Are you getting ready to move your belongings into a storage unit? The idea of having to fit everything into one space can be very frightening. You may be wondering how you can store an entire house worth of stuff in one unit. More importantly, you may have concerns about making sure all of your belongings stay intact during the move. Luckily, we’ve been helping our tenants with these challenges for over 30 years, which means we’ve picked up quite a few tricks over the years. We teamed up and created 14 easy storage hacks to help you during your move.
1. Make a list of packing supplies you’ll need (bubble wrap, boxes, moving blankets, packing tape, etc.)
This will force you to take a moment and think about everything you’ll be storing. Knowing what you have and what you’ll need will get you organized and ready to face the packing process.
2. Make an inventory while packing to help remember where your items are located
If you label 5 boxes as “kitchen,” you’ll find yourself digging for hours just to find a spatula. Create a labeling system, and then make a list of items that correspond to the box. You’ll be so glad you did.
3. Use empty furniture drawers for extra storage.
Empty drawers are wasted space! Fill them up with clothing or other small items to maximize space. You can remove the drawers while moving to lighten the load, then place them back into the furniture to maximize space.
4. Place blankets between surfaces
Before stacking things on top of each other (especially wooden items), place a blanket down to keep them safe from any scratches.
5. Stack chairs on top of one another
Setting chairs by themselves take up way too much space. Stack them seat to seat to make the most of your space.
6. Pack heavier items in small boxes and light items in large boxes
Heavy items like books and tools should be packed in small boxes. Alternatively, you can pack these heavy items in suitcases that roll to further avoid heavy lifting. Lighter items like pillows and sheets should go in larger boxes.
7. When stacking boxes, keep the heavier ones at the bottom
This will help avoid crushing and damaging other boxes.
8. Avoid overpacking boxes
Overpacking boxes makes them hard to lift and carry. It is much better to add an extra box than to risk overpacking one and having the bottom give out.
9. Make an “X” with masking tape on mirrors and flat glass surfaces
Making an X over glass surfaces will help avoid shattering. You should always wrap fragile items in bubble wrap for an extra layer of protection. If the glass or mirror does shatter, the tape will keep the mess contained, and will protect the frame in case you want to replace the mirror.
10. Use mattress protectors
Mattress protectors will fully protect your mattress. If you do not use them, you run the risk of mold and mildew ruining your mattress. The cost of the protector is much less expensive than a brand-new mattress, so it may be worth it to invest.
11. Opt for higher quality boxes
Free boxes are appealing, but they can often do more harm than good. Boxes previously used to hold food may contain harmful bacteria. Boxes from places like Craiglist can hide bugs that may damage your items. Instead, use boxes that you know are clean and pest-free – especially for clothing and other home goods.
12. Place your most frequently used items near the unit entrance
If you think you’ll be grabbing certain items out of your unit, set these aside while moving. Pack them into your unit last, placing them in the front of the unit. You will avoid having to crawl through your unit trying to find a specific item.
13. Leave a walkway through the center of your unit
By creating a walkway in your unit, you will be able to easily move around and access items. Otherwise, you may damage items by trying to push through them to get to something.
14. Store large items vertically along the back of your unit
Store large items like sofas, appliance, and mattresses on their end to maximize space in your unit.
For more information, watch our storage hacks video. Want a visual of these storage hacks to reference while packing and moving? We made a printable pdf for you. If you have more questions, ask one of our experienced, on-site managers! They’ve helped hundreds of people move into their units, and know all the easy storage tricks to make storing your belongings as seamless as possible.