Make packing for storage easier on yourself by planning ahead. Start by listing all items you’re going to store, and their approximate sizes. Also gather plenty of sturdy corrugated cartons, packing paper, bubble wrap, sealing tape and marker pens, along with any furniture covers or shelving you intend to use in your storage unit.
Pack as much as you can in uniform-size boxes. Fill them tightly, but take care to not to overpack or underpack (bulging cartons tip when stacked and half-full boxes tend to collapse.) Use wadded up newsprint, bubble wrap, rags, towels or blankets to fill in empty spaces. For maximum protection, seal cartons with tape.
Pack heavy items, such as books and tools, in small boxes. For easier handling, limit the weight of all cartons to 30 lbs. or less, regardless of size.
Label all cartons so you know their contents. Keep a list, as well as pictures and descriptions, at your home or office for reference. Clearly mark all boxes containing fragile items.
Clean and dry appliances thoroughly before storing. Secure all movable parts for your protection and secure each item during transport. Tape all doors shut but remember to wedge them open for storage.
Tape or tie bed rails together. Mark the pieces for easier assembly later. Place covers or plastic bags on mattresses to keep them clean during storage.
Pack books flat to protect their spines. Line cartons with plastic and fill empty spaces with packing paper.
Use bureau drawers to store small, fragile items. Clothing and towels make excellent packing material.
Protect chair legs by wrapping them in packing paper. Leave slipcovers on upholstered chairs and cover them with plastic chair covers.
Hang clothing and draperies in wardrobe boxes. Add moth balls or cedar chips for extra protection.
Use lots of paper to pack dishes and glassware. Place a layer of packing paper inside the bottom and top of cartons. Wrap each dish and glass separately and cushion them with crumpled paper. Plates are best stacked on edge.
Pack lamps and lamp shades in individual boxes. Make sure to use plenty of clean paper or clothing for padding.
Pad mirrors and paintings with paper and place them in special mirror packs or large boxes. Mark boxes "Fragile" and store on edge.
Remove the legs from larger tables to conserve storage space. Tie and pad extra leaves together. Store tabletops on edge and pad with paper or blankets.
Wipe the surfaces of tools, bikes, and other metal objects with machine oil to prevent rusting.
Cover the floor with a plastic tarp before moving in your belongings.
Use pallets or shelving as a foundation for cartons and furniture. Do not place boxes directly on the floor. Use shelving or pallets to keep boxes and furniture off the ground is recommended.
Stack boxes appropriately. Boxes should be stacked shoulder-high to maximize your total space.
Place items you use frequently, or may need to use soon, near the storage room door.
Store lightweight small items towards the front of the locker. Move large, heavy items into storage first.
Remember to leave a walkway too so you can get the rear of the unit.
Pack high value items in the rear of the unit. Pack them in unmarked boxes.
Stand sofas and mattresses on end. Make sure to protect them with specially-designed covers.
Don't place heavy or sharp objects on top of upholstered furniture.
Leave a few inches of space between your items and the wall for better ventilation.
Do not lean anything against the wall or pack unit so full that things will fall against the door.
Cover your belongings. Use a light plastic cover or tarp to help prevent damage from natural condensation.
Remember to secure your unit with a lock. Do not leave units unlocked.