Whether you are moving house, traveling or relocating your business, there are many times where you will need to store some of your items. A self storage unit is a great solution to this problem.
However, a poorly planned self storage unit where you items are not prepared properly can lead to headaches when accessing your items and can even eventually cause damage to your stored goods.
Our self storage guide is for planning and preparing your items for self storage, and can help avoid some of these issues. If you’re wondering how much self storage space you might need, head over to our storage space calculator.
“The DIY Guide to Self Storage Planning & Preparation” Infographic Transcription
Whether you are moving house, traveling or relocating your business, there are many times where you will need to store some of your items. A self storage unit is a great solution to this problem. However, a poorly planned self storage unit where your items are not prepared properly can lead to headaches when accessing your items and can even eventually cause damage to your stored goods. Our guide to planning and preparing your items for self storage can help avoid some of these issues.
PREPARING YOUR ITEMS
The use of Packing accessories such as Cartons, Porta Robes, Paper, Tape, Bubble-wrap and Plastic covers will maintain and protect your goods whilst in storage.
Fill Cartons to capacity; partially full or bulging Cartons may tip or collapse. Heavy items like books or tools should be packed in small Cartons so they are easy to handle. Books should be packed flat, not on their spines. Packing and labeling Cartons room by room makes the unpacking much easier, and if you need to find something in storage you will have some idea of which ca on to begin looking in.
WHITE GOODS & APPLIANCES
CLEAN & DRY WHITE GOODS
Fridges, freezers and other white goods should be thoroughly DRY and CLEAN before storing. A dirty or wet fridge or microwave can lead to an unpleasant odor that will seep in to other items, especially cushions, pillows and linen.
LEAVE DOORS SLIGHTLY AJAR
Whilst in storage the door should be secured slightly ajar. A deodorizer placed inside fridges or freezers is also a good idea to maintain freshness. Don’t place items inside fridges or freezers as the shelves and linings can be easily marked and damaged.
Where possible, disassemble furniture and place all pieces in a box with assembly instructions. Tape any loose screws on to the inside of the box. This way you will ensure that you have everything in one place when you need to reassemble the item.
CLEAN FURNITURE BEFORE PLACING IN STORAGE
Clean all furniture thoroughly before storing. Use a sheet or tarp to cover large pieces of furniture and keep it clean. A sealed bag is a good solution to protect pillows and cushions.
PROTECT FRAGILE PIECES
Use bubble wrap to protect fragile arms/legs of furniture from scratching and denting. Use the padding (cushions/pillows etc) from furniture for extra protection.
STORE SIMILAR ITEMS TOGETHER
When packing your smaller electronic items, try to put all like items in one, clearly labeled box. Pack instruction manuals and cords with their original electronics. This will ensure that these bits and pieces are easy to find.
PACK ITEMS PROPERLY
The original boxes for electronic items are ideal to repack in. If this is unavailable, wrapping items individually in bubble, packing them in Cartons, and sealing the top will offer protection for your electrical items. It is best to remove any batteries from remotes and toys to avoid damage from leaking batteries.
DOCUMENTS AND ART
LABEL AND ORGANIZE ALL DOCUMENTS
There’s no use wasting space with unnecessary documents. So shred documents that aren’t needed and organize them in to clearly labeled boxes. Tabbed folders are a great way to organize all of your documents.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT STORAGE SOLUTION
Business records and documents containing sensitive personal information should be stored or disposed of securely. Consider using water proof lockable boxes for these types of documents.
Protect the edges of frames by covering the corners in cardboard. It is also a good idea to wrap the whole thing in cloth or paper to add moisture protection. Finally, add a layer or two of bubble wrap to ensure that both frame and picture are protected from bumps and scratched.
It is important to plan the layout of your self storage unit so that you all of your items can not only be accessed with minimal fuss when/if you ever need them, but also in a way that protects them from moisture/heat damage. With this in mind, below are a couple of ways you can achieve this with simple planning.
CREATE A CENTRAL AISLE
Leaving a central aisle down the center of your storage unit with small interval walk ways allows for easy access to all of your items.
LEAVE SPACE BETWEEN THE WALL
Leave a small gap between the wall of your unit to allow for air flow. This helps to prevent moisture and heat damage.
LAY A SHEET OR TARP ON THE FLOOR
Laying a tarp or plastic sheeting down before you pack your unit will help avoid condensation damage.
STORE FREQUENTLY USED ITEMS IN THE FRONT
This allows for easy access to items that you are likely going to use.