15 tips for self-storage and how to optimize your space

December 10, 2014

If your leased self-storage unit suddenly appears tiny, and the thought of keeping your valuables there is causing you concern, then read on. Here are 15 self-storage tips to help you to fully utilize the available space without damaging your belongings.

  1. Keep a detailed inventory of all stored objects. This step is crucial. Among other things, it will help you in case you ever need to make an insurance claim.
  2. Clearly label each box and storage bin. You may know what’s stored in it today, but you may not remember when the time comes to find a particular item.
  3. Fill each box as much as possible to facilitate stacking and prevent the collapse of your piles.
  4. Store heavy items in smaller containers and lighter items in larger ones.
  5. Use similar sized boxes since they’re easier to stack. Use at least two box or bin sizes for the reasons mentioned above.
  6. Pallets are your allies. Use them so you won’t have to store your belongings directly on the floor of the unit. Any water damage in the unit next door could infiltrate your unit as well, so better safe than sorry.
  7. To pack dishes and other fragile items, place a protective layer of fabric or paper at the bottom of each box, then on top of the items and in any empty spaces between them.
  8. If yours is an outdoor-facing unit, never leave clothing or bedding near the ground. Even though they may be properly packed, they could easily become a cozy nest for small rodents.
  9. To conserve as much space as possible, disassemble all of your furniture and make sure to properly identify their respective hardware. Tape your various sealed bags of hardware to the furniture or keep it all in one clearly labelled box.
  10. Appliances are likely to retain moisture. Make sure they’re completely empty, clean and dry before storing, and keep the doors of fridges, freezers and dishwashers ajar.
  11. Buy a roll of industrial-grade plastic wrap to wrap around furniture and mattresses so as to prevent dirt or bed bugs from infiltrating them.
  12. Save space by storing furniture and mattresses vertically.
  13. To improve air circulation and consequently minimize odours in your unit, remember to leave a few inches between the objects and the walls.
  14. Store any items you may need at the front of the unit, and your valuables out of sight, at the back.
  15. One final self-storage tip most people fail to think about is to draw up a map of your unit. Once everything is in place, sketch a floor plan that indicates the location of each object and leave it right beside the door. Again, avoid relying on your memory, which may get fuzzy with time.

Time to get moving

You’re now armed with enough tips to facilitate your self-storage experience. It’s time to gather your boxes and recruit your assistants.

15 tips for self-storage and how to optimize your space
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