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The Most Stuff In a Small Space

When it comes to renting storage space, using every nook and cranny means more money in your pocket. Here are some tips to help you pack your storage space efficiently.

Packing 101

Moving, especially packing can be aggravating, and the temptation can be strong to just lump it all together, toss it in the storage unit. What you need to put in your mind is, “Pack everything for storage as if it's immediately going on the truck for a cross-country move.”

Good packing and protective coverings ensure that you optimize storage space. Efficient packing also protects your goods during storage. If you experience any mishaps from handling or a leaky roof sturdy moving boxes, bubble wrap and blankets will minimize the damage.

Start Filling Up Those Boxes

Try to fill boxes to capacity—no more and no less. Partially full boxes can collapse under the weight of other boxes. Overstuffed boxes can tip.

Protect your fragile goods with bubble wrap or clean newsprint. Mark the boxes "Fragile" and perhaps "Top Load," so they'll be stacked at the top of your storage space and not crushed under heavier boxes.

Label boxes with the contents. Create a list of your labeled boxes; perhaps with a numbering scheme or map you can refer to when you need to locate a specific item.

Loading Up Your Storage Space

First make sure you have the right size storage space (see our estimating guide). Also most self-storage facilities have charts that help you determine the size that's right for your belongings.

Here are the major things you want to consider:

If you are only going to access your space occasionally, pack your storage space with a center aisle to the rear of the space. Stack and position boxes with the labels facing out so you can red them.

  • If you don't need to access your belongings until you move, pack everything floor to ceiling, back to front. However, leave air space around the perimeter to aid ventilation.
  • Don't lean items against the walls. The storage unit walls are metal, excessive heat or cold can cause damage.
  • Move large pieces of furniture and appliances into the storage unit first. Position the items to use the floor space efficiently and in such a way that you can stack boxes on top of them.
  • Stack heavier and sturdier items on the bottom, and lighter and more fragile items on top.
  • Clean and dry appliances. Keep refrigerator doors slightly open.
  • Watch for items that might rub against each other and cause scratches, dents or other damage.
  • Be sure all items have a protective layer, such as a moving blanket, stretch film wrap or cardboard.

When you're ready to move out of storage, use many of the same principles for maximizing storage space to efficiently load the moving truck. This will save you precious time and money.

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