How To Pack A Storage Unit

How To Pack A Storage Unit Safely And Efficiently 

Posted on How To Pack A Storage Unit Safely And Efficiently  Written by Udai

Renting storage space is a great option if you need extra room, whether you are decluttering, moving house, or needing to store household or business items for other reasons. But when it comes to organising items into a unit safely and efficiently, planning is essential.

Disorganisation when storing items can result in time spent wading through piles of belongings and, even worse, damage to items that can’t be replaced. Here is a guide on the best way to pack a storage unit, as well as what items can be stored and those that can’t.

Packing a storage unit

So, everything has been packed for moving and transported to your unit and is now ready to be stored. So, what’s the best way of packing a storage unit?

  • One of our first tips for packing a storage unit is to create an inventory. Before you start unloading, prepare an inventory list and draw a basic map highlighting what will potentially go where. Keep a copy with you and place one in a waterproof folder inside your unit. That way, you’ll always know what is where, which can be a safeguard if you have to file an insurance claim.
  • Start by placing heavy and bulky items first. Loading these against the walls and the back of the unit will maximise your container’s space. Smaller items can then go in front.
  • Make use of smaller spaces. In terms of how to pack a storage unit, every bit of space is valuable. So once larger items have been positioned, fill any gaps or unused space as tightly as possible with smaller items, including items that can add an extra layer of protection, like old towels or linen.
  • Think about easy access. There’s nothing worse than facing a container full of items and having no idea how to find that one thing you desperately need. Avoid this by putting items you’ll need to access first at the front of the unit. Don’t forget to use your map for extra efficiency so you can find exactly what you need without wasting time. It’s also worth allowing for an aisle among your packed belongings, so you have an access point and can find things quickly and easily.
  • Use your unit’s height. A storage unit’s capacity is about more than just length and width—height is an important aspect as well. If you plan to store larger items like furniture, place them sidewise to maximise vertical space. Smaller spaces can then be filled with smaller items. Always put heavier items on the bottom and lighter ones on top for optimum balance. Boxes can also be packed vertically—they should be stacked seamlessly and solidly.
  • Use shelves and storage racks. These can help you store awkward items that don’t pack well, and can be placed up high to utilise the height of your unit.
  • Protect items. This is a no-brainer when it comes to tips on how to pack a self storage unit. While storage containers are generally clean before you move things in, additional protection from drop sheets or blankets can help minimise damage from dust (including on the floor). And while plastic covers may be useful to protect furniture while in transit, they aren’t recommended for long-term storage. This is because they reduce ventilation and can cause condensation and humidity, resulting in mould and mildew.

How to pack furniture in a storage unit

Furniture is one of the most common items stored long-term. But because it can also be bulky, it needs to be packed efficiently to make the most of the space in your unit. A few handy tips on how to pack furniture into a storage unit include:

  • Don’t store your mattress and bed frame together. In terms of the bed frame, take it apart, which will allow you to to stack it and reduce the risk of damage. In terms of the mattress, it should be covered with a material that provides a balance of protection and breathability to discourage the formation of moisture. If you’re unsure of what to use, consider investing in a storage mattress cover.
  • If you are storing a mattress for longer than 12 hours, it should be laid flat. This will reduce the risk of damage to its internal spring structure. And even if it has been designed without springs, it still needs to maintain its shape under the normal patterns of weight distribution, i.e. flat!
  • In terms of a dining table, don’t store it standing up. Remove the legs and lay the table top flat on the ground under a protective drop sheet. This not only maximises space but will also keep the table’s surface safe from dents or scrapes.
  • When it comes to side tables and tallboys, while removing drawers can make them easier to transport, once you have them inside the storage unit, replace the drawers. This will maximise space but also keep the drawer’s internals free from dust.

What should you not put in a storage unit?

In terms of how to pack a storage unit efficiently and safely, some items should never be placed in a storage unit or container. These include:

  • Hazardous materials. Any item that is considered corrosive, toxic, flammable or explosive should be kept far from a storage unit. This includes everyday household items such as paint, weed killers, car batteries and motor oil, as well as fireworks, corrosives and biological waste.
  • Perishables. Food and perishable items have a shelf life. Edible items are attractive to pests and could cause an insect or rodent problem in your unit as well as in neighbouring units. Perishable items are also susceptible to moulding and rotting.
  • Living things. Storage units are not hospitable for living things, from plants to animals. Small, dark conditions are neither safe or healthy.
  • Cash or currency. A storage unit is not the ideal location for storing monetary items, regardless of whether they are in a locked safe or not.
  • Non-operational vehicles. You can store these, however, they must be registered, insured and fully operational.
  • Radioactive equipment. Some businesses may require the storage of samples or supplies, however, radioactive materials are strictly prohibited.
  • Damp items, including surfboards, kayaks and canoes. These can be stored but they must be dry to prevent the build-up of moisture and mould.
  • Illegal items. It’s obvious but worth stating. Don’t keep illegal items, including stolen property, in your storage unit.


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