Need some storage tips before you start packing for moving or down sizing?
These will help you get prepared.
#1: Mattress bags. One of the easiest, inexpensive ways to make your storage function better. You spend 1/3 of your life on your mattress, protect it with a $4 mattress bag.
#2: Put everything into boxes. This will help you inventory, keep track of, and use your storage space efficiently. Boxes stack, are square (like your storage unit) and help preserve your items during moving and storage.
#3: Do not use plastic bags for your storage items. Bags do not stack, they slouch and take up more space than a box because of these reasons. Cloth bags are only marginally better, and you should keep the number of suitcases and duffel bags to a minimum.
#4: Purchase a reliable lock. The lock is typically the weakest link of security for your unit. Hardened steel, disc locks are the best.
#5: If you are planning on using the storage long term, over 6 months, consider placing furniture and mattresses in the position they naturally would be in. Springs and cushioning settles over time due to gravity. This will require you to size up your storage unit in some cases. But, the additional cost will be worth it.
#6: Inventory your storage items. Make a list, paper or digital of your storage items. This goes beyond simply writing “kitchen” on the box, and requires some planning. Give each box a number and keep a list of what is in each box. You can get as detailed as you like. Consider the best way to categorize the boxes. Some prefer to organize by room, “bedroom 1”, “library”. For seasonal storage, group your items “winter” and “summer”.
#7: Do not over load boxes with too much weight. Think you will save money by boxing up everything into large and extra large boxes? Think again, and buy small, medium and large boxes.
#8: Stretch wrap your upholstered items, such as chairs, couches and ottomans. Stretch wrap is like Saran wrap for your furniture and it will help keep cushions in place, as well as preserve the freshness for many months.
#9: Don’t stack file boxes too high. Every cardboard box is going to have different weight bearing capacity. The cheapest file boxes can not be stacked more than 3 high, if full of files or books. The stronger the box, and more expensive, the better performance you will have over time. Excellent video showing box testing by uhaul here.
#10: Need to access your storage? Consider a unit wide enough to allow for walkway to allow access to all of the contents. This may require renting one or two sizes up to allow for the rummaging room.
#11: Space saver bags. They are funny, and seem gimmicky, but they do work. Use them for comforters, pillows, sweaters or anything else that is mostly air. In the vacuum environment of the bag they are protected from moisture and moths too.
#12: Putting away fall and winter items? Consider placing cash into some of your clothing. You, or your spouse, will forget about it over the summer, and when you retrieve your clothing in the fall you will be excited to find forgotten cash!