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Top 10 Packing Tips

Top 10 Packing Tips

Storage unit organization shouldn’t have to be hard. If you want to learn how to pack a storage unit like the pros, follow these top ten storage unit tips from our storage experts at Stor-It, and store your stuff with us today!

1. Choose a Reputable Self-Storage Provider

When it comes to successful self storage, the most important step is choosing the right provider. Start by looking for storage locations near your home or business, then narrow it down to facilities with the type of storage you need (climate-controlled units, indoor/outdoor parking, drive-up storage, etc). From there, find the facilities that offer the storage unit sizes you need. Check pricing and contract options to determine which facility best fits your budget. Finally, schedule a tour at your top facilities to see which one you like best.

2. Reserve the Smallest Space Possible

The bigger the space, the more you’ll spend. Rent the smallest amount of space you need and pack the space full. You can always upgrade to a bigger space later.

3. Gather Your Materials

Effective packing and storage unit organization starts with proper supplies. Before moving into your unit, get as many boxes as you think you need. Try to use same-size boxes for easy stacking and optimal space efficiency. You’ll also want to invest in other essentials like tape (for wrapping and closing boxes), markers (for labeling), and packing material (for cushioning). You can use foam shipping noodles, packing paper, or towels, but we like bubble wrap best.

4. Cushion Fragile Objects

Simply investing in packing supplies won’t ensure that your items get packed and stored properly. For your most fragile items, you’ll want to pay special attention to how you pack them. Wrap all exposed areas, especially thinner regions, in several layers of cushioned material. Never stack other items on top of fragile materials, as this can lead to damage. If your cushioned materials won’t stay attached, tape them down once you’ve completed wrapping. Always mark boxes with fragile contents as FRAGILE.

5. Pack Other Items Properly

Knowing how to pack a self storage unit means knowing how to pack individual items. We’ve covered the most fragile objects, so now it's time to focus on other frequently-stored possessions. Here are a few tips:

  • Dishes and glasses should be wrapped in paper and packed at the top of sturdy boxes.
  • Stuffed furniture should wrapped with blankets or stored with a specialized cover.
  • Tables and chairs that have removable legs should be broken down to save space.
  • Mattresses should be propped to stand up straight if they are stood on their sides in storage. This prevents mattress lumps.
  • Shovels, hoes, rakes and hoses can be stored together in empty trash cans. Stack extra cans inside each other.
  • Items made of metal (bikes, metal tables, tools, etc.) should be wiped with machine oil to prevent rusting.

6. Take an Inventory

If you’re storing a lot of items, it can be difficult to remember what you decided to store and what you kept at out of storage. To ensure that everything is accounted for and ensure optimal storage unit organization, take an inventory of everything you’re planning to store. Make a list and keep it with you at your home or business.

7. Prepare Your Storage Space

Even the best storage spaces can get dirty. Prepare your space by cleaning it and placing a protective cover (a tarp or plastic sheet will do just fine) on the floor under your goods. This will help keep your possessions in great condition.

8. Pack for Access

Those who know how to pack a storage unit the right way know to leave room for themselves. The best storage unit organization accommodates access. Your items can be immaculately sorted, but if you can’t get to them, you’ll struggle every time you open your unit. Place items you take out the most often near the front and the items you use the least towards the back. Try to make at least one aisle from the front to the back of the unit to give yourself more access.

9. Stack and Store Smart

Access aside, there are a number of other factors to consider when packing your storage unit. To prevent accidents and keep heavy lifting to a minimum, stack heavier boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on the top. DO NOT store anything COMBUSTIBLE (i.e. paint thinner, gasoline, solvents, paint, etc.). Keep items in good condition and keep your unit as clean and fresh as possible by leaving small spaces between your stacks and the wall to improve circulation. Lastly, always remember to label your boxes with their contents. This will save you time when you come back in search of certain possessions.

10. Make a Map

You won’t be accessing your storage unit every day. You may only be opening it up once or twice a year. Once you’ve finished organizing it for the first time, make a map that outlines where everything is located and tape it to the front of your unit. This will help you find things much quicker later on.

Learn More and Store With Us

Want to learn more about storage unit organization and how to pack a storage unit? Our experts at Stor-It are here to help. You can contact one of our team members for more packing for storage tips, visit our FAQ Page and Size Guide for more online storage assistance, and purchase packing supplies available on site. Ready to reserve your storage space? Head over to our Locations page to find the perfect self storage space for your needs at one of our 14 Idaho locations!

Other Tips

1. Smallest Space
Rent the smallest amount of space you need and pack the space full.

2. Gather Materials
Start by gathering as many boxes that you think you will need, tape, markers and packing material (i.e. foam shipping noodles, bubble wrap, packing paper or towels.)

3. Uniform Sizes
If possible, try to use uniform size boxes for easy stacking.

4. Inventory
Make up an inventory of your items and keep it in a safe place at home or in a safe deposit box.

5. Prepare
Prepare your space by placing a protective cover on the floor under your goods.

6. Keep Dry
Place your storage items on 2x4 boards or on pallets to guard against dampness.

7. Access
Plan your storage space. Place those items that you may need to access often in the front.

8. CAUTION
CAUTION! Do not store anything COMBUSTIBLE (i.e. paint thinner, gasoline, solvents, paint, etc.)

9. Easier Access
Try to leave an aisle down the center of the storage unit for easier access. Leave a small space between the walls and boxes to allow for air circulation.

10. Stack
Stack heavier boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on the top.

11. Strong Boxes
Be sure your boxes are strong enough to hold 25-30 pounds. We sell locally made boxes that have up to 200 pound crush capacity (It is best not to put too much in each box.)

12. List Contents
List contents of boxes on all four sides; number the boxes and seal with tape.

13. Wrap It Up
Dishes and glasses should be wrapped in paper and packed in sturdy boxes. Stack them on top.

14. Fragile
Pictures and mirrors should be wrapped in cardboard and marked "FRAGILE" and stacked on end.

15. Appliances
Larger appliances make excellent "packing cases" for blankets, towels, tablecloths and clothes.

16. Electronics
Put TV's and other electronics in the rear of your unit.

17. Stored Together
Shovels, hoes, rakes and hoses can be stored together in empty trash cans. Stack extra cans inside each other.

18. Removable Legs
Tables that have removable legs should be broken down to save space.

19. Sofas and Loveseats
Sofas and loveseats can be stored on end to save floor space. Cushions may be wrapped in plastic and placed on top.

20. Sharp or Heavy Objects
Avoid placing sharp or heavy objects on top of upholstered furniture.

21. Stuffed Furniture
Cover stuffed furniture with cardboard or blankets to protect against dust.

22. Mattresses
If you stand mattresses on their side, prop them up so they stand straight. They may tend to bend out of shape and become lumpy.

23. Metal Items
Wipe any items made of metal - bikes, metal tables, tools, etc - with machine oil to prevent rusting.