Storage units are a great way to hold your belongings in between moves, during renovations, or while students are on summer break. Figuring out the logistics behind finding, choosing, and packing up a storage unit can be stressful. Follow these tips to make sure you can pack up your unit with ease.

1. Plan Ahead

The most important step to packing a storage unit is to plan ahead (and early). Choose a facility that is safe, well-lit inside and out, and has a gated entrance with different codes for each customer. As you browse through the different types of units available, make sure you plan for everything that you will be putting in there.

What’s worse than moving into a storage unit only to discover that your couch can’t fit through the skinny doorway? Give yourself enough space to fit everything and have extra room in case you need to store more items along the way. Measure your bulkiest belongings like furniture and be sure that they will fit in the hallways and doorways of the unit you have been given.

2. Climate Controlled

Depending on the items you’re storing, the location, and time of year, you should opt for a storage unit that is climate controlled. Places that face extreme heat or cold could cause damage to items over time, so if your unit is not climate controlled, avoid storing electronics or delicate fabrics and materials.

3. Clean Everything

Clean out the unit before putting anything in there. Make sure there are no cracks or holes in the walls, floor, or ceiling. Sweep the floor and you can even scrub the walls with soap and water to ensure there are no germs or substances lingering. Laying a tarp or pallets can also ward off any stains from transferring to your possessions.

Clean everything that you will be putting into the unit as well. As it sits there for months or longer, it will collect a lot of dust. Scrub and wash off any stains or dirt, wax wood furniture to protect it while it sits, use antibacterial cleaner on appliances, and clean leather pieces to give everything a fresh start before packing it away.

4. Stay Organized

Start by making a list of every single thing that you plan to store. Then, separate out each item to a certain box, labeling each box to help yourself out when storing and when you go to retrieve your objects later.

5. Create a Map

You might think you’ll remember where you put each item when you go to retrieve them in the future, but that’s not always the case. Make organization fun and draw up a map for yourself. Lay out the shape and size of the unit and plan out where each item will go. As you pack, be sure to include exactly where you put each piece of furniture or each box and keep an open pathway for yourself as you pack. This will also help if you need to grab one or two things while still leaving everything else in the unit for a while.

6. Don’t Use Too Many Box Sizes

Try to keep the different sizes of your boxes to only two. This will make it easier on you as you pack, as well as you stack everything up once it’s in the storage unit. Using boxes that are the same size will make transporting items easier as well, because they can easily stack so that you don’t have to worry about shifting during the drive to the storage unit.

7. Keep Your Items Safe

Use padding for fragile or expensive items to ensure that they will not break. Always use boxes for small objects to guarantee that they will not get dirty over time or possibly ruined by dust. Protect your belongings and yourself and don’t overpack! Expert packers can easily fill a box up with a lot, but if it’s too heavy the bottom could break open.

8. Don’t Waste Space

Once you get into the unit, make use of the space you have. Stack boxes on top of each other or on top of flat furniture. After you’ve finished storing everything you had planned to, it’s okay if there’s still extra space. This will make it easier to move boxes around if you need to use something in the future, or you will have room to add more pieces if you need to do so.

9. Use What You Have

When it comes to packing of any kind, it’s always best to make use of what you already have. Use plastic tote bins or other baskets to hold as much as they can. Use old sheets or drop cloths to protect furniture from dust. Got a pile of grocery bags that only grows bigger? Use them to wrap up glass for safe storing.

10. Avoid Messes

Try to avoid storing anything in plastic bags, if possible. This will stop the possibility of mildew forming, especially on furniture. If you are storing fridges/freezers or washing machines, make sure to fully thaw and drain them before taking them to the storage unit. You don’t want to gather everything several months later and find that the inside of your fridge is covered in mold.

Your Moving and Storage Experts

At Alliance Moving & Storage, our units are climate controlled to give your belongings the safe storage that it deserves. Whatever your needs, know that we can handle them with expertise and give you the best advice based on the items that you need to store. We even have special packages for students who need a place to hold their dorm or apartment essentials for the summer. Our storage units can be rented out short-term or long-term, and our warehouses are inspected regularly to maintain clean and quality units for you to trust.

Whether you’re about to move or are looking for a storage unit, contact our team today to get started on touring our facilities and learning about the variety of options we have for you!

10 tips for packing a storage unit