A beginner's guide to self storage

Posted on: 21 November 2017


Whether you're storing business inventory or renting somewhere to put your furniture during a long move, a self storage unit is an easy way to get some extra space. To really get the most out of your storage unit, though, it helps to follow a few simple tips.  

Don't fill it to the walls

You're paying for the space, so it's understandable that you'd want to cram as much stuff into your storage unit as possible. However, to keep your items in the best condition, you'll want to leave some space for air flow in the unit. Don't push stacks of boxes all the way to the walls; instead, leave an inch or two of space behind them for air to circulate. Similarly, raising your boxes a little off the floor will help keep air flowing. If you can get access to shipping pallets or shelves, stack your boxes on them to help keep them in great condition. 

Wrap items securely 

Once they're in your storage unit, your furniture and other items are going to be safe from damage. It's when you move things into and out of the unit that you run the risk of scratches and dents. To prevent this, make sure items like tabletops, mirrors, bed frames and so on are securely padded. You can use old bedding or buy special furniture protection blankets. Once you've wrapped the vulnerable item, secure the padding with stretchy plastic film. 

Label clearly and plan in advance

If you're going to need access to your items while they're in storage, you'll need to know exactly where everything is. Make sure that each box is clearly labelled in permanent marker and stored with the labelled side facing outward so that you can see it. If everything in the unit isn't immediately visible from the door, it can be helpful to make a map. Just sketch a plan of where items are as you load them in, then leave the map in the storage space. 

Be creative with containers

Books, clothes, dishes, bedding and toys are all relatively straightforward to pack. It's awkwardly shaped items that can pose real challenges. To store these items, experiment with different types of containers. For instance, a plastic rubbish bin is a great way to store rakes, brooms, stand lamps and other long, thin objects. Simply place it in a corner of the unit and stand these items upright in it.