Want to keep all of your possessions safe while they’re locked away? Learn how to pack a storage unit and protect everything inside. Packing a storage unit sounds easy, right?
If you’re someone that either has a lot of stuff or is going through a big move, you’ll probably end up renting out a storage unit, at least temporarily. Most people that do this end up shoving all of their precious belongings inside, throwing caution to the wind.
You may think moving is the dangerous part and that you know how to pack a storage unit, but there are still many ways that your stuff could get damaged (or lost) while they sit in storage. If you’re leaving your things in there for a long period of time, this is especially concerning.
Packing a storage unit so that everything inside is safe is a skill. It usually comes with practice, but today we’re going to give you a little bit of guidance so that none of your valuables end up damaged.
Don’t risk it. Listen to us and you can rest easy knowing your stuff is safe and sound.
Why Your Stuff Isn’t Necessarily Safe in Storage
When you rent a storage unit, you’re leaving your belongings in the hands of the storage facility that may or may not care about it. It’s important to do a bit of research before you select one of these facilities.
Is the Facility Good Enough?
This is what you should be most concerned about. You can help how you pack your unit, but you can’t help if the unit is unsecured. Make sure that the facility is gated with sturdy fencing and that it’s monitored by cameras or security at all times.
You should then look at the actual unit you’re renting. Look at the locks and ensure that they’re not susceptible to bolt cutters. Look at the door and give it a knock and a push to see if it would hold up to brute force.
Then, look inside the unit to see if it’s clean. An unclean unit might be an indication that the facility’s maintenance is less than ideal. You could also ask the property manager a few questions before you sign a lease.
Ask them if they offer insurance for your unit and ask if they’ve been inspected for leaks and breaches that allow for rodents or pests to get in.
If you don’t feel great about the cleanliness of the unit, find a different one. It’s always good to have some knowledge about keeping pests away. This guide is a good example of how to keep things in long-term storage safe from them.
The security and cleanliness of the storage facility isn’t the only problem when it comes to keeping your stuff safe in a storage unit. There’s also an aspect of human error that can lead to expensive damages.
If you’ve ever watched the television show Storage Wars, then you’ve seen plenty of examples of how not to pack a storage unit. If you see an orderless pile of stuff that resembles a junkyard, then the items aren’t safe.
In the next section, we’re going to tell you how to pack things properly so that they’ll be just as you left them the next time you open your unit.
How to Pack a Storage Unit Properly
When you pack a storage unit improperly, you’ve got no one but yourself to blame for the damages to your property. The best thing to do is create a loose plan that details what you’ll be putting in storage and how to arrange it in the unit.
Choose the Right Size
Choosing an appropriately sized storage unit will prevent you from having to stack a lot of things on top of one another.
Getting something too big might feel like a waste of money, but getting something too small will create a lot of logistical problems that will almost certainly lead to damage. A good storage facility will have a few unit sizes to choose from, so once you know what’s going in storage, you can choose the right size.
Create an Inventory
Before you pick your size, take a quick inventory of everything that’s going in storage. When you know what you’re dealing with, making a layout for where you’re storing things will help you from stacking heavier items on top of lighter ones and putting things you need access to at the back of the unit.
An inventory will also help you remember what you have in storage so you aren’t always looking for things or repurchasing items you already own. Being organized is always key to moving and storage.
Get Real Storage Containers
Avoid boxes when possible. Real plastic storage containers are far more stackable than boxes, which end up breaking eventually. They’ll also keep your things safe from moisture and leaking, in the event that it happens.
You’ll have to spend a bit more money for good containers, but they’ll last for years and you can reuse them. Even the sturdiest boxes will wear down over time. And, never put anything in plastic bags because they trap moisture, causing mold and mildew to appear.
Unless you’ve rented out a climate-controlled storage unit, what you pack your belongings in is going to determine how safe they’ll be.
Here are some quick packing tips for specific items that typically end up in storage:
- All fragile things should be put in bubble wrap and taped.
- Always make sure that furniture and electronics are elevated in the event of flooding. You can use pallets to elevate anything.
- Cover furniture and consider dismantling it to save space.
- Always completely fill boxes so that they’re as sturdy as possible.
- Never put heavier boxes on top of lighter ones. If you’re using cardboard boxes, this will result in damage.
Check On Your Stuff Often
Knowing how to pack a storage unit is important, but if you’re leaving your stuff in storage long-term, you should check on it periodically to make sure it’s still safe. If a bad storm comes, for instance, there’s always the risk of flooding.
As long as you follow this guide and check on your unit when possible, there’s no reason why you should feel like your things aren’t protected. Now you can rest easy and get on with the other important things in your life.
If you found this guide useful, come back and visit our blog for more entertaining and helpful posts on living frugally.