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Packing for self-storage is an art, and you’ll need to put some thought into it before you begin. After all, one of the primary advantages of using a self-storage facility is the fact that you can continue to access your items even in storage.
The first thing to remember, therefore, is to pack your things in such a way that you can find any item at a later date quickly and without unloading absolutely everything you’ve put away. Make an inventory of what you’ve packed and where it is as you go along.
Organization starts with being able to categorize and label all your belongings in a neat and efficient manner. Investing in good quality and sturdy boxes can help organize everything while maximizing the space of your self-storage unit.
Fill boxes to capacity wherever possible to avoid breakages but avoid making them too heavy – remember that you still have to be able to lift them. You can use materials such as paper or towels or can buy special packing to fill spaces if necessary. Depending on the space you opt to rent from you might be stacking boxes on top of each other and the lower levels need to be sturdy enough to take the strain. Boxes that are only partly filled may tip over or collapse.
Don’t be tempted to fill large boxes with heavy items such as books, as they’ll quickly become impossible to carry and may break. You can buy small book boxes from your self-storage facility that will do the job just as well. If you do pack heavy items in a large box, put in just a few and then fill the box up with lighter items.
Finally, make sure to label all boxes clearly so you can identify the contents and keep an inventory. Label them on more than one side so you can see what’s what quickly. Mark “Fragile” on any boxes containing breakable items.
Packing Furniture and Appliances
You’ll save space if you can dismantle furniture such as beds and tables before you store it in a self-storage facility. Make sure you keep hold of all the bits, so you can put it all back together again. Wrap and cover furniture sections and keep them together for quick retrieval. You can put components such as screws and bolts together in a plastic bag, mark them clearly and tape to the relevant piece of furniture. A good tip is to store large pieces of furniture vertically to save space in the facility.
Large appliances need care before placing in storage. Be sure you defrost fridges and freezers thoroughly before storing them otherwise you’ll be leaving yourself open to water damage. Tie doors up for the move, although you should leave them slightly ajar once in storage to stop condensation from forming and help ward off bad odors. Drain washing machines before storing them and tie down hoses etc. Appliances should be clean and dry and it’ll be worthwhile wiping the insides over with bicarbonate of soda before you store them.
If you’re storing upholstered products such as mattresses and sofas in a self-storage facility, it might be a good idea to invest in covers, bags or sheeting to give them some additional protection. Stand sofas and mattresses on end wherever possible to save space and don’t stack too much on top of soft furnishings. Mattresses are best stored on the long end and should be ideally raised above floor level or laid on protective sheeting.
Other Helpful Tips
- Don’t pack items into sealed plastic bags, as humidity can cause mildew.
- Pack books flat to avoid damaging their spines.
- Don’t store wet items in storage as they can cause water damage, mold and mildew.
- Wrap all fragile items and breakables separately in bubble wrap, if possible. Pack them tightly into strong boxes, filling any gaps with paper or filler. Try to avoid putting heavy items on top of fragile ones in a self-storage facility.
- If you’re going to be storing clothes, think about buying wardrobe or clothes boxes – you’ll then be able to simply hang the clothes in them and they’ll keep their shape. It’s not wise to simply put your clothes in bin liners in a self-storage facility as moisture can get trapped inside when they’re sealed and your clothes could be ruined.
- If you’re storing items with fuel tanks, such as lawn mowers and cars, expect to be asked to drain the tanks before you put them in storage. Fuel is one of the few things that you cannot store in a self-storage facility.
- Wipe down metal objects and tools with a little oil before storing to avoid rust formation.
- Treat leather items with a leather conditioner before you store them.
- Think hard about whether you really want to store photographs in a self-storage facility. If you do store loose photographs, place them between pieces of clean cardboard and tape them together to avoid curling. Photographs can suffer temperature damage so you might want to keep them out of storage to avoid losing them.
Thinking creatively can help you organize your belongings and save a lot of space in the long run. As a final tip, make an estimate of the replacement value of each item you store to help with accurate insurance policies and in case of unforeseen damage in the self-storage facility.
Abby’s Mini Storage is located in Bakersfield, California and provides convenient self-storage units to fulfill your needs. If you live anywhere within the area, just give us a call and we can pick up your belongings and transport them to any of our nearby facilities.