If you’re planning to use self-storage, or maybe just thinking about it, you might be wondering how you’ll pack everything?
These 10 helpful tips will help make your storage experience a positive one.
TIP #1 – PLAN AHEAD Sounds cliche, but people who plan ahead sure look a lot less stressed-out than the ones who just realized they have no one to help them move . In addition to your storage unit, make sure you reserve a truck, line up movers, get boxes/packing materials in advance, have directions, etc.
TIP #2 – PACK EFFICIENTLY You’ll know you haven’t packed efficiently when your friends don’t even hang around for the free pizza! Fill your trash cans and dresser drawers with light-weight items to minimize the number of trips up/down stairs.. Break down the big stuff like dining room tables and entertainment centers so they don’t take up a lot of space and so no one drops anything or hurts themselves.
TIP #3 – USE BOXES & COVERS Don’t let a broken lamp or scuffed up sofa ruin your move! Nothing is more important to making your moving and storage experience positive than using the right boxes, packing materials, and moving accessories. You’ll look like a pro when you’ve gotten your supplies ahead of time and you have everything boxed or covered up, gloves for everyone who is helping, and the right dollies, tie-downs and pads to pack the truck.
TIP #4 – USE LABELS Hey, what’s in this box?…Sorry, that box wasn’t supposed to be moved all the way up to the third floor!…Where’s the TV clicker? These are just a few of the things you won’t want to hear the day you move, so make sure you label everything and know where it’s supposed to go ahead of time by keeping a detailed list.
TIP #5 – STORE APPLIANCES PROPERLY Don’t let an unwieldy appliance ruin your moving and storage experience…plan ahead by getting the right appliance dolly to move it safely and by knowing the proper way to store it so there are no problems later on. Whenever possible, remove doors to make an appliance lighter and easier to fit through doorways and never tip a refrigerator on its side. Make sure appliances are clean before going into storage, leave the refrigerator door ajar to prevent mildew, and use the space inside appliances to store smaller items like pots and pans.
TIP #6 – STORE MATTRESSES PROPERLY There’s no avoiding it…mattresses are big and bulky and no one likes moving them, especially when there’s no space left in the truck or storage unit and you’re trying to cram it in so you can close the door! Plan ahead by using mattress covers and making sure there’s adequate space for them. Although it’s okay to stand mattresses on end in a moving truck, the best thing to do in your storage unit is lay flat them on top of other, well-packed items so they don’t lose their form.
TIP #7 – KEEP THINGS OFF THE FLOOR Even in the cleanest and driest of environments, you want to keep things off the floor whenever possible, especially cardboard boxes. Use storage pallets or pads, stack lighter items on top of dressers and other furniture, and keep everything covered/protected to avoid problems later on.
TIP #8 – CLEAN IN = CLEAN OUT Remember…everything you put into storage will eventually come out and there’s nothing worse than opening a smelly, dirty refrigerator in your new home! That’s why it’s important to make sure everything you store is clean and ready to use when you move it out of storage. The other thing to keep in mind is that rodent/pest infestation at storage facilities is almost always caused by food or unsanitary items being stored, or the rodents/pests inadvertently being brought into the facility. A responsible self-storage operator should have a preventative pest control program.
TIP #9 – CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZES Nothing is more frustrating (for you or your movers) when the extra-large boxes you thought were ideal to hold all your stuff are too heavy to even pick up, or you have to make a second trip because the truck/van is too small, or your storage unit is crammed full and there’s a box spring and mattress still sitting in the hallway! Shop for moving supplies ahead of time and touch base with your moving or truck rental company to help you make the right choices.
TIP #10 – MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PROTECTION You’ve gone to the trouble of organizing, moving, and storing all your stuff…now’s not the time to forget about insurance coverage. Check your homeowner’s, renter’s, or business policy to make sure you’re covered in a self-storage facility or consider the storage facility’s tenant insurance program, which should give you the option to purchase a protection plan that’s right for you or provide proof of coverage if you already have insurance.