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First off, we want to say thank you for reading our packing tips guide! Here at Smart Self Storage, we truly love our customers and communities. For those who utilize our storage facilities, we want to ensure that you are getting the absolute most out of your experience. A big part of getting the most out of your space is properly packing those items that you are placing into storage. That way, you utilize your self storage unit in a space-efficient manner, while also protecting your items stored. We hope you enjoy today’s extensive packing tips guide!
Packing Tips for Specific Items
Many of our customers who utilize our storage spaces are doing so for a specific purpose. They may be downsizing their home and placing items into storage that they do not use much. Others may be storing items that are related to their profession. Here are a few tips for packing various types of specific items.
Packing books is more than simply placing these books into a box. We have a few tips to make packing books easier:
- Use a medium sized box so that the weight does not become too heavy! You will be moving these boxes into a storage facility, so you want the weight to be something that you can easily manage. Most professionals recommend that boxes do not weigh more than 30 pounds each.
- Hardcover books can be placed into a box standing upright, as if you were placing these on shelf. However, do not pack these too tightly as damage could occur when removing these from the box.
- Paperback books can be packed flat and stacked onto each other.
- Never place books with the paper facing down with the spines up. This will cause damage to the books.
- Utilize wadded paper or something similar to fill the space in the box to keep these books from moving.
- For books that are of high value consider wrapping these with acid free paper to help protect the book even more.
Packing electronics does take a bit more care, as you want to ensure that these electronics will work later once you remove these from storage. Here are a few tips for packing electronics safely:
- Wrap electronics in linen or clean paper to minimize dust.
- Consider using the original box that these came in, if you still have it.
- Consider covering electronics with moving pads or sheets to add another layer of protection.
- Consult the manual for the electronic, as they often have suggestions for how to move and store these properly.
- Inside the storage unit, never sit these electronics on the ground, instead utilize a pallet or a piece of furniture to sit these on.
- Be certain to keep cords with the piece of the electronics being put into storage so you are not missing pieces once you remove this. (Bonus tip: Consider placing cords in plastic bags that are clearly marked, so you always know which electronic they belong to.)
- Consider climate controlled self storage for sensitive electronics.
Packing Fine China
There many families who pack their fine China into storage units, as this is not something that they use throughout the entire year. Remember these tips:
- Consider opting for dish boxes as these are designed for protection of glassware.
- Always use unprinted newspaper for wrapping to avoid any ink damage to these pieces.
- Remember this: Wrap each individual piece as stated beforehand, but also place a layer of padding in between rolls of packed items. This will ensure that the box is tight, and the items are safer!
Packing furniture into storage units might seem to be straightforward. However, if you are wanting to utilize the most of your space, here a few tips to help:
- Remove legs, arms and anything else that can be removed in order to maximize the space.
- Wrap tabletops or other exposed wood with furniture pads to minimize scratches and dust collecting on these items.
- Place items against a wall flat to help maximize the space in your storage unit.
- Avoid placing anything on this furniture that may result in it bending due to the heavy weight.
- Treat metal pieces of furniture with rust treatment to keep them healthy during their time in your self storage unit.
Photos can be placed into storage facilities. However, if you do not do this properly you are going to find that photos can easily get ruined! Here are a few tips to keep those memories safe:
- Consider using photo storage boxes for those photos that may not be in album. You can place these photos between lawyers of acid-free paper.
- Never use newspaper to wrap photos, as the ink will rub off onto the photo.
- Never place photos into plastic bags to store, as this can cause the photos to become damaged.
- If you have negatives, store these in negative storage sheets so that they are not exposed and ruined.
- Packing peanuts are not a good idea with photos, as these can damage the photo and be hard to remove.
- When placing frames into a storage unit, place these laying down. Do not stand these up in a corner, as they can fall resulting in broken glass and possibly ruining a picture.
- Be aware of the temperature in the storage unit. Hot temperatures will result in pictures becoming damaged! (Those storing photos may want to consider our climate controlled self storage units.)
- A neat trick: Place photographs between two pieces of cardboard and tape the cardboard together. It will keep pictures from curling.
Storing and Packing Clothing
For those who are placing clothing into storage units, there are a few options that can maximize your space. Here are a few tips:
- Be sure that these are clean before placing these into storage.
- Try to avoid starching clothes, as this can attract insects and pests.
- Those air tight bags can be tempting when storing clothing, however, they do not allow for proper ventilation, which can allow mold to grow, so avoid these.
- Consider putting these into plastic boxes or boxes along with cedar chips, as this will keep the moths away.
- Check on clothing every few months to ensure that no mold or mildew has started taking over.
- You can fold or roll these into the boxes to help save room.
- Do not place the boxes directly on the floor, instead, place these onto pallets to ensure air flow is not restricted!
Packing and Storing Toys
Toys are one of the biggest reasons that many families decide to have a storage unit with Smart Self Storage. We want to maximize your room, so here are a few tips to abide by:
- Never store dirty toys, be sure everything is cleaned up.
- Properly label each box so you know what toys are where, especially if you feel that your kids will want these again in a few months.
- Fill the space in boxes with newspaper or something similar to minimize these toys hitting each other
- For collectible toys, wrap these in acid free paper to ensure they stay safe.
- Utilize boxes, not garbage bags! Garbage bags can set up mold and mildew on toys, especially stuffed toys.
Storing Business Merchandise
Many businesses tend to utilize storage units as a way to store excess merchandise and stock. Some tips for this:
- Ensure merchandise is wrapped with cloth or paper to prevent damage or dust getting into these products.
- Label each box so that you know where specific items are at all times, making it easier when you need to remove stock from self storage.
- Store like items together, as this simply makes it easier for you to find the right item later.
- Take precautions with electronic items, using the tips listed above.
- Consider keeping an inventory list that can be easily updated. Having an inventory will make it so much easier to manage your storage logistics.
- If you’re moving into a Smart Self Storage facility for the first time, enquire about our Free Moving Truck program!
Many people utilize their storage unit for seasonal equipment that they may no longer need at certain times of the year. Here are a few tips:
- For lawnmowers and other gasoline tools, remove the gas before placing into storage.
- Clean each piece and ensure that it looks as though it just came out of the showroom
- Run rust protection over blades and other metal parts to keep them in good working order.
- Place hand tools that you may not need anytime soon into a bucket together. You can place sand into the bucket to ensure that the metal on these tools does not rust.
- Keep equipment stored together in the unit (in a convenient/accessible location) so that you can easily get your items out again when seasons change!
- If you are storing refrigerators or appliances, then be sure that these are clean and dry before storing. Remember, a refrigerator can easily set up mold inside if it is still damp. You will want to wedge these doors open while in storage to help ensure that the air flow still gets to these items.
General Packing Tips to Remember
Now that we’ve gone through our packing tips for specific items, we want to share general tips as well, tips that apply to many different items. Here are some of our favorite general tips for packing your items:
- Use bubble wrap on items to add even more cushion for protection.
- Be sure that you label boxes completely to know what is in each, and add labels on all sides.
- Use high quality boxes that are strong and sturdy. (We do have these available for purchase for those who are interested!)
- Use packing tape as this is going to be stronger (on cardboard boxes) than using duct tape. (We also have packing tape available for purchase in our office!)
- Be sure to plan the packing process, as this will make it easier. Packing can be tiring. We always suggest spending a few hours each day (rather than trying to pack everything in one single day).
- You can use drawers of dressers and the like for items to be stored in. Be sure that you are using all the space that you can to maximize your storage unit! For example, dressers have drawers that can be packed up, resulting in less boxes having to be moved! (That said, do not attempt to move a dresser with the drawers full. It’s easiest to pack the drawers once the dresser is already moved into your unit. And, make sure not to pack too much weight. A dresser could fail under too much weight. Dresser drawers are best reserved for lighter objects.)
- Wardrobe boxes are great for clothing and draperies!
- Be sure that each lampshade and lamp that you have is getting packed together in with plenty of packing paper or cloths around these to ensure they are safe. Never pack two lamps together, as they will break! (For especially delicate lamp shades, it’s often advantageous to have a separate, dedicated box for each.)
- If you are packing up a mirror, be sure to use either a special mirror box or larger box that is padded with paper to ensure this mirror does not break.
Common Mistakes Made When Packing
Packing is not something that you may do every day, so it is best to learn from the mistakes of others to ensure that you are packing and move goes great! Some of the more common packing mistakes:
- Thinking that since you are just moving items into storage, that you do not have to pack these as if you were moving into a new home. Packing for self storage requires the same care as packing for a move to a new home.
- Using old newspaper to wrap items. While this can work for some items, remember that this ink can rub off onto the items that it is wrapped around. There have been many people who have ruined fine China sets from making this mistake.
- Throwing everything into garbage bags and simply dumping this onto the floor. Take the time to pack right! (Your future self will truly thank your present self.)
- Not organizing the storage unit to ensure that you can find those items that you are storing. We will have a few tips for organization in the following section. We view self storage as an extension of your lifestyle, a new room in your life. Organize your storage unit as you would organize your own home. That way, your life will be so streamlined and clutter free.
- Not labeling the boxes completely! This is a huge problem and often results in a person having to go through their entire unit to find what they are looking for. While packing be sure to be detailed in your description of what is in the box so that there are no guesses later.
Organizing Your Storage Unit
Here at Smart Self Storage, our units are basic units that you can organize to your specifications. We believe that this allows you to get the most out of your storage unit. With this being said, here are a few ideas to make this storage unit one that is organized to the point that your items are easy to find! Here are a few tips:
- Many people add shelving to their unit to display certain items that they have packed. (Or, to simply utilize the full vertical space of their unit. Remember, your unit is multi-dimensional, and it’s ok to store upwards!)
- There are those who invest into bookcases and shelving units to create hallways within their storage unit. This is helpful for those who may be storing a lot of items inside and require a path of travel to get to all areas of their unit.
- Consider creating a detailed inventory and map of your unit. That way, when you have not visited your unit for a while, it’s always easy to pinpoint exactly what you are looking for. We like to think of this as your self storage treasure map.
Packing Items into Your Moving Truck
A big part of the moving process is loading and unloading your moving truck. The good news for Smart Self Storage customers: We offer a Free Moving Truck program. (In Northern California, you can rent our truck for free, to move into your unit. In Southern California, our free truck comes with a driver! Of course, our program is subject to availability.) Talk with your local Smart Self Storage to see when this could be available to you! To close out our packing tips guide, let’s discuss a few great ways to pack a moving truck:
- Load the moving truck in the appropriate order. If you want furniture in the back of the storage facility, then this should be towards the door of your moving truck. This way you are not having to rearrange while unloading, which can take more of your time!
- Never sit heavy boxes on top of light boxes! This could result in damage.
- Try to pack this truck tightly, as you do not want boxes shifting much during the ride to the storage facility. Shifting boxes often result in broken items. Therefore, it is so important to tightly pack each box that you are moving.
- Have a game plan for how to pack all your items into the truck! The more you plan, the better the outcome will be.
It’s Time For Self Storage!
Are you ready to move your items into a storage unit? We hope that these tips that we have supplied will allow you to get the most out of your Smart Self Storage unit space, and also help you pack your items in a way that is going to keep them organized and accessible. We look forward to seeing you soon!
If you have any packing questions not answered in today’s article, please do not hesitate to reach out to your local facility manager. Our on-site managers are packing and moving experts. And, they truly look forward to helping you out!