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How to Pack a Self Storage Unit

May 1, 2023 |

Let me tell you, I’ve packed my fair share of self storage units in my time, and I’ve learned a thing or two about how to make the most of the space while keeping my belongings safe and organized. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share my expert tips on how to pack a self storage unit like a pro. 

Preparing Your Belongings

Before you start loading up your storage unit, you need to make sure your belongings are prepared for the move. Trust me, this step will save you time and headaches in the long run.

Clean and Dry Your Items

Give everything a good clean before you pack it away. Not only does this help you avoid bringing dirt and dust into your storage unit, but it also prevents the growth of mold and mildew. Make sure all items are thoroughly dry, as moisture can cause damage over time.

Disassemble Large Furniture

Breaking down large pieces of furniture, like bed frames or tables, can help you maximize your storage space. Plus, it’s much easier to move and store smaller pieces. Don’t forget to keep all hardware, like screws and bolts, in a labeled bag so you can easily reassemble the furniture later.

Wrap Fragile Items

Bubble wrap is your best friend when it comes to protecting fragile items, like glassware or electronics. Make sure to wrap each item individually and secure the bubble wrap with packing tape. For extra protection, consider placing fragile items in sturdy boxes or plastic containers.

I know just how nerve-wracking it can be to ensure your delicate treasures make it through storage unscathed so be sure to take your time when wrapping your items, but there’s more to it than that you should first identify which items need extra protection.

These are the belongings that need extra attention and protection during packing and storage. Fragile items typically include:

  • Glassware and crystal
  • Fine china and porcelain
  • Electronics
  • Mirrors and framed artwork
  • Antiques and collectables
  • Lamps and light fixtures
  • Musical instruments

While this advice may seem obvious, we have seen customers so busy when they are moving that they rush and end up not thinking too much about their most fragile items.

Gathering Your Packing Materials

Before you start packing, make sure you have all the materials you need. Having the right packing supplies on hand can make the process smoother and more efficient.  

The last thing you want to do before moving your items is to be rushing around looking for supplies or containers so get everything ready a week or two before you intend to put your items into storage.

Boxes and Containers

Invest in sturdy, uniform-sized boxes or plastic containers for your belongings. Uniform sizes make it easier to stack and organize your items. Consider using clear plastic containers so you can quickly see the contents without opening them.

Packing Paper and Bubble Wrap

Packing paper and bubble wrap are essential for protecting fragile items and filling empty spaces in boxes. Make sure to have plenty of both on hand before you start packing.

Packing Tape

You’ll need strong packing tape to seal your boxes and secure your bubble wrap. Don’t skimp on quality, as cheap tape can lose its adhesive over time.

Moving Blankets and Furniture Covers

Protect your furniture from dust and scratches with moving blankets or furniture covers. These protective layers will keep your items in tip-top shape while they’re in storage.

Use the Right Wrapping Techniques

Once you have your packing materials, it’s time to start wrapping your fragile items. Here are some techniques to keep in mind:

Always wrap your fragile items individually with bubble wrap. Make sure the bubbles face inward, as this provides the best cushioning. Secure the wrap with packing tape to keep it in place. For items like glassware or fine china, start by placing a sheet of packing paper on a flat surface. Place the item in the center of the paper and fold the edges over, ensuring the entire item is covered. Secure the paper with packing tape.

Use foam sheets for larger items, like mirrors or framed artwork. Place the item in the center of the sheet and fold the edges over, securing them with packing tape.

When packing fragile items in a box, create a layer of cushioning on the bottom using bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or crumpled packing paper. This base layer will help absorb shocks and vibrations during transit and storage.

Pack Fragile Items Securely

Now that your items are wrapped, it’s time to pack them in boxes. 

Avoid using oversized boxes for fragile items, as too much empty space can cause items to shift and collide during transit. Instead, opt for smaller boxes that can comfortably accommodate your wrapped items.

Use packing tape to reinforce the bottom and sides of your boxes, especially if they’ll be holding heavy or fragile items. Packing tape gives you a little extra security so your heavier items don’t fall through your moving boxes.

Fill any empty spaces in your boxes with packing peanuts, crumpled packing paper, or additional bubble wrap to prevent items from shifting. Packing peanuts are cheap and can make a big difference when moving your items into self storage.

Avoid overpacking boxes with fragile items. Too much weight can cause boxes to collapse or become difficult to handle. Heavy boxes can also cause injury to yourself or your moving company employees.

Lastly, you should clearly label your boxes as “Fragile” to ensure they are handled with care during transportation and storage. Also, indicate which side of the box should be facing up to minimise the risk of damage.

Organizing Your Storage Unit

A well-organized storage unit is a joy to access, and it makes finding your belongings a breeze. Here’s how to achieve organization nirvana in your storage unit.

Start with a Detailed Inventory

Before you start loading your unit, create a detailed inventory of everything you plan to store. This list will help you keep track of your belongings and make it easier to find items when you need them. You can use a simple spreadsheet, a note-taking app, or even good old pen and paper to create your inventory.

Create a Floor Plan

Once you have your inventory, sketch out a floor plan for your storage unit. This plan will help you visualize how to fit everything in the unit and ensure you make the most of the available space. Remember to account for walkways so you can easily access your items.

Label Your Boxes

I cannot stress enough the importance of labelling your boxes. Clearly labelling each box with its contents will save you from rummaging through piles of belongings when you need to find something specific. Use a permanent marker to write the contents on the side of the box, or consider using colour-coded labels for an added layer of organization.

You can label where the items should go, or who the items belong too if you are storing different items from different members of your family.

Shelving Units

Adding shelves to your storage unit can help you maximize vertical space and keep your belongings organized. Look for sturdy, easy-to-assemble shelving units that can handle the weight of your items. Shelving units allow you more storage space in smaller containers.

Packing Your Self Storage Unit Like a Pro

Now that you’ve prepared your belongings, organised your unit, and gathered your packing materials, it’s time to start loading up your storage unit. 

Start with Heavy, Bulky Items

Place heavy, bulky items, like furniture and appliances, in your storage unit first. These items should be positioned along the walls or in the back of the unit to provide a solid foundation for stacking lighter items on top. If you don’t intend to use them as much then you won’t need to access them as much as your items so you don’t want to have to move them out of the way when accessing other items either.

Stack Boxes and Containers Strategically

When stacking boxes and containers, place the heaviest ones on the bottom and the lighter ones on top. This approach helps prevent boxes from collapsing under the weight of heavier items. If you’re using shelves, make sure to distribute the weight evenly to avoid tipping or buckling.

Leave a Pathway for Easy Access

Remember that floor plan you created earlier? Make sure to stick to it when loading your unit, leaving a clear pathway for easy access to your items. You’ll thank yourself later when you need to retrieve something from the back of the unit!

Fill Gaps with Smaller Items

To make the most of your storage space, fill any gaps between boxes or furniture with smaller items. This technique not only maximizes your storage capacity but also helps to stabilize stacks of boxes and prevent them from toppling over.

Keep Frequently Accessed Items at the Front

If you know you’ll need to access certain items more frequently than others, make sure to place them at the front of your storage unit. This placement will save you time and effort when you need to retrieve these items.

Protect Your Belongings

Once your items are in place, protect them from dust and potential leaks by covering them with furniture covers, moving blankets, or tarps. This extra layer of protection will help keep your belongings in great condition while they’re in storage.

And there you have it! With these expert tips, you’ll be well on your way to packing your self storage unit like a pro. And if you’re looking for a storage facility in East London, be sure to check out East London Storage. Or, if you need storage in the Islington area, take a look at storage in Islington

These top-notch facilities offer secure, convenient storage solutions to meet all your needs. If you don’t know what storage you need, get in touch with us and a member of our team will gladly walk you through all of the options we have.