Packing Supplies and Tips

When packing your belongings for storage you want to maximize as much space as possible. Here are some helpful tips to make your self storage experience, packing and storing more efficient and organized.

How to pack and protect your stored items to make the most of your space:
  1. Disassemble furniture such as beds and tables before storing. Wrap and cover each section, clearly mark them and keep them together. If there are assembly components such as screws and bolts place them in a plastic bag, mark them clearly, and tape the bag to the appropriate piece of furniture. (Use tape that is safe for use on furniture, or tape the bag to an inconspicuous place on the piece.)
  2. To prevent scratches protect furniture legs with bubble wrap, foam sheets, furniture covers or pads.
  3. Use space inside drawers and larger appliances, such as stoves and refrigerators, to store small items such as towels, linens, toys, books, etc.
  4. Keep items off the floor of the storage unit with pallets, furniture covers, or moving pads.
  5. Wrap all fragile and breakable items such as dishes, glasses, ornaments, etc. separately. Pack these items tightly into strong or reinforced boxes, filling any gaps with paper or filler. Mark “Fragile” on any boxes containing breakable items.
  6. Defrost refrigerators and freezers thoroughly to avoid water damage and mildew growth. Leave doors ajar once in storage.
  7. Drain washing machines, and tie down hoses and cords before storing.
  8. Wipe down the inside of appliances with baking soda before you store them to keep them dry.
  9. Wrap mirrors and pictures in protective covering such as bubble wrap and mark them as “Fragile.” Cardboard corners can be purchased to protect the sharpest, weakest areas of frames. Mirror boxes offer exceptional all-round protection.
  10. If storing photographs, consider a climate controlled unit where temperature fluctuations will not damage your photos. If you do store loose photographs, place them between pieces of clean cardboard and consider taping them together to avoid curling.
  11. Separate lamp bases and lampshades and wrap them for protection. Use lamp boxes for added security.
  12. If you’re storing upholstered products such as mattresses and sofas, consider investing in covers, bags or sheeting for additional protection. Storage and moving facilities often sell large heavy-duty bags for this purpose.
  13. Do not wrap upholstered furniture with plastic wrap while storing.
  14. Vacuum-sealed bags work really well for draperies, bedding, and clothing.
  15. Electrical equipment such as TVs, stereos, and computers should be packed in their original boxes whenever possible. If using other boxes, choose ones that are as close in size to the original as possible, and fill all gaps with paper.
  16. Wipe down metal objects and tools with a little oil before storing them to avoid rust formation that can occur when the tools are not used regularly.
  17. When storing a vacuum cleaner, clean out the bag or canister first to avoid bacteria and mold accumulation.
  18. Cover furniture with sheets or tarps to protect them against scratches, dust and other damage.
  19. Pack books flat to avoid damaging their spines.
  20. Use boxes, not plastic bags. Boxes are sturdier and stack well, taking up less space. Also, sealed plastic bags can trap humidity which can cause damaging mildew.
  21. Boxes that are tightly sealed with packing tape will prevent dust from entering.
  22. Do not store anything perishable, this will avoid attracting rodents or vermin.
  23. Do not store anything flammable, such as paint or other chemicals that are hazardous.
  24. Drain any fluids prior to storing blowers, lawnmowers, and other equipment; do not store hazardous or combustible materials.
  25. Lock your unit with a high security, quality disc lock or cylinder lock.
How to organize your stored items and make the most use of your self storage space:
  1. Label boxes on all sides so you can easily identify the contents.
  2. Place frequently accessed items towards the front of your unit.
  3. Leave a walkway down the center of your unit to make accessing items easier.
  4. Fill containers to capacity. Partially full or bulging cartons may tip or collapse.
  5. Be sure not to over pack boxes as they can get heavy and dangerous. Stack heavy sturdy boxes on bottom and fragile boxes on top.
  6. Invest in good quality, sturdy boxes and packing materials. Boxes should be sturdy enough to hold up for years under the weight of the stack.
  7. Add Bay Leaves (common spice in whole leaf form) to boxes to ward off most insects and household pests.
  8. Stackable plastic bins make a sturdy base for more fragile boxes.
  9. For wrapping breakables, paper will work, but bubble wrap is cleaner, it can be reused and because it is transparent, makes identifying contents easier.
  10. Invest in a wardrobe box with a built-in hanging rod, to store clothes and hangers.
  11. Store your sofa flat whenever possible. Then chairs or a loveseat can be placed upside down on top of the sofa.
  12. Most dining chairs can be stacked seat to seat.
  13. In most cases, you can stack dryers on top of washers.
  14. Tools and long-handled items such as rakes, shovels and brooms can be placed inside garbage cans and bungee tied in bundles.
  15. Stack boxes and similarly sized items together to save space in the unit.
  16. You can use virtually all of the space in and around your stored furniture. Fill anything that’s hollow with items to maximize your available space.
While packing your things for storage keep their prohibited items in mind:

Even though you control access to your storage space and its contents, there are some items that cannot be stored in your unit at any time.  These items include:

  • Live creatures and organisms
  • Dead animals or other carcasses
  • Gasoline, oil, fuel, grease or flammable chemicals
  • Explosives, fireworks or ammunition
  • Corrosives
  • Toxic or hazardous materials or waste
  • Asbestos or products containing asbestos
  • Lawn debris (grass clippings, brush, etc.)
  • Construction debris, tires, motor oil, batteries old or new
  • Items have noxious smell (moth balls)
  • Controlled substances
  • Prohibited weapons under State law
  • Stolen property
  • And an all items illegal for self storage under any law