When you’re ready to put your extra belongings in a storage facility, take the time to plan it out step by step. There’s an art to this, but you’ll be glad to know that it’s not too complicated once you get started.
Take a look at these 22 tips to organize your storage unit.
Make a map
Before you begin moving boxes and furniture into your self storage room, plan out where things should be placed. Knowing in advance where your belongings will be stored should keep the process well organized. When everything has been moved in, verify that each section is as you had planned or make the necessary adjustments to the map. Post a copy on the inside of the unit so you can quickly find things when they are needed.
Create a spreadsheet
While this may sound like too much extra work, it could prove to be invaluable in finding a specific file or item when you can’t remember in which box it was stored.
Try to pack each box with contents that belong in the same room and list each item in the box. Once the packing and moving is finished, the list can be used to estimate the value of each box which insurance companies usually need.
Use one or two box sizes
Using boxes that have the same dimensions will make them easier to stack, to move and carry. There is also the risk of a larger, heavier box being stacked on top of one that is much smaller unless uniform-sized boxes are used.
Don’t waste space
It isn’t always easy to completely fill each box but doing so will make them more secure when other boxes are stacked on top of them. It will also keep the number of boxes you use down to a minimum. If there are small gaps left in the box, use packing peanuts to fill them.
Use quality packing tape
Cheaper rolls of packing tape or other types of tape do not have the staying power that is needed to keep a box sealed for months at time. A properly sealed box will help keep the items inside free of dust and mold.
Plastic bags are not a wise choice
Although these can be a quick and inexpensive option when moving directly from one place to another, leaving them in storage is not a good idea. Clothing or paper items can become damp and mildew can begin to grow when stored within plastic bags.
Items You May Need to Access
If there are certain items you will need to retrieve in a short amount of time, keep them towards the front of the storage unit. You will save time and you won’t need to shift several boxes and pieces of furniture in order to get to the needed items.
Label every box clearly
Each box should be labeled. According to your chosen system, write the designation on the top and on at least one side of the box, making it easier to locate when your moving or need to find something.
Don’t make boxes too heavy
Remember to pack the heavier things at the bottom. However, whenever possible add some lighter items at the top of the box so it doesn’t become too heavy, making the box unstable.
Box-up or cover everything
The best way to cut down on excessive dust is to make sure all your belongings are stored in boxes. For larger items such as couches and tables, make use of old sheets or towels to keep them covered.
Pack your books carefully
When you are storing a large number of books, pack them in smaller boxes so they won’t shift around. If you pack them on their sides, the spines will be secure and the books will not end up damaged.
Lay Pallets on the Floor
It might be a good idea to lay pallets on the floor before you start bringing in your furniture and boxes. Using raised pallets will keep them off the ground and hinder silverfish, mice and other such creatures from using your belongings as a place to hide.
Picture Frames and Mirrors
Large mirrors and frames should be stored upright. This can keep them from being broken. Wrapping them with bubble wrap or blankets will also help to protect them.
Fragile and Breakable Items
Choose to keep fragile items in a sturdy plastic container. They are more resistant to dust and humidity so these containers will keep your special items safer. Wrap breakable things with a lot of bubble wrap and consider using packing peanuts to add even more cushion. Also, be sure you choose a climate-controlled unit as extreme heat or cold can destroy some of your old documents, glass or electronics.
How to Shelve or Stack Boxes
If you know you will be using these storage units for an extended amount of time, you might consider purchasing some study shelving units to line one of the walls. With or without shelving, place the heaviest boxes at the bottom with the lighter ones on top. If the boxes will be stacked high, use a ladder to reach the ones at the top to prevent things from falling and possibly breaking. Boxes you will need to access often should be stored near the front of the unit to optimal accessibility.
Storing Equipment and Tools
When keeping equipment in a self storage facility, anything that runs on some type of fuel should be drained completely. Metal equipment should be oiled to keep rust from forming while it is lying dormant.
Perishable foods cannot be left in a storage unit. Check with the facility to discover their rules on keeping unopened, non-perishable foods in their units as this may be allowed.
Refrigerators and freezers should be completely defrosted and washing machines should be drained before they are moved into storage. All of these appliances should be allowed to dry completely to avoid the growth of mold or mildew within the machine.
Disassemble Furniture to Save Space
All storage units are limited by their size. In order to save space, disassemble everything possible. For instance, taking apart beds, desks and tables that have detachable legs will allow you to store more things
Box or cover everything
The best way to cut down on excessive dust is to make sure all of your belongings are stored in boxes. For larger items such as couches and tables, make use of old sheets or towels to keep them covered.
Store boxes under tables and desks
Not all of your tables or desks will be taken apart. Use the space underneath these and other pieces of furniture to store boxes or other items. This will save space and cut down on the number of boxes you need.
Create an aisle
As you are unloading your boxes and furniture, remember to leave a pathway that leads to the back of your unit. This will give you the access you may need to reach certain items while they remain in storage.
At Jiffy Self Storage, we offer professional, thorough, and cost effective storage services for homes and businesses alike. For more information, give us a call at (416) 74-JIFFY(54339) or contact us here.