Pack ‘Em Right! Tips in Organizing a Self Storage Unit


Self storage is actually an art and a science. Doing it properly and with some careful thought will ensure that the stacks will not fall over and possibly hurt you or damage your other things. Also, this will help you know exactly where you put each item so that it will not be hard to find and retrieve. This way, you don’t have to open each box just to find one item. More importantly, packing and organizing your things will make them last longer – they’ll not be filled with dust or grime.

Here are some tips to help ensure success in using your self storage unit:

When packing your boxes:

  1. Before putting things on a box, make a list and assign each to their respective boxes. Make labels for each box and attach these labels to all sides of the box, as well as the top of the box. When making your list, also list down the estimated replacement value or each, particularly if you want to insure your things. If there are breakables, place “fragile” stickers on the box.
  2. Use no more than 2 sizes of boxes. This way, stacking the boxes will be easier and more organized. Boxes should be sturdy enough that the bottom box can withstand the weight of other boxes being stacked on it.
  3. As much as possible, place what you can in boxes to prevent them from getting dusty.
  4. Fill up the entire box but not all with heavy materials. You need to fill up a box to avoid the tendency for it to collapse or tip over. However, you should avoid filling it up with heavy stuff so that it won’t be hard for you to carry. When packing, fill the box with the heavy items first and then fill it to capacity with lighter items.
  5. Putting items in sealed plastic bags may seem like a good idea but it can actually invite mildew.
  6. When packing books, don’t fill up one big box with them. Use smaller book boxes. Also, don’t store the books standing on end. Rather, put them flat on the boxes so that their spines will not be damaged.
  7. Freezers and refrigerators should be stored with the door slightly open. Electrical appliances should be completely dry – defrost freezers and refrigerators, drain washing machines completely.
  8. Pack breakables in bubble wrap or packing paper. Wrap mirrors and picture frames with bubble wrap.
  9. When packing clothes, we recommend that you make use of clothes or wardrobe boxes where you can hang the clothes inside and ensure that they retain their shape.
  10. When wrapping your things, use cloth and not plastic.
  11. When preparing metal tools and equipment for storage, you should drain these of fuel completely. A rub down with some oil will also help to prevent rust from forming.
  12. Ward off dust by sealing boxes with packing tape.

Tips on organizing your self storage unit

  1. Plan ahead. As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!”. Make a general plan of how you will place the boxes and furniture inside your storage unit.
  2. Before putting the boxes in, arrange raised pallets according to your plan. This will prevent rats, silverfish and ants from making their home underneath your boxes. Be sure to also thoroughly clean the storage area.
  3. Avoid putting in wet items as these may invite mildew, mold and other types of water damage.
  4. Make use of the shelves made available.
  5. Store mirrors and frames standing on end, never flat.
  6. Stack boxes in such as way that each box can be easily accessed. Don’t store stacks and stacks of boxes together. Make an aisle that will allow you to access a box without having to move anything out of the way. (And remember to store the heavy boxes at the bottom, the lighter ones on top.) Place the boxes with the things that you’ll most frequently need at the front part of storage unit.
  7. To save space, you can dismantle furniture. For instance, to store a table, you can remove the legs. Just be sure that all bolts and screws are kept in a labeled container and that you actually know how to put the piece of furniture back again.
  8. Create more space in your storage box by using the hollow areas of big furniture. For instance, you can put in a box or two inside a wardrobe. The same goes for refrigerators, washing machines or stoves.
  9. Place moisture absorbers, moth balls and rat bait in key areas.
  10. The right way to pack and organize your things in a self storage facility will help prevent damage and ensure that your things will last for years to come.