So, you’ve finally got around to hiring a self storage unit. (And why wouldn’t you? There are many great ways a self storage unit could benefit you.)
You know what items you need to store, you know how big your storage unit is and you know you need to make the most of the storage space. But what exactly are the best ways to maximise your available space, while also minimising the chances of damage? Luckily for you, Flexible Storage can rely on decades of self storage experience packing thousands of storage units to offer some professional packing advice.
For this reason, we like to think we know a thing or two about how to pack a storage unit. So without further ado, here are our expert storage unit packing tips…
Self storage unit packing tips
· Tip #1 – An inventory is essential
As you box up and pack all of your items for storage (if you need packing inspiration, take a look at our guide to packing up a house), make sure you are recording everything as you go. An inventory is the best way to keep track of all your belongings as they disappear into their respective boxes. Number each box, itemise its content and make at least two copies of the inventory – one copy for you and one spare copy for your storage unit.
Once you have packed your stuff into your storage unit, a great addition to your storage inventory is a map of its content. This can be something as simple as a quick drawing of the layout of your storage unit, including labels or numbers for each storage box and individual items. This will save you a lot of time when you come to retrieve belongings from your unit, especially if you have many items in storage or you are returning to your stuff after a long period of storage. (It’s easy to forget your house keys, let alone an item you put into storage two years ago!).
· Tip #2 – Think about what items you’ll need regular access to
Whatever you are going to store in your unit, there will likely be some belongings that you’ll need easier access to than others. As such, you’ll want to pack your self storage unit in a way that makes it easier to retrieve certain items. Less essential storage boxes should be packed at the back of the unit, always remembering to stack heavier boxes at the bottom with lighter boxes and items on top.
In terms of accessibility, one of the best ways to pack your storage unit is to create an empty space or aisle in the centre of it. Storing your items and stacking your boxes in this way will allow you to easily access your belongings without having to move anything out of the way. While this may not be feasible for every customer or storage unit, always remember to keep important things front and centre.
· Tip #3 – Dismantle larger items of furniture
This may seem like an obvious point but it doesn’t cross many people’s minds to make their larger items as small as possible. Now we’re not suggesting that you take an axe to your wardrobe, but many items such as beds, tables and desks can easily be dismantled and stored in a fraction of the space they would otherwise occupy.
Dig out your furniture’s assembly manual or just test them to see if they can safely be dismantled and easily reassembled. Make sure you safely store all of the necessary fixtures and fittings along with the item to avoid any issues in the future. (We’ve all experienced the frustration of losing that crucial final screw that will keep everything together, so don’t let it happen again!)
· Tip #4 – Use as much vertical space as possible
One larger piece of furniture you might not want to dismantle is your shelves. Put them to good use in your storage unit in the same way you would at home. They are great for storing smaller items or things you want to keep handy while in storage. Shelves can also help to prevent your boxes being crushed, which can happen if too many boxes or too heavy boxes are stacked on top of each other.
Shelves aren’t the only way to optimise vertical storage space. Large, bulky furniture items such as sofas, bedframes and coffee tables are best stored vertically. This makes better use of often neglected vertical space and allows you to pack more items into your self storage unit – saving you space and money!
· Tip #5 – Protect your storage items with quality packing materials
One of the most important aspects of efficiently packing a storage unit is knowing how to protect your items. Proper storage materials are the key. Soft furniture with delicate upholstery such as sofas and mattresses should be protected with paper covers while wooden items should be covered in dustsheets. Knocks and scratches are sometimes unavoidable when moving and storing furniture items. However, protecting your belongings with proper packing materials will significantly minimise the chances of damage.
With the appropriate protection, it’s even recommended to store smaller items inside larger ones. In the same way you would pack items in a storage box, bubble wrapped items can be stored in cupboards or desk drawers. While nothing can really beat a robust storage box, this method can help you make the most of your available storage space.
Going the extra mile…
At Flexible Storage, we strive to provide our customers with the best storage services possible. This extends to supplying our customers with the highest quality storage materials that we have tried and tested over our many years in the storage industry. These include 4 ply paper furniture covers, robust removal boxes, as well as industrial bubble wrap and packing tape.
For even more protection, we can also offer Self Storage Insurance via our partner NSIP Services. If you’re unsure whether you need insurance coverage for your self storage items, take a look at our self storage insurance guide to help you make up your mind.
For more advice on how to pack a storage unit, get in touch with our friendly team today. One of our professional storage consultants can talk you through your self storage options and even provide you with a tailored quote.