How To Pack a Storage Unit From the Pros

Packing a self-storage unit isn’t, as they say, rocket science, but it does take some planning. The following tips will help ensure your things come back out of storage later in perfect condition.

Choose A Storage Facility That Fits Your Needs

There are several essential factors you should always keep in mind when packing a storage unit. The first to consider is how you’ll go about choosing a storage facility. You need a storage facility that will meet your needs and make storing your safer and things less of a hassle. Here are some factors to look for:

  • A storage facility that’s close by will cut down on the time you spend going back and forth to your unit.
  • A storage facility that provides 24/7 security.
  • A facility that has on-site managers keeping a watchful eye on the premises.
  • A facility that only rents storage units after they are thoroughly cleaned out and clean.

One last indispensable factor is to choose a storage facility that doesn’t lock you into a long-term contract. That’s especially true if you’re unsure how long your things will be in storage. If it ends up being three or four months, a 1-year contract could be disastrous, financially speaking.

How To Pack a Storage Unit From the Pros

Use Similarly-Sized Boxes When Packing a Storage Unit

One common mistake many people make is packing a storage unit with dozens of differently-sized boxes. The problem; when it’s time time to stack items in your storage unit, it’s almost impossible. Bigger boxes will crush smaller boxes, towers of boxes will be unstable, etc. That’s why, whether plastic bins, totes, boxes, or whatever, make sure they’re similar sizes. They don’t all have to be alike but try to keep it to under the six different box sizes below. This will help you immensely when organizing your storage unit. Common moving boxes include:

  • 1.5 cubic feet Book boxes
  • 2.0 cubic feet File boxes
  • 3.0 cubic feet Medium boxes
  • 5.0 cubic feet Large boxes
  • Wardrobe boxes for hanging clothes
  • Mirror and picture frame cartons.

If you use a combination of these six boxes stacking will be a breeze. Remember also to stack heavy boxes on the bottom and go light as you go higher. That way, your box stacks will be stable, and nothing will get crushed.

How To Pack a Storage Unit From the Pros

Mix Furniture and Boxes When Packing a Storage Unit

One last tip for packing your storage unit is to mix your boxes and furniture in your stacks. Some folks make the mistake of stacking all of their boxes together. That leaves them with furniture only, and furniture doesn’t stack very well. Here’s a good example of how to stack like a pro:

  • Place a dresser, cabinet, or other large, heavy piece of furniture in the corner of your storage unit.
  • Stack a row of book boxes across the top.
  • Stack a row of medium boxes over those.
  • Turn over a kitchen chair, legs up, and stack that on top of the medium boxes. (Stack as many as will fit next to each other.)
  • Stack small, light-ish boxes between the legs of the chairs.

Once you’re done, repeat this process as closely as possible and as many times as you need. (Think of it like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle without the box!)

Choose the Best Packing Materials For Your Needs

Here’s the thing; most people store their stuff in one of two ways;

  • They move everything into their storage unit and leave everything there for a long-ish time.
  • They use their storage unit as often as most people would use their garage at home.

This significant difference factors into how you pack your things before putting them into your storage unit. For example, if you rarely go into your storage unit, cardboard boxes are best. If you plan to go back and forth to your storage unit often, though, clear plastic bins are a better choice. That way, when you need something, it will be easier to find. (You’ll see what’s inside through the clear plastic!)

How To Pack a Storage Unit From the Pros

The Different Types of Packing Materials for a Storage Unit

One last bit of advice for packing things before storing them. Depending on the item, there are three different types of packing material to choose from, including;

  • Packing paper
  • Bubble Cushioning
  • Styrofoam Packing Peanuts

Now, here’s the thing; packing paper is best for about 95% of household items. It’s easy to work with, very malleable, and provides excellent cushioning. Bubble cushioning, on the other hand, is for highly fragile items. (Think crystal stemware, porcelain collectibles, etc.) Styrofoam packing peanuts (which, frankly, are messy) are for the most fragile things, like chandeliers and Ming vases. But, again, regular, old packing paper is excellent for most everyday items. It’s also the cheapest option and creates the least amount of unrecyclable waste.

Best of luck packing your self storage unit! If you have any questions, please contact us or reach out to any of our knowledgeable property managers. And, if you are ready to start using self storage, you can rent a storage unit online 24/7.

Check out more moving and storage tips on the blog!