Self-storage units are a convenient, affordable and flexible option for storing items. With these units, you maintain control over whats stored and how, and over when you access the items. However, with this freedom comes the responsibility for knowing how to store items properly. Going in unprepared could result in your belongings being damaged.
The Best Way to Pack
Its always a good idea to plan your storage layout beforehand. Establish the shape and size of the storage unit youll be using, and try to calculate how much space your stored items will take up. Using a uniform box size will make this far easier. Aim for boxes that can carry roughly 9 to 13 kilograms each, so that no box is too heavy to move. Its also easier to stack boxes neatly and tightly together when theyre the same size, and this will help prevent moisture from gathering between boxes.
To make it a lot easier to retrieve specific items, its a good idea to label all sides of the boxes, not just the tops or one side. Also, instead of using a vague label such as KITCHEN or STUDY on a box, print a proper list of the contents and tape a copy to each side of the box. Then youll know exactly how to find a specific item. Also, dont forget to mark boxes that contain fragile items so youll know to treat them with extra care.
Packing and Stacking
When stacking boxes, you should leave as few gaps as possible between the boxes themselves. However, its a good idea to leave a gap between the edge of the boxes and the walls of the storage unit. This will allow air to circulate around the boxes, to help prevent moisture and subsequent mould build-up.
There are a few ways to save space in a self-storage unit when packing. All furniture should be broken down as much as possible. Shovels, hoes, rakes and other clunky tools can be stored in empty trash cans. Empty trash cans should be stored stacked inside one another. Tall items like shelves, cabinets and the like should be stored on their sides to save space and so that they cant topple over.
Storing a Fridge and Appliances
If youre planning to store a fridge, its a good idea to defrost it several hours before moving it into the self-storage unit. Once youve moved it into the unit, wedge the door open to allow proper air flow and prevent growth of mould.
Note that you should never take any shortcuts when packing electronics and appliances. Its best to bubble wrap them, to protect them from shifting in their boxes and either being damaged or damaging other items.Finally note that its against the law to store hazardous or combustible materials, such as solvents or gasoline. If youll be storing machinery that uses gasoline, for example, youll need to drain it properly before putting it into storage.