Preparing Items For Storage
Place all smaller items in uniformly sized boxes. Completely fill each box with heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on the top. Uniformly sized boxes stack easier and conserve storage space.
Pack books flat, not standing on end. This will protect the spines which will bend and warp over time if stood upright. Books are very heavy, so pack them in small boxes and don’t put them in boxes with other, more fragile, items.
- Lawn Mowers
Drain gasoline and oil from all small engines. This precaution will protect both your stored property and the property of others from the dangers of fire and explosion.
Place mattresses in plastic covers to protect them from dust and moisture.
- Leather Items. Treat leather items (couches, clothes, etc.) with a leather conditioner prior to storing them. Keep furniture items off the floor by placing them on pallets.
- Blankets, Draperies and Clothing
Have blankets, draperies and clothing cleaned, then pack them on hangers in wardrobe boxes.
- Mirrors and Pictures
Store mirrors and pictures inside similarly sized knocked down boxes. This affords them protection from scratches and dust.
- Furniture and Tables
Place blankets over furniture to protect from scratches and dust. Keep furniture items off the floor by placing them on pallets.
Photographs tend to curl over time. To keep them flat, place between pieces of cardboard and tape them together. Do not store irreplaceable photos. Photos and negatives take up very little space. Try to keep these items with you.
- Breakable Items
Wrap breakable items inside bubble wrap and store with linens.
- Dishes and Glassware
Store these items in specially made boxes called dishpacks.
- Pillows and Toys
Store smaller items like this in large plastic garbage bags.
- Label boxed items
You’ll know what is in each box without opening it.
Clean and dry all appliances prior to storage. Do not leave anything inside of appliances to be stored. Store all appliances upright with doors ajar to allow ventilation.
Do Not Store These Items
Furs, jewelry and other expensive items, irreplaceable items, any living thing, firearms, explosives, flammables of any kind (gas, diesel, oil, paint, etc.), drugs or drug paraphernalia, stolen items, any type of hazardous items, perishable items of any kind, hazardous waste materials of any kind, items that produce odors or any item that will in any way make other tenants or the manager unhappy.
- Do not use sealed plastic bags to cover or wrap your belongings. It retains moisture. Using plastic sheeting to drape your items is typically ok and may help to prevent dust & dirt.
- Do not store any food items. This will prevent any unwanted guests.
- Do not pack your boxes so that they are too heavy to carry them. Especially when you are packing books.
- Do not assume that your homeowners or renters insurance will cover your belongings while in storage. Purchase the insurance.
- Do not give out your password, gate code or any information to any one that is not listed as having access.
- Do not use printed newspaper for wrapping. The ink may smudge and get on your items.
- Do not forget to clean appliances before you store them.
- Do not store any toxins or flammables such as paint, oil, or gasoline.
Organizing Your Storage Unit
- Use a high quality disc (round) padlock to secure your storage unit. This type of lock is difficult to cut or break and offers maximum protection for very little money. Most companies will give you a lock for free.
- Keep out of season clothes accessible, you may have your belongings in storage longer than anticipated.
- Be aware of your surroundings when you are in your unit. If you see a potential problem or anything suspicious alert the manager.
- If it is possible store couches on end. Stack chairs seat to seat. Use the inside of appliances and drawers to store smaller items. When stacking furniture use paper pads in between the items to avoid scratching.
- Disassemble items such as tables, bed frames, etc. This will save space. Wrap and label all pieces for an easier time when you have to reassemble them. Put all hardware in bags and mark the bags accordingly.
- When you disassemble electronics, such as computers, stereos, things that have numerous cords, place small colored stickers on the cord and the same color sticker where the cord goes. This will save you the hassle of trying to figure out what goes where when it comes time to reassemble your electronics. If possible, use the original boxes to store your electronics and other items.
- Sealable Plastic containers are great to store your items. They have tight fitting lids and stack easily.Keep the more valuable items in the rear of the unit. This will prevent others from seeing them when you are in your unit.
- Utilize all the space in your unit. Make a plan as to how you are going to arrange your items. A good plan will save you the time of having to rearrange your unit. Leave an aisle in the center of your unit so that you have a walk way to the back of the unit.
- Use freestanding shelves to help organize your unit.
- Store items that will not be needed to the rear of the storage unit and items you will need access to toward the front of the unit.
- Store smaller, more valuable items to the rear of the storage unit and large items toward the front of the unit.
- Label the boxes on all six sides and keep a list for easy reference. This will save you time if you have to look for something in particular.
- When packing boxes fill them without making them too heavy to lift.
- Always put the heavier boxes on the bottom and the lighter ones on top of the heavier ones. This will prevent boxes from being crushed.
- Keep boxes off the floor.
- Store mirrors and paintings on end, not flat. Pack books flat to protect their spines.
- Clothing and draperies should be stored in wardrobe boxes, on hangers, to retain their original shapes.Be sure to check your unit once a month.
Packing To Protect
- Purchase the insurance. If your belongings are worth storing, they are worth insuring.
- Use wooden pallets or boards underneath furniture and boxes. This will prevent condensation from damaging them.
- Leave a small airspace between your stored items and the wall of the storage unit for ventilation.
- Make sure that all appliances are clean and dry before storing them. Leave appliances slightly ajar to prevent mildew.
- To prevent rusting rub a small amount of machine oil on metal tools, bicycles, and equipment. Drain and clean all debris from all equipment before you store them.
- When wrapping collectibles or anything breakable, tape it after you wrap it. This should avoid mistaking them for excess paper to fill the box. Use bubble wrap or unprinted paper to wrap breakables.
- Group similar items together and mark the boxes accordingly.
- Pack your storage unit as tightly as possible. Tighter packing helps to protect stored items from moisture and dust and reduces the space needed to store you property.
- Cover everything with plastic sheeting. Wooden furniture should first be covered with blankets to avoid abrasion and moisture damage. Plastic sheeting will protect your stored goods from both dust and water damage. Sealing the plastic around your items can cause damage (mold & mildew) in some climates and is not typically advised.
- Store mattresses and box springs on long edges. Wrap for protection and elevate off the floor. Use two to three 2 x 4′s cut to 1 foot long.
- Make sure all furniture, mainly couches, stuffed chairs and loveseats, are very clean and free of food debris, as this attracts bugs and other vermin.
- Cancel all utilities at old home
- Make arrangements to ensure all utilities will be on when you arrive at your destination (water, wastewater, cable, electric, Internet, etc.)
- Inform proper authorities of change of address e.g. Postal Service, Bank, Credit Card companies.
- Fill out an IRS change of address form
- Have school and medical records transferred if required
- Prepare all major appliances for move i.e. clean, defrost etc.
- Place baking soda in the refrigerator to absorb all moisture
- Ensure all valuables are covered by insurance
- Have all important documents easily available, school records, insurance etc…
- Find out about auto licensing at your new destination
- Remember what ever is loaded first onto a movers truck will be last off, so plan accordingly.
- Keep in touch with your destination to ensure you become aware of any problems that will affect your move
- Ensure you have adequate storage for any items you may wish to store.