It is not every day that people use self storage. When you come to move, this may be the first time that you have packed a storage locker. It is worth thinking about how you go about doing this. If you are renting self storage, then chances are one of the reasons you are doing so, is because you will require access to the unit while your goods are in store.
Therefore, how you pack is important as it will save time and effort when you come to visit your storage unit, in order to retrieve something. When you are moving to a new house there are many things to do. But giving some thought to how you pack your stuff up will save you significant time later.
How to Pack a Storage Locker
Packing and Labelling
The first tip is to try and pack rooms or specific items together in the same boxes. For example, if you are packing a bedroom for one of your children, then pack up their desk, then maybe some of the cupboards in the same boxes. This will make it easier to find things later. As you finish packing a box, always label it.
This could be as simple as writing, Simon’s Bedroom. Or it could be more specific, such as Simon’s bedroom desk contents. Make sure the label is on the side of the box, rather than the top. Chances are you will stack boxes. Therefore, if the labels are on top, you will have to move other boxes to identify a specific label and what is in that box.
To make your move easier and to find things later, do not overload boxes. Even when you have identified the correct box, you still need to go through it in order to find a specific item. Make sure you only fill the boxes so they are still easy to carry, and the bottoms will not fall out. You can then go through them more easily.
You may use these boxes in the future, so rather than writing on the boxes, why not just use a piece of masking tape or labels in order to label your various boxes. Stick the masking tape or label on the side of the box and then use a marker. Right exactly what the contents are, for example, kitchen pots and pans.
Even better, would be to stick a full inventory of the contents on the side of the box. So, you are clear on exactly what is being stored in the individual boxes. You may not have time to do this, but if you do, this will certainly save time later.
Once you are at your storage unit, you need to think about how to stack and store the various boxes and other items. This process starts before even getting to the storage unit. What makes life much easier is understanding what you need access to when you are packing up your vehicle to go to storage. You really want to pack the items that you will require access to first, so they come out of your vehicle last, then they will be at the front of the storage unit.
Size of Storage Unit
The size of the unit you are renting will dictate how to best organise it. For example, if you have only rented at unit which has the capacity to just fit the goods you need to put into store, with no circulation space, then it is essential that you pack the items and boxes that you will not require access to at the back. The ones that you will require access to should go at the front. If you do not, then what will happen is, you will have to take out all the boxes whenever you want to find something at the back. This can be time-consuming and then everything must go back in. The unit will potentially be even more disorganised next time.
Where Should the Heavy Stuff Go?
Another top tip is to ensure that the heavy boxes are stored at the bottom and the lighter boxes at the top. Depending on the type of box you are using if you are using cardboard boxes. This will avoid the bottom ones being crushed due to the weight of the boxes on top. Also, it will save your back. You do not want to be lifting heavy boxes on top of others. Rather, just have these on the ground where they are much easier to move around.
What About Plastic Crates?
Another recommendation is to use plastic crates. Plastic crates are designed to fit within each other, therefore take less space up when they are not being used. Also, when you are moving to a new house, they are much easier to stack and move around. They can come with small trollies, known as dollies. They can be stacked three or four high and just rolled to your storage unit rather than having to be carried. The storage company may well provide trucks and trolleys to assist but in our experience using plastic crates, with a purpose-built dolly makes the whole process far easier.
Get Really Organised – What About a Storage Map?
If you want to be really organized, then another way of putting your stuff into storage is to create a map of what is where. This can be done as you are putting your stuff into storage. Then you can tape the plan, or map of the contents of your storage unit, to the inside of the door or wall.
This will have huge value. For example, if you have not been to your storage unit for several weeks or months, it will help you easily locate various items easily. Immediately you will have a guide, and this will save you a huge amount of time.
If you have the money and you are regularly accessing your storage unit, then it is advised to rent a bigger unit than you require. Also, install shelving into the unit. You can then just stack your boxes on shelves, and you will have much easier, unfettered access to your stored goods.
You may be also be storing things like bikes, furniture, garden tools and possibly clothes. The boxes will not all be the same size and obviously, some of the items will not go into boxes. Just think about what you need access to. If the furniture is not going to be used until it comes out of storage in the future, then this should go at the back. If you are going to use your bike on a regular basis, then this should be at the front with easy access.
Sharing Storage Units with Other People
If you are sharing the unit with other people, for example, if you are a group of students that are using storage then do not mix up everyone’s stuff. Allocate areas. For example, one person on the left the other on the right. This will avoid confusion and it will make it easier trying to find things.
While your goods are in store, don’t forget to label everything. If you have multiple people using the unit, it may be worth using a colour code system, for example, different coloured labels. So, it is visually clear who owns which box.
Most people will not even think about how best to organise a storage unit until they are standing there in front of it with all their boxes on the day. But a little bit of preorganisation will save a huge amount of time.