Anytime you need to rent a storage unit the key is to choose a unit that will be large enough to hold everything you need to store without being so large that you are wasting money on unnecessary space. The larger your unit is, the more expensive your monthly rental amount for the unit will be. So, while it may be tempting to just stuff everything into your unit as quickly as possible, here are some tips that will help you pack your unit efficiently and maximize the space.
TIP # 1 – PACK AND LABEL BOXES FIRST
Before you can determine how much space you will need in your storage unit, you need to have a good idea of how much you have that will need to be stored. It is best to try to make a plan beforehand of how you will place boxes and furniture inside your storage unit before you actually begin loading it.
You will want to pack as much as you are able to into boxes to help protect your items and make the most use of the space you have available in your unit. It is best to pack the boxes as full as possible to continue to maximize space, but you also want to make sure that you do not choose box sizes that are going to be too heavy once packed full.
As you are packing each box, make sure to label the front and sides of each box with a black permanent marker clearly indicating what is packed into each box, so if you have to retrieve something from your storage unit later you will be able to easily locate it.
TIP # 2 – HOW TO STORE FURNITURE
Once you have packed everything that you can into boxes, you want to start actually filling your storage unit with the heaviest and bulkiest items first. If you have furniture pieces that will work well for stacking boxes on top of such as a dresser or shelving unit, be sure to use this extra space once you start adding your boxes in.
Many pieces of furniture are able to be broken down into smaller pieces such as tables and bed frames. If you are able to break a piece of furniture down, you should so it will not take up more room than is necessary while you are storing it. Just be sure to put all the hardware pieces for each piece of furniture into a zip-lock bag and tape the bag to a part of the furniture so you won’t have any trouble reassembling the furniture when you take it out of storage.
For furniture that cannot be broken down as easily, such as couches and mattresses, you want to take advantage of the vertical space in your storage unit. Placing items in your unit straight up will help you maximize the vertical space in your unit without taking up too much room horizontally. You will just want to make sure your furniture is well anchored, so it cannot fall over when you store it vertically.
TIP # 3 – HOW TO STORE BOXES
While it may seem like you can just take boxes and start stacking them on top of each other until your unit is full, this is not the most efficient or wise way to load boxes into your storage unit. You will want to make sure that heavier boxes are on the bottom to create a sturdy base for lighter boxes that are stacked on top of them. This will help prevent heavier boxes crushing lighter boxes while in storage. You will also want to make sure that you strategically pack your boxes into your unit in a manner in which boxes you will need to access the most are the most easily accessible. Try to keep boxes you will need to retrieve items from frequently on top and near the front of your storage unit for easy access.
TIP # 4 – LEAVE AISLES
This is probably one of the most important things you can do when packing your storage unit! While you may not plan on having your items in storage for long, things happen and sometimes we wind up keeping our storage units longer than we thought we would. If everything was loaded into your unit side by side with no walking room you are going to be in a really difficult position if you need to retrieve something that is not right on top or in the front of your unit later on.
Leaving aisles in between your rows of boxes that are wide enough for you to be able to walk between will make life much easier when you need to return to your unit to get something out. It will also help make the moving out process easier when you are ready to take everything out of storage.
TIP # 5 – MAKE A MAP AND INVENTORY LIST
This might sound like a bit much when it comes to a storage unit but having a map and inventory list will be another step that will make your life much easier when the time comes that you need to return to your unit to retrieve something. Don’t waste time digging around in different boxes when you can have a clear list and map indicating exactly where you need to look to find the item you need. You can keep this list and map taped up in the front of your storage unit, so you won’t have difficulty finding it later on. The inventory list will also help you with any potential insurance concerns you have while storing your items.
TIP # 6 – AVOID NASTY SITUATIONS
Storage units can get musty and grimy quickly! You will want to take some precautionary measures to help keep your unit dry and clean while your belongings are in it. Place moisture absorbers, mothballs, and rat bait strategically throughout your unit. If you have an indoor climate-controlled unit, this may not be as big of a deal, but it is still a good idea to use at least some of these measures to further protect your items.
Now you know everything you need in order to pack your storage unit like a pro! But if you don’t want to worry about packing your unit yourself, or if you are looking for a professional moving company to help you with your move, contact Brighter Moves today to discuss your moving needs!