Properly packing a self storage unit makes it easier to find what you're looking for when you move everything out. It also keeps your precious items neat and tidy for the long haul. Whether you're stashing your stuff for a few months or for a few years, planning out your storage strategy is key to an easy unpacking session.
Before you move your boxes, furniture and other items into self storage, do the following:
1. Pack all of your cardboard boxes up to the top. The Texas Self Storage Association notes that partially-filled boxes may eventually collapse. This is especially true if you plan on stacking boxes. A half-full box can easily flatten under the weight of a completely filled one. Along with filling your boxes, stack them according to weight, with the heaviest on the bottom.
2. Protect fragile glass or mirror surfaces. Instead of storing your glass coffee table top or full-length door mirror as is, wrap them in bubble wrap or a similarly cushioned material.
3. Pull double-duty and pack your clothes in dresser drawers. This tactic only works for clothes that you can fold without wrinkling, such as sweaters, under-garments or workout gear. Neatly fold the clothes and place them in the dresser drawers that you would typically use. For example, if you always keep your sweats in the bottom drawer, place them there. This will help you to remember where everything is during the unpacking process.
4. Check your state's codes and applicable laws for self storage. Certain items are prohibited by self storage facilities, according to the Self-Storage Association of Michigan. These typically include perishable items as well as ones that are potentially combustible or toxic. Keep in mind that you may need to empty or clean certain items to meet these requirements. For example, you will likely need to drain the gasoline from your weed trimmer's tank prior to packing it up.
5. While labeling boxes is a no-brainer, you need to also organize where you are placing them. It's possible that four years down the road you won't remember that the dessert dishes are in the bottom box on the far right and the blankets are on the top left. Create an inventory. Use a spreadsheet program on your computer to itemize every box. Use the label that you've created and assign each box a spot in the storage locker. If you remove items before you empty out the locker, note this on your list to avoid confusion later on.
Creating a packing strategy that includes filling up your boxes and using furniture to store clothing. Along with using common sense and keeping breakables on top and heavy items on the bottom, organizing your locker into a list or spreadsheet will make your move run smoothly.