Rent the smallest amount of space you will need and pack the unit full.
Start by gathering as many boxes or plastic tubs with lids as you think you will need as well as tape, markers, and packing materials (e.g. foam shipping noodles, bubble wrap, packing paper or towels).
Ensure your boxes or plastic tubs are strong enough to hold 25 to 30 pounds each. We suggest that you do not put too many items in any one box/tub so that the container does not bust. However, it should be durable enough to handle the multiple stages of packing, transporting, moving, transporting again, and unpacking which typically occurs.
Use uniformly sized boxes or plastic tubs for easy stacking. Place heavier items such as books in smaller boxes so that each box is a reasonable weight for handling. If a box should not be completely full, fill the remainder of the space in the box with crumpled paper, bubble wrap or other packing material. This will prevent the top of sides of the box from crushing when stacked in the storage unit.
List the contents of each box on all 4 sides of the box.
Make an inventory list of your items and keep it in a safe place (at home or in a safe deposit box) away from the unit.
Do NOT store anything COMBUSTIBLE (e.g. paint thinner, gasoline, solvents, or paint).
Prepare your space by placing a protective cover on the floor under your possessions. This could be a clean tarp or a clean heavy plastic.
Place 2×4 boards or pallets on the protective cover that you already placed on the floor.
Concrete will naturally draw moisture as it heats and cools so this will prevent dampness or dirt from affecting your possessions.
Wrap It Up
Dishes and glasses should be wrapped in towels, or foam, or paper and packed in very sturdy containers. They should not have other items packed on top of them inside the box. These boxes should not have other boxes stacked on top of them to prevent them from being crushed by the weight of other boxes.
Furniture with drawers can be utilized as storage places for pictures, knickknacks, silverware, or other small items. Wrap those small items in tablecloths or towels and put them in the drawers.
Large appliances can become excellent storage places for lightweight bulky items such as blankets, pillows, clothes, etc. Make sure the interior of the appliance is scrubbed clean and dried thoroughly including the rubber cushion seal around the door. Remove any glass shelves so that they are not damaged in transit. Clean the air intake and wipe down the exterior of the appliance. Spray the bottom of the appliance with a bug spray to prevent bugs from finding a place to nest in the underside. You may want to place an open box of baking soda inside stored appliances to help avoid odors from long term storage. Propping the door open may also help with air circulation to avoid odors and mildew. Depending on what other items are stored in the unit and how often you will get getting items in and out of the unit, you may want to place a loose tarp or blanket over appliances to prevent dirt, dust, or accidental scratches.
Place TV’s and other electronics in the rear of your unit where they are less likely to be bumped and damaged during the move-in and move-out process.
Pictures and mirrors should be wrapped in bubble wrap after putting cardboard or plastic corners on each corner. Then mark it “Fragile”, and store on end.
Plan your storage space before moving items in. Place items that you will not need to access during the storage time at the back of the unit with items you may need to access more often in the front of the unit.
Leave a small aisle down the center of the storage unit to make it easier to access a large portion of your possessions without moving all of them or climbing on top of items.
Leave a small space between the walls and your boxes to allow for air circulation.
Stack Boxes/Plastic Tubs
Stack heavier boxes with non-breakable items on the bottom with lighter boxes and those with breakable items on top
Tables or items with removable legs should have the legs removed in order for those items to store more compactly.
Sofas and Loveseats
Sofas and loveseats can be stored on end to save floor space. Wrap the cushions in plastic and place them on top of the sofa when on end to make use of vertical space.
Cover stuffed furniture with cardboard or blankets to protect from dust.
When storing mattresses on their sides, prop them against something so they stand straight. Otherwise they will tend to bend out of shape and become lumpy.
Sharp or Heavy Objects
Avoid placing sharp or heavy object on top of stuffed/upholstered furniture.
Shovels, hoes, rakes, and hoses can be stored together in trash cans. Extra trash cans can be stacked.
Wipe any items made of metal (bikes, metal tables, tools, etc) with machine oil to prevent rusting.