Expert Advice for Packing Your Storage Unit

Whether you need a temporary place for your belongings between apartments or you are simply running out of room in your home, putting your possessions in storage is a great solution. While finding an affordable storage unit close to the city is easy, fitting all of your furniture, clothing, and countless boxes in your self-storage unit and keeping it organized can be tricky business. To assist with most effectively utilizing your storage space, here are some tips and tricks from professional movers who are experts at packing storage units:

1. Make a Map

Before you start moving your belongings, create a map outlining where you will place your larger items like couches, desks, beds, appliances, and wardrobes. It’s best to place large items like these first along the back wall and then along the side walls of the unit. Once these bigger items are in place, you can easily stack boxes on top of and around them to maximize the vertical space in your unit. If you do stack boxes on top of your furniture, make sure to first cover pieces with moving blankets or sheets to protect surfaces and prevent them from getting scratched. Before placing your boxes, take inventory of what’s in each box, making note of where it should be placed for easy access. More frequently used items should be placed close to the front of the unit, while items you won’t need access to should be placed towards the back. Once you’ve filled up the space along the walls of your unit, you can then start filling in the space in the middle. Be sure that you leave room for small walkways and aisles between stacks of items so you can still reach items at the back of the unit.

Plan out a storage map before moving your belongings into a unit.
Plan out a storage map before moving your belongings into a unit.

2. Guard Against Damage

To best protect your belongings, treat your storage unit like it’s a basement. Covering the floor with a layer of plastic sheeting can protect items from condensation and water damage. Alternatively, you can store items off the ground by using metal or wooden planks. If you are storing a large number of document boxes, adding shelving to your unit is a great way to both keep the unit organized and protect paperwork from ground moisture. If your unit has wall racks, use them to secure items that can be hung, such as shovels or rakes.

As previously mentioned, use covers to prevent tears and scratches to the surfaces of your furniture. Additionally, protect your mattresses and box springs from dirt and damage by investing in some inexpensive plastic mattress covers.

When stacking boxes, make sure to place heavier boxes at the bottom of the pile. Keep a small step ladder on hand to safely reach boxes at the top of the stack. As you pack your boxes, make sure fragile items like glassware and picture frames are wrapped in packing paper or bubble wrap. Filling empty space in each box with newspaper or packing peanuts keeps items from shifting during transport and helps maintain the structural integrity of the boxes when stacked. Make sure boxes are sealed shut using packing tape.

3. Label Boxes

In order to easily find your belongings after packing them away, categorize and label each box you place in storage. Make sure that you use large lettering in permanent maker to enable reading from a long distance, as storage units don’t always have the best lighting. As you place boxes in the unit, make sure the side with the label is turned facing the aisle so it’s easy to read. It may also help to color code your boxes according to room or purpose using colored tape. For instance, you could label all of your book boxes in green tape or all of your dish boxes with pink tape. This will make finding specific boxes you might need a lot easier.

Make sure to properly store belongings that are fragile or flimsy.
Make sure to properly store belongings that are fragile or flimsy.

4. Preserve Fragile Items

When packing up fragile items to put into storage, carefully prepare each one for preservation. Furniture pieces, such as couches and tables, should be dismantled to protect the legs and other delicate parts from getting broken. Take care to place hardware for each disassembled item in a separate plastic bag, securing the plastic bag to the furniture using stretch wrap film so it doesn’t get misplaced the next time the furniture is moved. For wooden furniture, take time to wax or polish it before storing to preserve its finish. Likewise, metal items can benefit from applying a coat of rust preventative. To preserve important paper items or photographs, take extra care to prevent curling by taping them between two pieces of cardboard and placing in plastic boxes. Wedding dresses and other delicate clothing should be wrapped in garment bags and hung or packed on the top of other boxes.

With some planning and forethought, packing your storage unit is easier than you might think. Taking extra precautions to preserve your items will ensure they will still be in great condition when you need them again. With Imperial Self Storage, storage has never been so easy!