Do label your boxes. If you’re using self storage, chances are you don’t intend to be needing the items you’re packing up for at least a couple of months. And even if you swear you’ll be able to remember that the boxes packed in the right-hand corner contain your extra kitchen utensils or sports equipment, you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget what’s what once everything is sealed up and out of sight. Labeling your boxes makes the unpacking process much easier, and is also useful if you ever need to come in and grab something.
Don’t store anything super valuable. As a general rule, if you can’t afford to lose it, you probably shouldn’t be putting it in your storage unit. A majority of the time your belongings will be just fine and there’s nothing to worry about, but self storage always come with a risk – albeit a small one – that items will get damaged or lost. To be safe, find an alternative way to house art, jewelry, family heirlooms, and other valuable items that you don’t want to take any chances with.
Do pack strategically. Some of the most crucial self storage tips you’ll want to follow are those around how to pack your things, particularly if you’re using a moving container that may shift in transit. You never know if or when you’ll need to access your unit during the storage period, so organize everything in a way that makes it easy – just in case. Store items you’re more likely to need toward the front of the unit, and things you know you’ll be able to live without for a while in the back. And think vertically. Instead of crowding things across the bottom, take advantage of the unit’s height (most are at least eight feet tall) and stack your items, keeping the heavier things closer to the ground. If you can, leave a pathway from the front of the unit to the back so that no item is completely out of reach.
Don’t leave items unprotected. Prevent items from getting damaged by taking the time to properly pack and wrap them. Furniture should be covered with blankets or moving pads (not plastic, which can trap moisture, resulting in mildew and mold), and anything small should be boxed up. Fragile items should be carefully wrapped in packing paper, and stored in a way that they can’t move around.
Do purchase insurance. Check to see if your renters or homeowners insurance covers personal property in storage. If it doesn’t already, you may be able to add it on or purchase a separate storage insurance plan through the insurance company or the storage company. It’s good peace of mind to have extra protection just in case, especially since if you didn’t care about the items in your unit, you probably wouldn’t be going through the trouble of storing them in the first place.
Don’t store anything perishable. Be careful not to pack anything in your unit that could spoil. In addition to leading to bad odors, rotting food and plants could attract bugs and rodents, and you definitely don’t want to happen upon either of those when you open your unit.
Do ask for help, if you need it. Moving things into storage is still a move, and it can be difficult to tackle all on your own. Ask a friend or family member for help, especially if you’re going to be loading heavy items or stacking things up high. Having an extra set of hands will help the process go smoother and faster, and will reduce the risk of injury when lifting furniture or other heavy things.