If you’ve read any of our posts, you’ll know that one of the pieces of advice we frequently give is ‘don’t pay for space you don’t need’. When deciding on the size of your self storage unit it doesn’t have to be the same size as the place your belongings came from (unless of course it’s come from another well packed self storage unit!). It can be hard to envisage just how much space you need and that’s why we compare the unit sizes to different removal van sizes; we find it helps people. However, it can still be difficult when making that final decision about a unit size, so when doing that you need to consider how you will pack your unit. If you pack your unit well, you may be able to get everything in to that smaller space.
Here are our top tips when packing your self storage unit
We’ll make the assumption that you’ve had a clear out or de-clutter and got rid of everything you no longer need to keep. Once you’ve done that, there are 2 things to consider
- How you pack your items
- How you pack your unit
Both will have a big impact on how much stuff you can fit into your unit.
How to pack your items
It can be very tempting to pop along to the supermarket and pick up some boxes, but it’s likely you’ll end up with all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some may not even have tops. If you are going to do this try and stick to just a couple of sizes of box and use ones that have lids or tops to prevent dust. That way, they can be stacked much more efficiently. Make sure the boxes can withstand the weight you intend them to hold, and the weight you intend to stack on top. In the long term, it may work out better to buy some strong plastic tubs or boxes that will be at the bottom of any stacked piles.
Packing your boxes
Fill every box, but not with a lot of heavy things; have a mixture of heavier things at the bottom and lighter things on top. Make sure the weight is evenly distributed; you need to be sure you can lift them and also that they’re not going to topple when stacked. If there are gaps fill them with some sort of packing material to stop items from moving around and possible breakages when moving the boxes in and out.
Label your boxes
Make sure you label each box with its contents, on each side and also the top – that way it won’t matter which way they’re facing once stored. You might also want to keep a separate inventory of each box to save time looking when you want to remove items from storage. More on this topic later!
How to pack your unit
You will know what is going in to storage. Make a plan of where you think items should go in your unit. It may well change a little while you’re packing, but if you have a plan to start with, it will save you time. Items that you will not need access to or that are valuable should be placed toward the back of your unit. Anything that you are going to need access to, needs to be close to the front.
Stack your boxes
Stack your boxes in a ways that you can easily access them. Rows with a walkway between are good; that way you won’t have to keep moving one box to get to another. Make sure your labels are clearly visible on each side. Use the height of the unit to stack your boxes, but do it safely. Make sure heavy boxes are at the bottom, that there is no toppling and that you are not overstretching to get to things.
Labels and inventories
Are essential if you want to access things quickly and easily in your unit. As a minimum each box should be labelled with its contents. An inventory kept at home will allow you to identify where things are kept in advance of accessing your unit. If you have valuables in the unit, it may be useful to include the value of those items on your inventory for insurance purposes (don’t forget there is a limit to the standard insurance that comes with a self storage unit – always check whether you need additional cover). Remember to update box labels and inventories if you permanently remove or add items.
If you have big items like cupboards or drawers you can store items or boxes inside. It’s best to store the things you won’t need access to here and make sure they are detailed on an inventory. Remember to take them out before removing your furniture items from storage to avoid injury. Dismantle furniture if possible but make sure you pack and store all parts and fittings together.
Keep outdoor equipment like lawn mowers or strimmers away from more delicate or fragile items and make sure they clean and completely drained of any fluids to prevent damage to boxes.
If you need self storage in Gloucester, Stroud or North Bristol and aren’t sure of the unit size you need, get in touch. Our staff will be happy to help and advise and you are welcome to come along and view the different unit sizes.