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How to Pack for Self Storage

Packing your belongings for self storage seems simple enough, but there are a few tips and tricks for maximizing space and protecting your items that you should know before heading to your storage unit!

Packing Your Items in Storage Containers

Packing items isn’t as simple as filling the box. But packing also doesn’t have to be as difficult as we make it. We have a few tips on how to box your items while keeping you, and your belongings, protected.

Create an Inventory

Before you start putting items in boxes, make an inventory of all items that you’ll be storing. Not only does this provide a record of everything that will be in your storage unit should any of your items get damaged or stolen, but it also helps you get organized so you can keep track of which items are in which boxes.

Keep Similar Items Together

When storing your belongings, it’s a good idea to keep like items together to make them easier to find and unpack later. Don’t mix a bunch of random things together! Kitchen items should go in kitchen boxes. Bedroom items should go in bedroom boxes. Office items should go in office boxes. You get the picture!

Label Everything

The worst thing to happen when packing items for self storage is to forget what you put where. By using labels, you can detail both the category of the box and a list of the items stored in the box. That way, should you need to grab certain things from your storage unit later, you’ll know exactly which box they’re in. Don’t want to buy a label maker? You can use masking tape and permanent marker as a budget-friendly labeling system.

Don’t Overpack

Packing too much into a storage container isn’t recommended. Not only can overpacking your boxes damage the items within those boxes, but they can also cause strains and injuries when you’re moving them. When it comes to heavier items like books and electronics, you’re better off splitting items up to distribute weight more evenly.

Keep Fragile Items Separate

If you plan to store fragile items, be sure to keep them separate from everything else! Use proper packing techniques and materials, such as wrapping delicate belongings in bubble wrap or foam packets. And never stack heavier objects on sensitive objects, as this can damage them.

Packing Your Car or Moving Truck

Moving items into your vehicle sounds like a simple task, but things can go south quickly if you’re not paying attention. Get everything to your storage facility safely with these vehicle packing tips!

Put Heavy Items in First

When packing your car, truck, or trailer, it’s important to load the heaviest items in first. This helps you balance weight across the vehicle and prevents heavy items from sliding during the move. It’s also good for unloading later because you’ll be able to quickly move small, light items out first, meaning you’ll have plenty of open space later to get the big items out.

Fill Open Spaces with Loose Items

If you have extra pillows, blankets, or towels, use those to fill in the gaps when packing your vehicle. By filling in these holes, you can ensure that boxes and other items won’t start sliding around. Plus, it adds a layer of padding between any fragile items and heavy furniture.

Use Padded Blankets

Depending on what you’re placing in self storage, it can be beneficial to utilize padded blankets, especially if you don’t want any items getting damaged or shifting during the move. Items like mirrors, TVs, and upholstered furniture can also be covered with padded blankets to protect from scratches and dust. Don’t have padded blankets? Blankets from around your home or even a couple of old sheets will work just fine!

Remove Any Movable Parts

If any of the items going to self storage have movable parts like doors or wheels, be sure to secure them or take them off before you pack your vehicle. Not only does this make it easier for you to get more items in your car or truck, but it also prevents these items from moving around while you’re driving.

Packing Your Belongings in a Storage Unit

Once you’ve made it to your storage unit, it’s time to start putting items away. But where should you start? These tips will help make your trip to the storage facility quick and hassle-free!

Create a Plan

There are countless ways to maximize the space of your storage unit, so it’s smart to take advantage of every square inch! Take a look at our storage unit size guide to get an idea of just how much stuff you can fit into a storage unit size. Also, remember that any items you’ll need to access frequently should be up toward the front of your unit so you don’t have to dig through your storage space to get to them.

Break Down Larger Items

Any item that you own that can be broken down into smaller pieces should get broken down. Remove the feet on furniture, break up bed frames, pull apart shelving, and place any pieces of hardware (screws, nuts, bolts, etc.) into bags. This way, you can take advantage of a little bit more space inside of your self storage unit and keep other items from getting scratched by little pieces that stick out from other items.

Go Vertical

Whether you’re thinking about storing a lot of boxes or multiple pieces of furniture, don’t forget to use your vertical space! Stacking items limits how much is on the floor, making it easier for you to maneuver through your storage unit. It also means you can store heavy items down low and light items up high.

Use Shelving & Floor Coverings

A great way to protect items in self storage is to use shelves or wooden pallets. With shelving units, you can better utilize vertical space to organize your storage unit effectively and keep small items off the ground. And with pallets, you can raise cardboard boxes, storage tubs, and furniture off the ground to better protect your belongings from dust, dirt, and potential water damage.

Have questions? Remember that your facility manager is an excellent resource for additional tips and assistance with packing, moving, and maximizing your self storage space!

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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.