Storage Tips

People rent storage space for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you are moving to a new home, remodeling your house, or you’re a student returning home from college. Or, if you’re like most of us, maybe you just have too much stuff!

Regardless of why you need storage, here are some helpful hints that will help make your storage experience a more pleasurable one. Our Storage Guides are a must-read for anyone who needs storage and is looking to save time and money.

Before you lease anything, check out the following Storage Tips:
  • Storage space prices vary. Costs will depend upon location (land value), supply and demand in the local area, and the type of storage. Click here for more information on the types of storage available.

  • Location matters. One thing to consider is whether you will need to access your unit, and how often. If you will need frequent access, aim for the nearest location.

  • Storage units are generally rented on a month-to-month basis. The idea of being able to cancel anytime may sound appealing, but at the same time, it also means rates can rise at anytime as well. If your storage rental is on a month-to-month basis, inquire about the company’s rent increase policy. Larger chain storage companies will not increase your rent for at least the first six months.

  • How much space do you really need? Many people make the mistake of renting more space than they require. It’s better to get a small unit and pack it to the ceiling than to pay for a larger unit with empty space. Mini storage companies may offer smaller units than other self storage companies.

  • Do you really need these things? When considering storage, ask yourself, “Do I still need this? Will I use it again?” If you decide not to keep certain items, check out our advice on Getting Rid of Unwanted Items. You might earn extra cash by selling your stuff.

  • Ask about access. Most storage facilities allow for free access 24 hours a day. However, check with the individual facility. Some companies may have restrictions or charge you fees for access.

  • Be sure that your unit is climate controlled. If you are storing valuable items such as furniture, documents, art or antiques, they could risk damage if your unit becomes too hot, too cold, or too humid.

Tips for Packing Your Storage Space:
  • Purchase a high-quality padlock to put on the door. It’s well worth investing a few extra dollars for the best one available. Although most storage companies have ample security, it’s still a good idea to pack your storage unit so that your most valuable items are hidden from sight or packed in the back.

  • Lay down plastic sheeting, cardboard or skids on the floor of your locker. This will prevent your furniture from scratches, help prevent condensation damage, and to protect your stuff from dust.

  • Create small walkways inside your storage locker to allow for easier access to all of your items.

  • Keep items that you will need to get access to more frequently at the front of your locker.

  • Draw a map and label where everything is located in your storage unit.

  • For better ventilation, leave a few inches of space between your items and the unit walls.

  • Try to use boxes that are a uniform size, which will be much easier to stack together.

  • Stack heaviest items on the bottom and lighter items on the top.

  • Stack pictures and mirrors on their sides.

  • Whenever possible, fit smaller items inside of larger ones. Leave no space unused!

  • Try to disassemble the items to save lot of space. If you can’t disassemble them, keep them upside down with the legs pointing towards the ceiling.

  • Place mattresses on end so they stand straight up.

  • To protect items against dust, cover exposed items with plastic covers. If you don’t have plastic covers, old blankets will work too.

  • Store sofas on end to conserve space.

  • Always lock the door to your storage unit when leaving.

Tips for Packing your Belongings:
  • Furniture: remove legs and disassemble whenever possible. Place tables face down with legs pointing up if you can't disassemble its legs. Wrap legs together with packing paper and tape them to protective cover. Individually wrap cushions and tape them together.

  • Large Appliances and Equipment: Clean and dry your refrigerator or freezer before storing. Keep the doors slightly ajar to prevent moisture and mildew or mold growth.

  • Metal Objects: Treat metal objects such as lawn mowers, tools, bicycles or file cabinets with a rust protector, or at least wipe down with an oily rag.

  • NO Flammable Materials: NEVER keep anything flammable or hazardous in your storage unit, including but not limited to gasoline, oil, cleaning fluids or paint thinner. Drain all gasoline and oil from all small engines such as lawn mowers.

  • Books and Files: Purchase special file boxes designed to store documents. Pack books flat to avoid damage to their spines. Don't overfill boxes and fill extra space with tissue. Keep moisture out by lining these boxes with plastic sheeting on both the top and the bottom.

  • Mattresses: wrap in plastic covering to avoid damage. Store upright on edge.