You have just rented your self storage unit and have the keys in hand. Now the fun begins. technically there’s no right or wrong way. If you are super organized you can build free standing shelving and spend an entire weekend organizing your new storage space. If you are in an extreme hurry you can rent a slightly larger unit, dump everything in and call it good enough.
If you aren’t trying to break the bank on a storage unit, you’ll want to pack as efficiently as possible in order to minimize your out of pocket cost. Here are some tips and tricks that will make packing your storage unit go a bit easier.
Figure Out How Much Space You Need
There is not a magic calculator that will tell you exactly how many square feet you need with a money back guarantee if your stuff does not fit. Moving into a bigger unit a few days later or renting a second storage unit does occasionally occur to our tenants. Most times you are better than you think in determining how much space you need. At the end of the day it all comes down to how good you are at packing a storage unit.
Some of our most common storage unit sizes are as follows:
- 10×10 – The size of a small bedroom
- 10×15 – The size of an average sized living room
- 10 x 20 – The size of a single stall garage
Using the above comparisons as a guide usually is all someone needs to dial in the size of their storage unit.
Much Of The Work Occurs Before You Show Up At Your Storage Unit
Preparation is the key! Get the right sized plastic totes or cardboard boxes for your items. When we see old tattered boxes stacked in a storage unit, they are usually leaning or sometimes fall against the door making it a real chore to get your door open. Make sure anything you need to easily find later is labeled properly, and that the label faces out so you can see it.
Anything that can be easily disassembled should be in order to save space in your storage unit. Put larger items that you don’t plan on needing access to at the back of the storage unit. If you have a sofa and a loveseat, you can usually put the sofa down first. Then flip the loveseat over and place it on top of the sofa. If it is level and stable you have can now stack some lighter items on top of the furniture instead of wasting that storage space. If there are items you need to get to in your storage unit on a regular basis, put these items in the unit last.
We provide pallets to use free of charge at Stor It, and strongly recommend the use of pallets. In our Northern climate concrete floors can “sweat” when extreme temperature and humidity events occur such as the changing of the seasons. Anything that is touching the floor such as plastic bins is usually no problem. If your furniture has plastic feet you should be ok as well. We do not recommend placing a mattress or cardboard boxes directly on the concrete, pallets should be used for these items. When in doubt, grab a few more pallets.
If you store a front load washing machine or a refrigerator, make sure the inside is dry. Also consider propping the door open on these items to prevent mold and mildew. Covers for mattresses and furniture are not a bad idea as well.
Other tips that may help you organize your storage unit:
- If you think you will need to get something at the back of your storage unit, leave an aisle through the unit so that you can get to your belongings later. Crawling over the top of your belongings is not an enjoyable field trip.
- Place heavier items on the ground and stack lighter items on top.
- Utilize hollow space. If you load an entertainment center into your unit, load it with clothing or lighter items. Take your time and use every bit of space you’ve got.
- Don’t skimp on boxes and bins. If you don’t have enough of these you will poorly utilize the space in your storage unit.