Preparing For Storage
- Start by gathering as many boxes as you think you will need as well as tape, markers, and packing material (e.g., foam shipping noodles, bubble wrap, packing paper or towels).
- If possible, try to use uniformly sized boxes for easy stacking.
- Make up an inventory list of your items and keep it in a safe place (at home or in a safe deposit box) away from the unit.
- List contents of boxes on all four sides; number the boxes and seal with tape.
- Be sure your boxes are strong enough to hold 25-30 pounds (although we suggest not putting too much in each box).
Protecting Your Items
- Prepare your space by placing a protective cover on the floor under your goods.
- If renting a drive up/exterior unit, place your storage items on 2x4 boards or on pallets to guard against dampness. The concrete floor may become cold and damp.
- Do not store anything COMBUSTIBLE (e.g., paint thinner, gasoline, solvents, or paint).
- Dishes and glasses should be wrapped in paper and packed in sturdy boxes. Stack them on top.
- Pictures and mirrors should be wrapped in cardboard, marked “FRAGILE” and stacked on end.
- Avoid placing sharp or heavy objects on top of upholstered furniture.
- Cover stuffed furniture with cardboard or blankets to protect against dust.
- If you stand mattresses on their sides, prop them up so they stand straight. Otherwise, they tend to bend out of shape and become lumpy.
- Wipe any items made of metal - bikes, metal tables, tools, etc. - with machine oil to prevent rusting.
Packing Your Storage Unit
- Plan your storage space. Place items that you may need to access often in the front of the unit.
- Try to leave an aisle down the center of the storage unit for easier access. Leave a small space between the walls and boxes to allow for air circulation.
- Stack heavier boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on top.
- Put TVs and other electronics in the rear of your unit.
- Shovels, hoes, rakes, and hoses can be stored together in empty trash cans. Stack extra cans inside each other.
- Tables that have removable legs should be broken down to save space.
- Sofas and loveseats can be stored on end to save floor space. Wrap cushions in plastic and place on top of sofas.
- Larger appliances make excellent “packaging cases” for blankets, towels, tablecloths and clothes.
- Furniture with drawers can be utilized as storage places for pictures, knick-knacks, china, silverware, small items, etc. Wrap them in tablecloths, towels, or blankets to prevent breakage.