1.  When loading your storage unit, use the same rules as Tips for Loading a Moving Truck, using tier method with heavier items as base and lighter items stacked on top.
  2. Make sure anything that will fit in a box goes in a box or bin with a top.  Loose items called “chowder” by movers makes your storage stacking much less efficient and a serious pain when unloading your storage unit.  It also lessens the chance of an avalanche when opening your storage unit’s doors.
  3. Mark your boxes with stickers or a permanent marker on 2 sides near the top right corner with what room they came out of and a brief description of their contents.
  4. Make sure any times that need to be accessed are near the door of the unit.  Items like seasonal clothing are a good example of this.
  5. If the storage unit is a ground floor unit, consider using skids or pallets to keep the items off the floor in case of flooding or leaking.
  6. When wrapping furniture, make sure there isn’t wood stacked on top of wood without protection.  You can use moving blankets (a little pricey), old quilts or bedding (not as effective), cardboard or my personal favorite, three ply brown paper pads for wood furniture protection.  Don’t use plastic wrap directly on wood pieces as it will damage the finish.
  7. Upholstered items and beds can be protected a couple different ways.  Most self storage locations sell bags you can cover your upholstered pieces with, and tape for security. Telescoping cartons can be purchased to protect beds from dirt and dust but don’t protect from moisture.  Stretch film or “shrink wrap” as it’s called in the industry is a good option for upholstery since it is wrapped around the piece and pulled tight for the best fit and good protection.
  8. If possible, put like items in the same general vicinity.  If you want to pull out a bedroom set, and the dresser is in the back, its mirror in the middle, and the headboard and footboard are in the front, you caused yourself a lot more work when you go to retrieve.
  9. Always remember to follow your self storage rules for restricted items like flammables, etc.

These tips will help you protect your goods, make the most efficient use of your storage space and keep your items in a logical order.

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