planning
The first step is to decide what needs to be packed in boxes. You must have your priorities straight so you can store everything without a hitch. There are some things you must keep in mind at this stage, such as making sure you group items by weight, fragility and size. Sturdy and large items should be on the bottom, taking the weight of smaller and more delicate objects.
Storage Unit Size
Depending on the amount of belongings you have on your hands, combined with the time you need the storage for, you will have a lot to deal with. Making sure you have a bit of extra space to work with won’t hurt, so make sure you talk to the facility manager to figure out how much space would be ideal for your situation.
Packing supplies
Make sure you use stable and sturdy boxes capable of withstanding some amount of punishment. Cardboard or reusable plastic boxes and bins will also help you organize your space more efficiently. The worst thing you can use is plastic bags as they can act as an excellent trap for humidity, endangering anything you place inside as the temperatures vary during the day/night cycle. You can buy specialized boxes from storage companies that cover most of your needs. Alternately, you can get some boxes from relatively unlikely sources, such as classifieds websites and retail stores. Many places recycle their boxes and they wouldn’t mind providing you with some boxes if you ask them, so check around before you go out looking to buy any.
Packing Tips
Depending on the type of items you’re packing you will need varying boxes of many kinds. For example:
–        Packing clothes can be a much easier experience if you’re using wardrobe boxes.
–        Appliances should be dried out, carefully secured and closed for transport, but left slightly open once they are in storage. Make sure you drain refrigerators and washing machines of all water to avoid corrosion and sprinkle the insides of them with baking soda so it can absorb any moisture from the air.
–        Wrap breakables such as mirrors and art in bubble wrap and clearly mark them as fragile so nothing bad will happen to them.
–        Make sure you have good protection of any corners that are vulnerable to damage.
–        Pick a climate-controlled storage unit if you plan on storing sensitive photographs or anything else that would not survive the ravages of time without special care.
–        Use vacuum-sealed bags for clothing, bedding, draperies and pillows to save some space and keep them safe.
–        Keep electronics in their original boxes if you’ve saved them as they will be the perfect choice for moving.
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