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.
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.
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.
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.
Tips for Preparing for Self Storage
Once you’ve found your self storage unit, it’s important to have a plan and properly prepare 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:
- How to Store Documents
- How to Store Electronics
- How to Store Photos
- How to Store Books & Magazines
- How to Store China
- How to Store Antiques & Art
- How to Store Clothing
- How to Store Appliances
- How to Store Furniture
- How to Store Musical Instruments
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.
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.
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!
Extra Space Storage Inc., headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, owns and/or operates over 1,600 self-storage properties in 35 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. The Company's properties comprise approximately 750,000 units and over 80 million square feet of rentable storage space, offering customers a wide selection of affordable and conveniently located and secure storage solutions across the country, including personal storage, boat storage, RV storage and business storage. We are committed to being the most convenient, secure and professional storage solution in your neighborhood. And it is this commitment which has allowed Extra Space Storage to become the second largest storage units operator in the U.S. with over 1,600 properties across the country.