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Storage Tips

Self Storage, Packing, & Organization Tips

Storing your belongings in a self storage unit is a convenient option when you’re running out of space or going through a transition. Check out our tips and tricks below to get started.

woman in front of storage unit

Tips for Choosing a Storage Unit

Choosing your storage facility and the best storage unit for your needs is the first step toward a positive self storage experience.

Pick Your Storage Facility

Finding the right storage facility for you comes down to several factors, including:

  • Convenience of the location
  • Overall quality and cleanliness 
  • Customer service
  • Security features

For more tips on identifying a storage facility that meets your needs, visit our Storage 101 guide.

Find the Right Storage Unit Size

Another important aspect when finding a storage unit is choosing a size that meets your needs. With self storage units ranging from 5×5 to 10×30 and larger, Extra Space Storage can accommodate small storage needs or help to store the contents of an entire home. 

Get an in-depth look at the popular storage unit sizes offered, including visuals of packed storage units in our storage unit size guide or download our self-storage size guide infographic

Think About Access

The type of access you’ll need will depend on what you plan to store and how often you plan to visit your storage unit. Drive-up access provides the easiest access and makes loading and unloading simple, while indoor access provides more comfort and the availability of climate control for temperature-sensitive items.

Learn more about drive-up storage and indoor storage.

Consider Climate Control

Climate-controlled storage is recommended for valuable, temperature-sensitive items. If you live in an area where extreme temperatures are common and plan to store wooden furniture, electronics, artwork, media, and other items that are easily damaged by extreme conditions, climate control might be worth it.

Learn more about climate-controlled storage.

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moving furniture into storage unit

Tips for Preparing for Self Storage

Once you’ve found your self storage unit, it’s important to have a plan and properly pack your belongings for storage. View our self storage preparation tips below!

Stock Up on Packing Supplies

Make sure you’re well equipped to pack your belongings. Stock up on items like:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Packing paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Drop cloths
  • Mattress bags
  • Plastic wrap
  • Labels and markers

View Extra Space Storage’s selection of packing supplies today!

Invest in Plastic Containers

For items that are highly sensitive to moisture like clothes, photos, books, and more, cardboard boxes might not be the best storage solution since cardboard can absorb moisture over time. Airtight plastic containers will keep moisture out and provide you with a lasting storage solution for practically any use.

Clean Your Belongings

If you want to keep your belongings in great condition while in self storage, make sure you put them into storage in great condition. Wood, leather, and upholstered furniture—as well as clothes and appliances—shouldn’t be put into storage without a thorough cleaning first.

Take Extra Care with Fragile Items

Make sure that you take the proper precautions with fragile items. Use bubble wrap and label boxes containing fragile items to make sure they’re handled and stored appropriately in the storage unit.

Properly Pack & Store Your Belongings

Every item needs to be packed and prepared for self storage a bit differently. Check out these guides for several of the most commonly stored items:

Think About Storage Insurance

When you move your belongings into storage, they’ll need to be covered by insurance. This can be through your homeowners or renters insurance or through self storage insurance offered at the storage facility.

family packing holiday ornaments

Storage Unit Packing Tips

Check out our tips and tricks to maximize the space in your self storage unit while keeping your belongings safe.

Keep Fragile & Heavy Items Low

This one is pretty simple. Stacking fragile items on top of other items or boxes makes them more likely to fall and break. And storing heavy items higher up will result in boxes underneath giving out and heavy items falling.

Go Vertical

Though fragile items shouldn’t be stacked high, using the height of a storage unit will help maximize your space. Though a storage unit as small as a 5×5 has only 25 square feet of storage space, it has 200 cubic feet to work with.

Utilize Shelves & Storage Furniture

Storing shelves, a dresser, or other items used for storage at home? Put those items to work to help maximize the space in your storage unit! Even something like a garbage bin can be used to store items. Don’t let hollow space go to waste!

Make a Walkway

This one isn’t necessary if you don’t plan to take items in and out of self storage regularly, but especially when using a larger storage unit like a 10×20 or bigger, leaving a small walkway to be able to access items throughout your storage unit can save you a ton of trouble down the road.

Use Wooden Pallets

Using wooden pallets to raise your items off the concrete floor helps keep air flowing throughout the storage unit. This is a great way to avoid moisture buildup that items sitting directly on the floor can experience.

Leave Items You’ll Need Most Near the Front

Know you’ll need something sooner than later? Make sure these types of items are kept near the front of your storage unit so that taking them in and out is as convenient as possible.

Find Storage Near You

View prices and reserve a storage unit near you today!


(855) 234-6922


(855) 234-6922