There is a science to successfully storing your personal possessions, office items, vehicles, or other items in a self storage unit. Fortunately, that science is not difficult to learn. Our helpful Storage Checklist will guide you in choosing, packing, moving, and storing furniture and boxes in a storage unit as if you had been doing it all your life.
Choosing a Self Storage Unit
Visit our Solutions Page for tips on how to store various types of items, from vehicles to electronics and from household items to wine.
Next, visit our Self Storage Size Guide to estimate how large your unit should be. Our units range from 25 sq/ft of space to 300 sq/ft.
Finally, visit our Home page to identify the location you want and to reserve a unit.
Smart packing means making sure that boxes are sturdy enough to be stacked without crushing, furniture and other exposed items are protected from dust, and everything is stored in relation to how often you need to get at it. Let’s start with packing.
- Find good used (and usually free!) packing boxes at liquor stores and grocery stores, or buy new cardboard or plastic boxes at shipping companies or home improvement stores.
- Try to pack like items with like, if possible.
- Never pack a box heavier than you can lift—either with your arms or with a moving dolly or truck. Pack books and other heavy items in smaller boxes.
- Fill any empty spaces with packing material such as crumpled newspaper, kraft paper, or packing peanuts. This will prevent the box from crumpling if it is stacked.
- Carefully label each box on the top and on at least one side. You can keep it general (i.e. “Kitchen Supplies”) or more specific (i.e. “Stock Pot, Smaller Pots”), but never let a box leave your house without a label.
- Use wrapping plastic on furniture items to help prevent damage from dust and dirt as well as scratching.
Make a Storage Plan
Now that your stuff is packed (and even before packing is finished), it’s time to plan out where everything will go in the storage unit. Items at the back will be things you will not need to access. Items at the front will be things you will need to access.
- Decide on a labeling system for items stored at the back and items stored at the front. You can use two colors (i.e. green for front and red for back) or label each box as “front”or “back.”
- Call and schedule our free moving truck (available at select locations; call for more information) or rent a truck or van large enough to accommodate all of your stuff.
- Put all boxes and items meant to end up at the front of the unit into the truck first. Put all boxes and items meant to be stored at the back of the unit into the truck last.
- At the unit, begin unpacking the truck and stacking boxes and furniture in the right places. Stand furniture pieces such as couches on their ends, if possible, to save space.
- Leave small openings between stacks of boxes to allow air to flow around the entire unit. This will reduce the chances of mold and mildew damaging boxes and possessions.
- Keep an inventory of where each box goes in the unit if you’ll need that information in the future. This is especially helpful if you are storing office equipment, documents, and furniture.