Choose the Right Box
Use smaller boxes for heavy items like books and dishes; choose large boxes for lighter items like bedding, blankets and linens. It’s tempting to use garbage bags as a quick fix, but they tear easily and lack ventilation, which can result in mildew. Plastic bins provide the most sturdy storage for stacking it high to maximize your cubic storage space.
Don’t pack more than you can comfortably lift in each box or bin. Make sure the boxes remain “square” and do not bulge at the top or sides; this will keep them stable when stacking in your storage unit (using plastic bins provide more stable, stronger storage). However, it’s important not to underpack boxes either. The contents of a half-empty box can shift while transporting and become crushed under the weight of heavier boxes and items. Use foam packing peanuts to fill empty spaces without adding much weight.
Use Quality Tape
Good quality packaging tape is essential when packing in cardboard. Proper closure of your boxes with professional packing tape ensures that each box maintains its structure and protects your items. Be sure to firmly close the top and bottom flaps with wide tape.
Label Those Boxes!
Use a heavy black marker to label the contents of each box. This will save you from having to open every box when you need something later. Mark boxes that need to be handled and stacked with a definitive top — especially items like glassware, picture frames and lamps that can easily be damaged when moving into your storage unit. Use masking/painter’s tape to label plastic bins so you can re-use your bins after moving without unsightly markings.
Protect Your Investment by Prepping Your Tools and Furniture
Cover and pad furniture with protective materials to help ensure that they stay in good condition during the moving process and while in storage. If you are storing lawnmowers, weed whackers and/or leaf blowers, we recommend that you drain their fuel tanks before packing them in your storage unit. This will prevent other items in your unit from adopting a fuel odor and protect your clothing and other items from being damaged in the case of a leak. It is important to protect the floor from potential leaks as well. Note:Your unit security deposit will be forfeited if new stains (or other damage) appear as a result of your occupancy. Use a thick cardboard, PVC/plastic, or other non-porous liner under anything that contains fluids. Use wheeled carts to move heavy items to prevent scratching/gouging.
Can it be smaller?
Many stored items can be made smaller. Often you can reduce the size of bed frames and tables to help everything fit more comfortably in your storage space. Wrap frames/legs together with tape (use the non-sticky side for no tape residue) or plastic wrap, then place any screws in plastic baggies and tape them to the frame.
Will it fit?
Lastly, once everything is packed, measure out the unit size you think you need with tape on the floor of your apartment or house or garage. Then see if all of your things fit within the taped area. Think about how to “nest” things by flipping things on their sides or upside down. You can also flip some large items on end to use less floor space. Most units have a 9-ft. ceiling (some are even higher), so you can stack items as well to maximize cubic storage capability.