Storage Tips

Can It Go In My Storage Unit?

Your storage unit is a great place to store just about anything from business records to personal belongings and most everything in between.

However, the following is a list of the few items which may not be stored in your unit. If in doubt, always ask your storage unit manager for help.

Flammable or combustible materials: These include gas, fuel, fireworks, etc. These types of materials may cause a very real danger to the entire facility and personnel, not to mention your own stored belongings if an accident happens. If you will be storing such items that contain fuel such as a lawn mower, boat motor, weed whacker, go-kart, etc, you will be asked to empty all the tanks before placing these items in storage.

Animals or Animal Products: Storing your animals in your storage unit is cruel and could result in prosecution. It is forbidden. Animal products usually are not allowed as they may attract vermin and other pests.

Jewelry and Valuables: You need to advise your storage facility manager if you will be storing valuables such as jewelry, coins, precious metals, etc. You may be subject to certain restrictions and will be asked to provide a copy of your proof of insurance coverage. You may also need to sign a special waiver.

Hazardous materials: Most storage facilities will not allow the storage of hazardous, toxic or chemical materials as they may cause extreme damage if there is a spill or fire.

Perishable foodstuffs: If you are storing the contents of your home in your unit, cans of food are fine, but there may be restrictions on any perishable food items you may want to place in your unit. Ask yOur Complex manager for their policies.

Illegal or stolen goods: No storage facility will allow you to store illegal or stolen goods on their property.

Firearms: Each storage facility will have its own policy regarding storage of firearms. Always check with your Complex manager first.

Aerosols: Aerosols and other pressurized materials are hazardous materials. Many storage facilities will not allow these items to be stored as there is the possibility they may burst and cause accidents or damage.

Plants: Plants are living things and should not be stored in your unit as they may attract insects and pests.

Fragrances: Many storage facilities will not allow the storing of very fragrant items or anything else that may cause a significant odor within the site.

By following the policies and procedures of your storage facility, your storage experience will be a safe and pleasant one.

Remember, when in doubt – ask!

General Storage and Packing Tips

The first thing to remember when you are packing your belongings is to pack in such a way that you can find things at a later date quickly and without unloading absolutely everything you have put away.

There are two things to consider before you begin.

  • Will you be moving all your belongings directly into a new home,
    OR
  • Will you be placing everything into a storage unit?

If you will be moving your belongings directly into a new home, all you need to do is make sure you have a few days’ worth of belongings set aside and packed separately from the rest. This way, you will have all your necessary items available in one area for immediate use. Think of it as going on a short 3 or 4 day trip.

Pack a bag for each person with clothes, prescription medications, and personal toiletries; a folder with any necessary or urgent paperwork; a bag or box with toilet paper, towels, kitchen items such as a couple pans, utensils and table settings.

Be sure to set aside some bed linens, sleeping bags or extra blankets; and food items if you wish. (Using paper products and plastic utensils is a big space saver.)

You should have everything you need until you have the rest of your belongings unpacked and put away. Feel free to contact All About Storage for a complimentary list of common items to pack.

If you will be placing all your belongings into a storage unit, determine how long your items will be in storage. Pack items you will be using often in separate boxes and place these items in the front of your storage unit for easy access.

Moving and relocating can be a highly stressful time in our lives. By planning ahead you can make your move smooth and problem free.

After you have made your short list of necessary items to set aside for immediate use, it’s time to pack the remainder. If you are like the rest of us, you have accumulated a great amount of stuff. Some of this stuff is not needed and has been collecting dust or taking up space.

By planning ahead, you will not only have time to sort your stuff, you will have time to properly inventory and label your belongings for easy storage or unpacking.

Air Circulation Considerations

If you will be storing your belongings in a storage unit, consider placing wooden pallets on the floor of the unit to keep boxes and other items up off the concrete and promote air circulation. Used pallets are usually available free from such places as grocery stores, hardware stores, etc. Always ask first before you take them. Check for exposed nails and remove them.

You can use the pallets in your moving truck and stack some extras in the back of the truck to place in the storage unit first. If your storage unit is in a humid area or you will be storing over the winter or rainy season and are not in a humidity controlled facility, pick up a bucket of “DampRid”, “DryAir”, “Dry-Z-Air” or what you have locally. This product absorbs moisture in the air and helps protect your belongings.

Inventory

Pack one room at a time. Inventory everything as you go, noting serial and model numbers of bigger items. Be sure to note an estimated replacement value of each item. By doing this, you will have accurate information immediately available in case something unforeseen happens to your belongings during transit or while in storage. Be extra safe and give a copy of your inventory to a trusted relative or friend for safekeeping.

Following are more helpful hints and ideas to make your move as stress free as possible.

If you will be placing your belongings in a storage facility or utilizing a moving truck or trailer, invest in good quality sturdy boxes and packing materials. If you buy boxes of similar sizes it will be easier to stack. Plus it will save you space. Be sure and box everything you can. Anything not boxed may get dusty in a storage unit. All About Storage carries a full line of boxes, packing material & supplies at the lowest prices in the area!.

Fill boxes full whenever you can, but try to avoid making them heavy and unmanageable. Remember that the boxes packed or stacked on the bottom need to be sturdy enough to hold the weight above them. Seal all your boxes with packing tape.

Label all boxes clearly or all four sides with the room, contents of the box and its placement on the truck or in storage. Be sure to mark “Fragile” on all sides of all boxes containing breakable items, even if only one or two breakable items are inside.

Don’t pack large boxes with all heavy items. You won’t be able to carry it and the box might break. If you must pack heavy items, put in just a few and then fill up the box with lighter items. It might be helpful for the people moving the boxes to mark the heavy ones for them.

Pack your books flat so the spines will not get damaged. Be sure and give them a gentle dusting before placing them in boxes. It might be helpful to pack similar books in the same boxes for easy location. This includes cookbook, reference books, school books, etc. Be sure the boxes are taped securely on all edges to prevent breakage and damage to your books, and label each box accordingly.

Utilize your dresser and other furniture drawers to pack small items and small boxes. This includes stove drawers and the inside of refrigerators and freezers.

Wrap all breakable items such as glasses, dishes, holiday ornaments, etc. Bubble wrap is best and be sure to pack the items tightly to prevent movement which may cause breakage. Fill in all the gaps with paper or filler. Avoid placing heavy items on top of breakable items in a box. All About Storage carries dish and glass packs specially designed for these fragile items.

Wardrobe and clothing boxes are best for storing your clothes. Treat leather items with a leather conditioner before you store them. Oil down leather workboots, baseball mitts, etc and place them in plastic bags for storage.

Wrap your mirrors and pictures in bubble wrap, blankets or other protective coverings. Be sure to stack them on their ends and never stack or store them flat. If possible, stack with the glass against something soft such as a mattress, etc. Separate your lamp bases and shades and pack them separately. Remember to mark all these objects as “Fragile”.

Pack or store your sofas and mattresses on end in the truck or your storage unit. Tie hide-a-bed frames to their sofa frames to prevent movement & bending of the metal components. Also dismantle furniture such as tables and beds if possible. Place all the hardware and other bits and pieces in a sealable plastic bag and tape to the piece of furniture they belong to. This saves space and you won’t have to stack items on your soft furnishings. All About Storage offers mattress bags and furniture pads to help you protect your fine things.

Pack electrical components in their original boxes if possible. If this is not possible, use a box approximately the same size and pack all the gaps with paper or soft towels to prevent movement. Be sure to secure the turntable and player arm of your record player.

Be sure to defrost your refrigerators and freezers before transporting or storing them. Wipe down the inside with a vinegar/water solution and let dry. Tie the doors shut for transport, but keep the doors ajar if storing them. Drain your washing machine and dishwasher before the move. Drain & tie together hoses and place them inside the machines for safekeeping. Load your big and heavy appliances onto the truck last to go into your new home or storage unit first.

Remove your vacuum cleaner bag before transport or storage. This prevents the bag from become ruptured and spewing dust and dirt everywhere.

And finally, pack your moving truck. Remember that while the truck is traveling, things will move toward the front of the truck. Also remember that when you arrive at either your new home or your storage unit, you will want the big stuff like appliances loaded last to come off first. They will be easier to place in your new home when there are no boxes and other items in the way. They will also go to the back of the storage unit to stay out of the way and again be loaded off the future moving truck first into your home.

The cabover (“Mom’s Attic”) makes a great place to put your electronics equipment, dishes and glassware. Place mattresses or other tall items in front of the cabover to further protect those items.

If you pack small boxes inside furniture components, tie the doors shut with soft rope to prevent the boxes from moving & damaging the pieces.

Remember to put the boxes and items you will be using immediately or often in the front of the truck so they will come off last and be available in the front of your storage unit, or go into your home last and not be buried.

Pack everything tightly if possible. Gaps mean movement and movement means breakage and damage. Utilize furniture pads, pillows, blankets and other protective materials. Stack heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on the top.

Rope or strap large and heavy items to the rails inside the moving trucks as you go along to prevent movement and damage. All About Storage carries a variety of rope and strapping products.

How to Organize Your Storage Unit

Now that you’ve arrived at your destination, it’s time to organize your storage unit so you can find things quickly and easily without rummaging or having to open every box.

  • Take a moment to look at your storage unit. If you have a very large unit, it might be a good idea to leave a couple of “habi-trail” aisles inside your unit between your belongings to help with access to the farther corners. Having to climb over your belongings is not a good idea and could be very dangerous.
  • If you packed your truck right, the heavy stuff should be coming off first and placed in the back of the storage unit. Be sure and leave appliance doors ajar. You can use a heavy washcloth or small towel for this job. Keeping a box of baking soda in the appliances helps control odors.
  • If you run across an errant item on your “use often” or “now” list, be sure and set it aside. Try not to let it get caught up in the stacking process or you may not be able to find it again quickly.
  • Set down your pallets as you go along.
  • Stack boxes and similar sized items so you can see the labels.
  • Try to keep kitchen stuff together, bathroom stuff together, etc. If it was together in the truck, it should be easy to keep together in the unit. Stack heavy items on the bottom and lighter items on the top.
  • Try not to lean furniture against the outside walls of your unit.
  • Utilize interior spaces of dressers and other components to store small boxes and items to maximize your available space.
  • If an item seems wobbly and un-sturdy if you stand it up vertically, don’t take chances, store it horizontally if possible.

When you are finished loading your storage unit, the items you will use often should all be at the front and you should have reasonably easy access to most areas of your unit.