7 Self Storage Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Unit

Whether you have accepted an out-of-town job assignment, are planning an extended vacation, or are just downsizing, there may be a time when you need extra storage. Whatever type of storage you need, here are some tips for making the most of your storage unit.

1. Choose the Right Unit

Choose the proper-sized unit to accommodate everything you need to store. Our staff can assist you in determining the size and type of unit you will need or check out our storage unit size calculator. The key is ensuring you still have some room to move around in the unit once it is full.

2. Properly Pack Your Boxes

Choose boxes appropriate for the items you are packing. Books, for example, can be quite heavy, so you want to choose smaller boxes for packing them. Be sure to completely fill up your boxes to prevent items from breakage during transport. Carefully wrap fragile items and pack them tightly in the box. Use filler such as paper, packing peanuts or bubble wrap to take up any extra space. The corners and sides of boxes can collapse if not completely full. Try to distribute the weight evenly in your boxes, and keep in mind that you do not want to make them too heavy to lift. For additional packing tips, check out our article on packing your storage unit.

3. Label, Label, Label your Boxes

While it may seem tedious at the time, make sure to accurately label your boxes. Use a permanent marker to write on the boxes and list the contents on each side and the top. You will appreciate knowing what is in a box when you are looking for an item without having to dig through several boxes. Be as specific as possible. In a few months, a box labeled “miscellaneous” may not have much meaning to you.

4. Preparing Your Storage Unit

To help protect your belongings, place some cardboard or canvas on the floor of the storage unit. Keep a step ladder in your unit to assist in reaching the boxes on top. Put in some dehumidifiers, particularly if your unit is not climate-controlled. Deodorizers can help alleviate musty smells. You may also want to throw in some repellent for mice and other critters. Look for non-toxic, organic options if small children will be visiting your storage unit with you.

5. Setting Up Your Storage Unit

You need to leave an aisle so that you can have access to all the things you have packed. Larger items should be placed around the walls. Put frequently used items near the front for easier access. Place your more valuable items away from the door and out of view.

6. Storing Furniture

When storing furniture, break down your larger pieces of furniture to prevent damage, if possible. Vertically storing large pieces of furniture can help conserve space in your storage unit. If storing a sofa flat, turn the love seat upside down on top of the sofa. If there is room, place a few smaller items (i.e. small tables), on top of that. Cover all your furniture with blankets or tarps. See additional tips on proper furniture storage.

7. Think Out of the Box

Look for creative ways to store your belongings. Use the bookshelves to store small boxes or boxes of books. Place fragile items inside pieces of furniture for more protection. Use the drawers on your furniture pieces for small items or clothes. Store soft goods, such as pillows and blankets, inside the washer and dryer.

Taking a little time to plan and organize can make for a pleasant experience when placing your prized possessions in storage. Our professionals are ready to help you choose the storage unit that best fits your needs.