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We all have our own unique and personal reasons for opting to rent a storage unit. These can range from selling our house, downsizing a business, small business storage, winter or seasonal gear storage or simply just wanting to declutter our homes. While there are many benefits to utilizing a storage facility, the overall renting experience depends on the efficiency and use of the storage unit and facility features, which includes properly packing all items to avoid damage or decay and organizing the unit for easy access.


If you will be packing lots of items into boxes and stacking them in the unit, be sure to put the heaviest boxes on the bottom and take care not to over-pack your boxes. For example, boxes are great for storing books which by themselves are not too heavy but collectively can make for a very heavy box. Kitchen items are another good example; our utility drawers are full of useful gadgets that don’t take up much room, but if you put too many in one box, it can damage the box or the contents may fall through the bottom of the box if it’s not securely taped. The possibility of personal injury is also a factor when lifting heavy boxes and other items.


Additional tips for packing boxes include:


  • Use the same size boxes or containers for easy stacking

  • Fill boxes to the top so there aren’t any gaps without making them too heavy

  • If there are gaps, pack clothing, towels, or bubble wrap inside

  • Use smaller boxes for heavy items and bigger boxes for lighter items

  • Don’t use plastic as this can trap moisture inside the bag

  • Place like sized items together

  • Clearly label boxes on multiple sides


Now that you’ve got your boxes under control, it’s time to turn your attention to the bigger items that you’ll be storing. To prevent damage to rugs, furniture, clothing and more, these items need to be properly packed, rolled, wrapped, or sealed with the correct technique and materials.


Guidelines to keep in mind as you pack:

  • Glass plates, cups and other dishes should be individually wrapped

  • Protective plastic or cardboard corners should be applied to framed artwork

  • Apply masking tape in a crisscross pattern on;

    • Framed mirrors, photographs, and artwork, store vertically

    • Label as Fragile

  • To guard against germs and dirt, clean all items before packing away

  • Wood should be freshly polished before storing

  • Use leather conditioner before packing items away to prevent drying and cracking

  • Coat metals with machine oil or rust preventative

  • Furniture that can be taken apart should be disassembled for easier storage

  • Use sheets or tarps to cover furniture to prevent stains, scratches or tears 


Additional items to consider:


  • Place the most valuable items in the BACK of the unit

  • Items susceptible to damage by excessive heat or cold such as software and electronics, should be stored in a climate-controlled storage unit or the use of a dehumidifier should be utilized

  • Select a storage unit that is slightly bigger than the space needed to accommodate your belongings. Leaving room between the walls and your items allows for better ventilation and allow room for you to maneuver the unit when accessing items

  • Set aside time for planning; organizing as you pack will allow easier access to items in the future as well as prevent damage while being moved or placed in storage

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