Whether you're moving across town and need temporary storage or are the proud owner of a classic automobile and need a "showroom," a self storage unit is the perfect place to ensure your belongings are in a secure, climate-controlled facility. Once you have decided to store your valuables, you should have a plan in place to help make the transition is as smooth as possible. Even if you are only moving one item into your self-storage unit, planning ahead is key to a successful, stress-free move. Use this checklist and enjoy a worry-free experience for everyone involved.
Packing for Self Storage:
The best advice is to start packing your belongings as early as possible after you decide to store them. Giving yourself plenty of time to organize and pack will make your entire storing/moving experience more pleasant. Keep in mind these proven tips:
1. Always disassemble any furniture or devices with multiple components. When taking something apart, use clear tape to adhere any nuts, screws or bolts to the area on the item where it came from, to ensure easy re-assembly later.
2. Label everything. Place items into boxes with other like items and label the box according to which room they came from. For example, a blender, toaster and mixer would go into the same box labeled "Kitchen: Small Appliances." If you're moving, labeling by room will ensure the boxes go to the correct room in your new home-and will save you time (and headaches!) after the move when you're staring at 20 boxes! Listing the contents as you put them in will also eliminate lost or misplaced items.
3. Mark boxes as "fragile," "heavy" or "easily stained" (for clothing or fabric items) in addition to content labeling. Also consider weighing each box, which will help in the actual moving process later.
4. Pack breakable, fragile items in Styrofoam peanuts, newspaper or bubble wrap.
Moving and Your Belongings:
Actually moving your belongings into your self storage unit requires the same planning you put into packing. You also need to be mindful of the potential physical strain involved in moving many heavy items so look for a storage facility that offers hand-trucks and elevators to save yourself the backache! The following four guidelines will help ensure a safe, efficient moving process:
1. Bring a bag filled with packing supplies (tape, markers and extra bubble wrap) as a self-storage emergency kit. Some of the more modern self storage facilities sell merchandise onsite, which can save you in case of a 'bubble wrap emergency.' Having to drive back home to get more bubble wrap once you're already at the self storage facility is annoying and time consuming.
2. Don't over stuff your boxes. Lighter boxes are easier to load and unload. Additionally, heavier boxes can break and you don't want to lose an item due to a inadequate box. Many self storage facilities will offer particular boxes for particular uses, such as for electronic equipment, etc. Use these specialty boxes for maximum protection.
3. Use hand-trucks and pallets for moving in and out. These items are usually offered free of charge at the more modern self storage facilities. Make sure you'll be able to use these items on move-in day.
4. Pack your unit wisely. Pack your less used items in the back of your storage unit and keep the items that you know you'll need more frequently up front. Also, remember, there are ways to maximize your unit's space. For instance, to save on floor space, turn a sofa on its end (storing vertically).
Now that you know the Dos and Don'ts of self storage preparation and moving, you can begin the process. If you have any questions or concerns beforehand, speak with a self storage professional, or read additional self storage FAQs. Planning your move and choosing a self storage facility that's staffed with professionals will help ensure a positive experience.
Mr. Kleindienst is a self storage company executive. He works for Safeguard Self Storage, which offers consumers the ability to reserve a self storage unit at various self storage facility locations.