man holding storage box

Whether you plan to use self-storage for a longer or shorter term, we can all agree that storage is a great way to free up room in your home or keep your belongings safe when transitioning into a new space. But when it comes to getting the most out of your self-storage space, a little planning goes a long way. 

We’ve seen it before, clients rent a smaller or larger sized storage unit with the pretense that their belongings will fit perfectly, packing them without thought into the container, and suddenly realizing that space they’ve rented is far too cramped, too big, or just not the right space for their more delicate items. 

When renting a storage unit, packing items in a storage unit is really only part of the battle. If you want to ensure that your storage is completely optimized to keep your items safe and trips to and from the storage-unit as pain-free as possible, follow these simple “do’s and don’ts” to make sure your experience with self-storage is a positive one!

How Do You Choose the Right Unit?

The “Do’s”:

  • Make sure you choose the right company. This task can make or break your experience. Choose a reliable company that takes security and storage unit cleanliness seriously. Trust a reputable company that has a majority of positive reviews online and through word of mouth. 
  • Take into account what you’re putting in storage. It would be a mistake to rent a traditional unit if you’re planning to store delicate, antique, or more easily ruined items. Know what’s going into storage and be honest as to whether or not those items would be safer in a climate-controlled unit.
  • Take an inventory before you choose a unit. It’s incredibly common for a person to rent out a unit that is far too small for the number of belongings they plan to store. Don’t be that person! By taking inventory of every box or item that will make its way to storage, you’ll not only have a better idea of how much space you’ll need, but you’ll also have an account 

The “Don’t”:

  • Never wait till the last minute. As soon as you know you need a storage unit, start your search. Last-minute shopping around makes it more likely you’ll be stuck with a storage unit facility that isn’t right for you. 

How Do You Pack a Unit to Reduce Hassle?

The “Do’s”:

  • Pack strategically. You never know when you’ll need to make a quick run to the unit for a random item. This is why it’s important to pack strategically. Organize and load everything into your storage unit with a purpose. That way, when the day comes, you’ll know exactly which box or container you need to look for. No more rummaging around for hours until you find something.
  • Label every box. Just as it’s important to pack with a strategy, it’s also important to label your boxes and containers. Even if a container is clear, it’s easier to know what is where if you choose to label each container with not only the room that the items once had a home in but the individual items in each box. You might even decide to label each container with a number. Need something fast? Quickly go over your copy of the list that you’ve made with the number/label, and items in a box so you can know exactly which container it’s in before you even get there.

The “Don’t”:

  • Never leave your items unprotected. A common mistake that is made by first-time storage users is the idea that because items are left inside a storage unit they’re automatically safe. They then come back for a family album or piece of furniture only to notice some sort of weather damage or yellowing of documents and pictures. Make sure you take extra care to wrap any belongings that may be more susceptible to damage. 

If you choose not to use a climate-controlled unit, make sure that you think about the worst that could happen and plan for it! Yes, a storage unit is clean and is far more protected from the elements than a shed or garage, but changes in humidity, heavy rain, and sweltering heat can affect the more delicate items in its care.

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