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Start Smart – Begin With a Plan

Look at the belongings you plan to store. Ask these questions:

  •  Will I access these items or will they stay stored until I move them?
  •  How long will I store these items?

Action:  Take a piece of paper or use software to draw a space about the size of your storage unit. If you plan to access your items, determine whether you will need to access all boxes or items in your unit or only a portion of them. If there is a portion you will not access, make plans to put these items toward the back. For the items you will access, allow walking space so that you can easily reach the intended boxes.

Organize Now – Save Time Later By Creating a List

Taking time to organize your items by box and label each box will save you untold hours later – especially if you plan to access items. Imagine trying to find a particular holiday decoration by tearing into 10 boxes, rummaging through them and still not finding it! That can be very frustrating.

Action: Get a piece of paper or use your phone or computer to make a list of boxes and the contents inside of each box. Only you know how specific you need to be. Some people make very detailed notes about their items, others can recall what’s in the box with a bullet list of items. Do what works for you.

Once you have your list of boxes and their inventory, number the boxes and mark the numbers on your storage unit diagram as you move into your storage unit. This will ensure you can put your hands on any item you want, when you want it!

Pack Right – Reduce Damages By Packing Items Properly

Moving, no matter what the reason, can be a stressful situation. Often people will throw belongings into a box and worry about damages later. Use these DOs and DON’Ts to minimize damage and make self storage a more positive experience:

Self Storage DOs

  • DO create a grid of 2 x 3s on the bottom of your storage unit. This will minimize the effect of temperature changes and will provide extra ventilation in your unit.
  • DO use the right size box. If you will be moving boxes on your own, choose boxes small enough that you can easily maneuver. A large box might seem like a good deal budget-wise, but think about how you will actually use these boxes in your storage unit.
  • DO choose the right box for the job. If you will be storing clothes, consider using a garment box. If you have china, consider using a china box. These boxes are designed for certain items. For items you want to further safeguard, consider using plastic storage tubs – these tubs offer a barrier to changes in temperature or humidity.
  • DO use proper packing materials to safeguard belongings. Packing paper, peanuts, bubble wrap can help protect fragile items.
  • DO pack boxes full, but do not overfill them as this can damage items when boxes are stacked. If the box cannot be closed and taped without force, take the offending item out and put it into another box.
  • DO inventory the contents of each box and label each box with those contents. Consider making a master inventory for the entire contents of your storage unit. Keep this inventory in a safe place and share a copy with someone else who knows you.
  • DO make a diagram/plan for how to access items you will take out of your self storage unit. This also will help you determine what size self storage unit will work best for you and your belongings.
  • DO add individuals to your self storage unit contract if you intend to have individuals other than yourself access your unit.
  • DO follow these guidelines for packing your items:
Type of Item How to Prepare
Item to Be Stored
How To Pack
Clothes Clean & Dry Completely Use wardrobe boxes to hang clothing. Consider placing shoes in the bottom of wardrobe boxes. Dressers can also house clothing.
Books Dust Pack flat, do not stack vertically or on the spine. Books can be stored in boxes or dressers or other furniture. Protect from moisture by packing in a plastic storage box.
Documents Inventory and Organize in File Folders Pack in file cabinets or bankers boxes. Consider moving file cabinets into the storage unit and then transferring files into the file cabinets.
Dishes & Glassware Clean and/or Dust Wrap dishes and glassware with packing paper or bubble wrap. Nest items when possible. Label box ‘FRAGILE’ and avoid stacking boxes on top of fragile contents.
Lamps Dust/Disassemble Shade from Lamp Wrap lamp fixture with packing paper or bubble wrap. Wrap shades in plastic and store on top of other boxes.
Mirrors & Framed Art Dust Wrap in bubble wrap to protect frames and glass from being scratched. Store vertically in a location where they will not tip over.
Couch Vacuum/Clean Tip on the side and cover with a sheet or plastic tarp. Store cushions and/or pillows separately in a plastic bag. Do not store upholstery on the ground.
Mattress Vacuum/Clean – Ensure Mattress is Completely Dry Place in mattress cover and store vertically on its side.
Bed Frame Disassemble and Dust Wrap any wood parts that you want to protect with packing paper or bubble wrap. Store vertically.
Dining Tables, End Tables, Bedside Tables & Coffee Tables Disassemble and Dust Disassemble tables if the size does not allow for maximum storage space. Rectangle tables may be used to stack boxes whereas round tables can be disassembled for maximum storage space.
Appliances Clean/Dust – Ensure All Are Completely Dry Refrigerators, freezers and washing machines must be drained and completely cleaned and thoroughly dried prior to storing. Doors can be taken off and appliances can be used for storage. Use drying agents to further remove moisture. Drain washer hoses completely and allow to dry outside prior to placing in the carriage for storage. Dust dryers and eliminate lint.
Electronics Clean/Dust – Ensure All Are Completely Dry Microwaves, stereos, kitchen appliances – all electronics need to be clean and dry. Consider wrapping up cords with cord.
Lawn Tools Hose Off with Air Compressor & Drain Lawnmowers, leaf blowers, weed eaters, and any other gas-powered lawn tool need to have all fluids drained prior to storing. Consider placing each in a plastic garbage bag in case of any fluids that may leak. Consider where you place these lawn tools in proximity to any items that may absorb oil smells.
Bicycles Hose Off with Air Compressor Bicycles can be stored vertically or horizontally.
Motorcycles Top Off Tank and Add Fuel Stabilizer, Fill Up Fluids, Fix Any Leaks, Charge Battery, Dust/Clean & Wax Store motorcycles by preparing them properly. Consider using a drop cloth, sheet or other protection inside the storage unit.
Cars Top Off Tank and Add Fuel Stabilizer, Fill Up Fluids, Fix Any Leaks, Charge Battery, Dust/Clean & Wax Store cars by preparing them properly. Consider using a drop cloth, sheet or other protection inside the storage unit.
ATVs & Jet Skis Top Off Tank and Add Fuel Stabilizer, Fill Up Fluids, Fix Any Leaks, Charge Battery, Dust/Clean & Wax Store ATVs & jet skis by preparing them properly. Consider using a drop cloth, sheet or other protection inside the storage unit.

Self Storage DON’Ts

  • DON’T skip proper packing. While packing may appear to be a large investment, improper packing can damage items. Consider the value of your belongings and see proper packing as an investment in your item.
  • DON’T throw items into your unit haphazardly. This can lead to damaged belongings and a great deal of wasted time when you go to access your items.
  • DON’T skip proper preparation. Storing items improperly can ruin everything in your unit and also make a big mess you will have to clean up! You are investing in self storage, invest the time to properly prepare your belongings. In the case of expensive valuable such as appliances, electronics, cars, motorcycles and other vehicles, this is particularly important. Improper storage can cause a LOT of problems. Take care!
  • DON’T use newspaper to wrap items. Newsprint can leave ink on your belongings and this ink, over time, can ruin your belongings.
  • DON’T forget to inventory your belongings. This will save you a great deal of time accessing and unpacking your belongings.
  • DON’T put valuables at the front of your unit. If you will infrequently visit your self storage unit, consider placing your valuable items at the back of your unit so they are harder to access. You will need to plan ahead to store these properly.
  • DON’T second guess the storage process. If you have questions, please contact us! We are here to help.
  • DON’T forget to give us notice when you are ready to vacate your self storage unit.

Self Storage Solutions You Can Count On

No matter what type of self storage you require or for how long,
Space Station Self Storage has a solution for you.