If you’re about to hire a self storage unit and plan to follow your usual ‘stuff it in until it’s full’ approach, it might be time for a different tack.
Space costs money, so if you do some thinking and planning first, it will be more cost efficient. A small self storage unit is obviously going to be a cheaper option than a large one, but the key is being organised so it works for you.
- Work out what items you will need to access often, and what items you can do without, and plan your storage layout accordingly. Include an aisle in the plan, and create a scenario where the most-needed items will be the easiest to get to.
- Invest in good quality boxes of similar sizes, so they stack easily. It makes sense to store the heaviest boxes at the bottom – as long as they are full of books, not china. You don’t want the things on the bottom being damaged by being on the bottom.
- Put the largest items into the unit first such as furniture and appliances. Then create a series of box stacks, heavy to light, similar sizes together, all of them with the label sides facing out.
- Defrost, clean and dry any large appliances to minimise the chance of water damage and mould. Make sure you store them with the doors propped slightly open to allow air to circulate, preventing mould and bad smells. Utilise the shelves for stacking smaller boxes of items.
- Washing machines should be drained completely, and dried, and the hoses disconnected and emptied or tied firmly to the side of the machine, open end up, to minimise the chance of any leakage which could damage other items.
- Check that any metal objects you are storing are not resting against something less hardy, or that they are likely to move and damage something else. Chock the wheels of empty filing cabinets or other items.
- Sofas should be stored on one end, preferably on a pallet rather than flat on the floor, with some extra covering to protect them. Mattresses should be stored on the long end, and again, covered and off the floor. Not sure they are safe stored vertically? Set them up horizontally, but make sure they are protected from the damp ground, and don’t stack too many things on top.
- If you’re packing a lot of furniture close together, utilise old sheets or towels to cover them, to minimise scratching and protect them from dust.
- Tools and long-handled items can be tied firmly together in bundles and tucked away in corners. Stand brooms on their ends so the bristles don’t get ruined, and always throw away the vacuum cleaner bag (if it is disposable) or empty it, and clean it.
- If you have any concerns about keeping your possessions in pristine condition, invest in items such as moisture absorbers, pest bait and deodorisers and check the storage unit on a regular basis.