When you don’t have the room to keep all your belongings where you live, or you are planning on being away for a while, a storage unit makes sense. But before you start chucking things into the unit randomly, stop and think a minute. You want to keep your items safe and sound while they are in there.
1. Label everything
You don’t want to open your storage unit one day only to find a stack of cardboard boxes or plastic storage containers with no labels. First, it will make finding anything a nightmare. Second, when you go to unload the unit, you won’t know what to put where. Make sure you label everything before stacking boxes in the unit. Experts recommend a label on the top of the box and one or two of the sides, so the label is visible from multiple angles.
2. Pack the unit strategically
Heavy items should be on the bottom, lighter items on top. If you will need to get at certain items while they are in storage, leave them towards the front for easy access. Disassemble furniture, so it doesn’t take as much room.
3. Leave a path to the back of the unit
You don’t want to be climbing over things to get to a box towards the back. A small path that you can walk down will let you access most parts of the unit without struggling. If you need that room, then pack it with easy to move items so you can quickly get them out and put them back.
4. Don’t overpack the unit
You want air to circulate around the items you have stored there. This will help prevent mold and dampness from causing damage. If possible, elevate the items on pallets to allow air to circulate underneath your boxes and furniture. Leave a couple of inches between the walls and boxes.
5. Add a shelving unit for odd items
Awkward or oddly sized items may not fit safely into the unit. One option is to get a shelving unit and use it for those items. It will offer a safe place without taking up much room.
6. Use plastic containers
Cardboard boxes can retain moisture if left in a unit that has no heating or cooling. If possible, transfer items to plastic containers instead. These will resist moisture longer and provide solid storage at the same time.
7. Pack containers carefully
It is so easy just to chuck your extra items into boxes and stack them in the storage unit. The better option is to pack boxes and plastic containers as if they are going to go cross-country on the back of a moving truck. Make sure containers are full so that the weight won’t shift. Put fragile items in clearly labeled boxes.
8. Keep an inventory of what is in the unit
You will want to know what is in the unit, in case you are on the hunt for a specific item. It also comes in handy for filing an insurance claim if you sustain damage or loss.
9. Fill all the nooks and crannies
If you are storing furniture, use the drawers as extra storage. If you are storing luggage, pack the inside. Find ways to fill space, so you maximize every available inch.
You can get a lot of items into a storage unit if you plan on how you want to use it. These tips will help!