Self-storage Guide

Forty tips to make your storage experience as pleasant as possible!

Choosing Your Unit

  1)  Call storage companies to find out what size units are available, prices and vacancy information.
  2)  Choose the unit size that best meets your needs. Use our size estimator to make an educated guess.
  3)  Meet with the manager and discuss the price, deposit and rental agreement.
  4)  Ask about security features of the facility (alarms, motion detectors, video surveillance, guards, security gates).
  5)  Get a copy of the contract, contact information, as well as the hours of operation for the facility.
  6)  Inspect the unit that you will be renting. It should be clean, well maintained and secure.

Planning

  7)  Make a list of all items you plan to store.
  8)  Purchase a lock when necessary.
  9)  Gather boxes and packing supplies. Remember that you may need large boxes for lamps and other decorations, plastic sheets for covering furniture, china cartons for dishes and bubble wrap/fill paper for packing valuables.
  10)  Call the manager of the storage facility and confirm your move-in date and time.
  11)  Make arrangements for transporting your items to the storage facility.

Packing

  12)  Use only sturdy boxes and containers for storing your items.
  13)  Label all containers and boxes.
  14)  Fill containers to capacity and fill in space with packing material.
  15)  Pack heavier items in small boxes.
  16)  Secure mirrors, paintings and pictures in mirror boxes and pack them on edge.
  17)  Dissemble lamps, tables, barstools and other furnishings as applicable. Wrap pieces individually and store securely in boxes.
  18)  Wrap wooden table legs and chairs to avoid scratches.
  19)  Cover sofas with plastic wrap or sheets so that they do not gather dust, and stack them on end.
  20)  Cover dressers with sheets or plastic wrap so you can stack boxes on top.
  21)  Fill drawers and appliances with small items to conserve space.
  22)  Pack books flat and avoid placing them directly on the unit floor (place on a pallet or sheet).
  23)  Wrap dishes and other breakables individually, layering padding at the top and bottom of the box.
  24)  Clothing is best stored clean and in hanging cartons. These may be available through the storage company or can be purchased at a moving supply store.

Storing

  25)  Place items in the order that you will need to access them---those that will be readily used should be placed in the front of the storage unit.
  26)  Before moving in pieces of large furniture, cover the ground with blankets or sheets.
  27)  Do not lean furniture against outside walls.
  28)  Place tabletops face down on the floor (remember to lay the blanket or sheet on the ground to avoid scratching).
  29)  Leave appliance doors cracked open so that moisture does not build within.
  30)  Do not store food—this will attract mice and other pests.
  31)  Arrange boxes so that the labels are facing out and easily read.
  32)  Stack boxes in a manageable manner.  Put large, heavy boxes on the bottom.
  33)  Leave a walkway so that you can access your items as needed.

Removing

  34)  Give the storage company proper notice of your intent to move out. Refer to your contract for specific guidelines.
  35)  Remove the top boxes first. Careful--boxed items may have shifted after a prolonged period of time.
  36)  Remove all of your belongings.
  37)  Sweep out the unit and dispose of any trash.
  38)  Have the manager do a walk through inspection to insure that there is no dispute over damages.
  39)  Secure the unit. Make sure the door is completely shut.
  40)  Take your lock with you, or return the keys to the manager.

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