There’s no point renting our humungous 200 sqft unit when all you need to store is a sofa. Use our handy storage calculator once you have chosen your site to determine your space requirements and make sure you fill it up.
Like they say, prior preparation prevents poor performance. Start by gathering all your packaging materials, including boxes, tape, markers, foam shipping noodles, bubble wrap, packing paper, etc.
If you’ve ever played Tetris, you know how hard it is to store boxes of varying size. Use uniformly sized boxes for easier and safer stacking.
Unless you want to spend a week digging through all of your boxes, it’s essential you know what’s stored in your unit. We recommend you create an inventory of all the items in your unit and store it somewhere safe. As you add and remove things from your unit, keep your list up-to-date.
Prepare your space by placing a protective cover on the floor under your goods.
Even in modern, weather-proof facilities like ours, water can be a problem. Moisture in the air can condense on the colder walls and trickle down to the bottom of your unit.
We recommend you prepare your unit for long-term storage by covering the floor with 2×4 boards or pallets. This creates a gap between your belongings and the floor, keeping them safe and dry.
Even with a clear aisle down the middle of your unit, it can be a hassle to retrieve boxes from the back.
Before you pack your unit, we recommend you go through your boxes and decide which you are most and least likely to need access to. Place the boxes you are least likely to need at the back and the ones you are most likely to need at the front.
Do not store anything combustible in your unit as this poses a risk to yourself and other facility users.
Combustibles include paint thinner, gasoline, solvents, paints and diesel.
While you should try and maximise the amount of space you use in your unit, you shouldn’t compromise access. Leave a clear aisle down the centre of your storage unit to give you access to all parts of your unit.
Additionally, it is a good idea to leave a small gap between the walls of your unit and your boxes as this allows the air to circulate.
Lighter Boxes on Top
It might be common sense but it’s worth repeating: place heavy boxes on the floor and stack lighter ones on top. Keeping heavy boxes under lighter ones avoids crushing your belongings.
It’s easy to pile items into a box without thinking about weight limits. However, if you try and lift a flimsy box packed with heavy objects, don’t be surprised when the bottom gives in.
Buy quality packing materials and spread heavier objects between boxes.
There’s nothing more annoying than having to open every single box in your storage unit to find something you’ve lost. While you’re packing each box, mark the contents on the side using a permanent marker.
When packing your self-storage unit, try and angle boxes so the list is visible from the door. That way you don’t have to spin and shift boxes to find out what’s in each.
Wrap It Up
Don’t rely on luck to protect your beloved china plates and gold gilt glasses. Wrap every individual piece in paper and pack them securely in sturdy boxes. You can stack boxes but make sure each one is secure and sturdy.
No one should have to experience the heartbreak pulling items out of storage only to find out they have got broken. Pictures, mirrors and delicate items should be wrapped in bubble and cardboard, and marked FRAGILE. Take care to stack lighter boxes on top of heavier ones to prevent any crushing.
If you want to maximise your unit’s space, remember that drawers can be utilised as storage places for pictures, knick-knacks, china, silverware, small items, etc. Wrap them in tablecloths, towels, or blankets to prevent breakage.
Larger appliances make excellent “packaging cases” for blankets, towels, tablecloths and clothes.
Electronics require special preparations to sit in long-term storage. Without it, you risk turning all your valuables into worthless collections of circuit boards and wire. Here’s what you need to do to store electronics safely.
- Backup All Your Data
- Clean Off Dirt and Dust
- Remove All Batteries
- Use the Original Packaging
- Use Static-Free Bubble Wrap
- Unplug All Cables
Want to know more? Read our How to Store…Electronics blog.
Pick up a couple of bins and stack shovels, hoes, rakes and hoses inside. Not only will this save floor space but you’ll avoid any potential accidents.
Tables and other large pieces of furniture can take up a lot of space in storage. To reduce the space you require, detach removable legs and store them separately. Be sure to wrap the legs in cloth or bubble wrap to protect them from bumps and scratches.
Sofas and Loveseats
If stored horizontally, sofas and loveseats take up a lot of room. Additionally, storing anything on top risks damaging the fabric, springs and structure. We recommend storing long pieces of furniture vertically to save floor space. Wrap cushions in plastic and place them on top to keep them safe and out the way.
Sharp or Heavy Objects
Storing sharp or heavy objects on top of upholstered furniture might be fine in the short-term but if left for any length of time you risk damaging whatever is underneath.
Avoid placing sharp or heavy objects on top of upholstered furniture. Instead, store them on something solid or on the floor.
Stuffed furniture is susceptible to contamination from dust. Cover all pieces of stuffed furniture with cardboard or blankets to protect them from airborne contaminants.
Mattresses are designed to be used horizontally and flipped regularly; this makes them difficult to store long-term. If mattresses are stored at an angle, they may slump, which can cause them to bend out of shape and become lumpy.
If you are storing a mattress on its side, prop them up so their edge is flat and they stand straight.
While a bit of dirt and dust isn’t going to destroy metal items overnight, it may cause harmful corrosion if left in contact for weeks, months or years.
Before you pack everything away, wipe down all accessible surfaces to remove any contaminants. Then wipe any items made of metal — for example, bikes, metal tables, tools, etc — with machine oil to prevent rusting.