For many, self-storage involves indiscernible piles of junk thrown willy-nilly into a storage unit, but with the right strategy in mind, you can turn yourself into a master packer and create a storage space that is safe, organized, and makes it easy to access your stuff.
- Avoid using plastic bags, which can cause mildew.
- Bubble wrap
- Cleaner than paper
- Can be used repeatedly
- Purchase more tape than you think you need
- A marker
- Packing peanuts
- Pack everything you can in boxes to keep away dust.
- Fill boxes to capacity, using foam peanuts to fill in any gaps.
- Wrap fragile items separately.
- Distribute weight in boxes evenly.
- Label all boxes on more than one side.
- Tape the bottom of boxes to prevent heavy items from breaking through.
- Prioritize items based on how frequently you use them.
- Store commonly used items toward the front of the unit.
- Create a center aisle for easy access to all items.
- Place boxes on pallets to provide better circulation under and around items.
- When stacking boxes, keep heavy boxes at the bottom to prevent damage.
- The largest items should be placed against the far wall and along the sides of the unit.
- Place photographs between pieces of cardboard to prevent curling.
- Store shovels, rakes, hoes, and other outdoor equipment in trash cans.
- Store clothing, drapes, and blankets in wardrobe boxes.
- Remove table legs and other external pieces to save space.
- Place tables and dressers top-to-top.
- Stack chairs seat to seat.
- Place computers, TVs, and other valuables farthest from the entrance with other items concealing them.
- Take pictures of valuables and keep an inventory with an estimated replacement value for each item.
- Cover all mattresses and upholstered pieces of furniture.
- Lay mattresses flat on level surfaces.
- Wipe metal surfaces with machine oil to delay rust.
- Wrap mirrors and framed artwork in bubble wrap.
- Use cardboard corners to protect the sharper, weaker areas of the frames.
- Never store these items flat as they can collapse on their own weight.
- Dirt bikes
- Cars in dead storage
- Service vehicles (e.g., lawn mowers)
- Vehicles designed to assist disabled persons
Thinking Inside the Box
How to Arrange Your Storage Unit
Fabrics and Linens
Furniture and Appliances
Mattresses and Upholstery
Mirrors and Framed Art
Put down moisture absorbers and deodorizers to prevent mold and unpleasant scents.
Use vermin traps and bait to prevent pests from settling inside your packed boxes.
Keep a step stool handy to access hard-to-reach areas.
Homeowners Insurance and Self Storage
Standard homeowners insurance covers most personal property you own, including what you keep in self storage.
Depending on your policy, the items in your storage unit may only be covered for up to 10% of the coverage in your policy.
Homeowners insurance does not cover stored vehicles, including:
Homeowner’s insurance does cover:
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