SmartLock Self-Storage’s 10 Tips to Packing Your Storage Unit
Whether you are a veteran packer who happily jumps into the world of storage and organization, or you are timid when it comes to the real of storage and organization, our 10 tips to packing your storage unit is sure to help! Packing your things into a storage unit doesn’t have to be a chaotic experience. We want to take the extra mile to help our customers through their entire storage experience. One of the ways to do this is to provide helpful content about storage and organization in general.
10 Tips to Packing Your Storage Unit:
1. Think Vertical Storage Space
2. Secure Boxes the Higher You Go
3. Clear Aisle to the Back
4. Heavy on Bottom and Light on Top
5. Use Bubble-Wrap, Newspaper and Packaging Peanuts
6. Use Packaging Blankets to Protect Furniture
7. The Amazing Space Saver Bag
8. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
9. Label Boxes for Ultimate Organization
10. Wardrobe Boxes Worth the Cost
Tip #1. Think Vertical Storage Space
Have ever seen the professional movers packing up an entire house to move across the country? If not, it really is an amazing site to see because of the amazing level of organization that they achieve in their moving trucks. All of their moving boxes are stacked perfectly on top of each other, no item out of place, and the boxes are stacked all the way to the very top of the truck. Every square inch of the truck has been accounted for and organized for the move. The real professionals walk through the house the day before and take a full inventory of all of the items that will need to be shipped and they estimate the number of boxes, blankets and packaging materials that will be used in the move.
That is why thinking vertical storage is our first tip in our 10 tips to packing your storage unit. Think of your storage unit just like a professional mover’s truck and look up as you continue to pack your storage unit with your items. If you are starting to feel like you are running out of space, just look up. There is usually enough room to stack another set of boxes near the ceiling of your storage unit.
Tip #2. Secure Boxes the Higher You Go
With a sky scraper, the higher the building goes into the sky, the larger, deeper and stronger the foundation needs to be. Remember that same idea when you begin stacking your boxes higher and higher in your storage facility. The higher you go up, the more you need to ensure that those boxes are secure. You can do this by using bungee cables to secure the boxes together, or potentially brace them against one of the walls of your storage unit.
Tip #3. Clear Aisle to the Back
I know that it is one of the last things you are considering doing when you are packing your storage unit, but this is a crucial point to consider. Especially if you are planning on renting a unit and visiting the unit frequently, it is a great idea to leave an aisle going through the center of your storage unit. That way you can easily get back to the boxes in the back of your unit. An even better idea is to leave a little bit of space around the sides of your boxes too, so that you can get to what you are looking for quickly and easily. We can’t tell you how many times someone has needed to get something from their unit, and they have to unpack the majority of the unit just to get what they are looking for. Or worse, they don’t remember where the item is, so they have to start unpacking boxes! Take the time in the beginning will save you tons of time later on, and fewer headaches too!
Tip #4. Heavy on Bottom and Light on Top
Plan ahead as you are getting your truck packed to haul your things to the storage facility by putting the heaviest items onto your truck last, and placing all of your lighter items on the truck first. By doing this when you get to your storage unit, you will have all of the heavy items to take off the truck first and put them right into your storage unit. Put the heaviest boxes or totes at the bottom of your stack of belongings, and then place all of the lighter items as you move higher and higher into your facility.
We feel like this is one of the least thought of tips to packing your storage unit, but one that is also very helpful. This also makes life a whole lot easier because you don’t have to spend time searching for the heavier items and sorting the lighter items out to be placed in the storage facility later. You’ll find that you can unpack your moving truck much quicker if you plan your packing ahead of time before you get to the storage facility.
Tip #5. Use Bubble-Wrap, Newspaper and Packaging Peanuts
While this may seem like an obvious tip on our list of tips to packing your storage unit, you would be surprised how many people just throw their items into their storage unit. Spending the small amount of money on packing materials like bubble-wrap or packaging peanuts will help to keep your more fragile items safe and secure during the transportation of your items to and from the storage facility.
Tip #6. Use Packaging Blankets to Protect Furniture
This is another tip that professionals use when they are hauling furniture, or anything that can’t be put into a box. They use packing blankets, which they wrap their furniture with. Finally after they wrap up any furniture, the blankets are secured with a cling-wrap type packing material.
While you can use blankets from your home, there are also recycled blankets that can be purchased, which are specifically made for moving. A quick recommendation if you use the recycled blankets is that they can be slightly irritating to the skin, so make sure to wear a long-sleeve shirt to reduce any potential irritation.
Tip #7. The Amazing Space Saver Bag
If you haven’t already seen the infomercials on your television about space saver bags, they are a pretty amazing invention and is one of our tips to packing your storage unit. It is basically a bag with a one-way valve, which can be used with a vacuum to suck out all of the air in the bag. This means that bulky items such as pillows or clothing will shrink down to a fraction of their size when they are placed in space saver bags. So effectively with space saver bags, you are getting more space for your belongings, while protecting your things from the elements.
A quick tip on space saver bags is that these things can get really heavy. Some of the larger space saver bags can fit 4 or 5 blankets, which means that they start getting heavy fast. Be careful when lifting your space saver bag, be ready for the weight. All things being said though, we love space saver bags because of how much more efficient you can be with your available space.
Tip #8. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Take the least used items and pack them all together towards the back of your storage unit. This is one of our tips to packing your storage unit because we know that other people have benefited from hearing about this idea. That way all of the items that you are more likely to need, like sports equipment, summer beach gear, or winter clothing is packed at the front of the storage unit. This may take a little bit more time when planning how to organize your storage unit, but it will save you headaches later when you are looking for what you need, and you are your way out of town to go to the beach.
Tip #9. Label Boxes for Ultimate Organization
I don’t know about you, but we love to be as organized as possible. We feel like we are more productive and effective with our time, that we can just get more things done throughout the day by being a little more organized. One of the best ways to do that is to label your storage boxes and totes.
This can be done in a few different ways, one of which is to sort the boxes and totes by color coding them. So you would split out your house into different colors that match with different parts of the house. The kitchen could be orange, the living room green and so on and so forth. So at the end you would have a color for every section of your house. Then all you need to do is use labels or colored sharpies and mark the boxes or totes with the corresponding colors. Now when you need to get to your items for the living room, just look for the green labels and you can find those items quickly and easily. This also makes an amazing difference when you are unpacking your things or moving into a new house. Make sure to keep a legend or color chart so that you remember what every color is!
The other way that this can be done is to simply write-out what is in the contents of each of the boxes and totes that you are using. This takes a little bit more time than just using the color chart, but it can be more effective when trying to find a very specific item in your storage unit. I would recommend using the color labeling approach over writing out the description of the boxes. I feel like this works a lot better for me, but it all comes down to your personal preference at the end of the day.
Tip #10. Wardrobe Boxes Worth the Cost
Wardrobe boxes can be pricey, but they are another amazing tool to store all of your clothes that needs to be hung on hangers. Now these wardrobe boxes are very large, so be careful when you are moving your wardrobe boxes. You can also store a ton of clothing in the wardrobe boxes and they are very sturdy, so they can support the weight. At the end of the day they will also save you time when you are unpacking your clothes back at your house.
We hope that you have found these 10 tips to packing your storage unit helpful and informative. We have some other great articles about self-storage and storage organization on Mr. SmartLock’s Blog. If you are ever looking for storage around Radford, Christiansburg, Blacksburg, Fairlawn or the rest of the Montgomery County area, give us a shout and we’ll be happy to assist you. You can also read more about how to rent a unit from us here.