Moving to a new city, into a smaller home, or cleaning out a home you are already at? Knowing how to pack and organize a storage unit so you can store more furniture, get winter clothes out of the way, and declutter your home will only make moving less stressful.

Read on so you can find out how to protect your furniture from damage, how to maximize space, and how to keep your favorite shirt from disappearing forever in your storage unit’s sea of boxes.

What Steps do I need to take Before I pack my belongings into Storage?

For starters cleaning out the storage space and taking a inventory of what is going to be placed inside is a smart step. Here’s what you need to do to prepare to pack and organize a storage unit.

Make sure You have enough space in Your storage unit.

If you already secured a storage unit, you need to double check that your belongings will fit before you start packing everything in. You don’t want to start packing the items to then stop because it wont all fit in correctly.

Make a list of the furniture that needs to go in and packed, plus a rough estimate of the boxes and other items that will need to go in. Put into consideration of the space it will take up and then compare to what space you currently have. Will everything fit in, or do you need to get rid of somethings?

Check if The storage unit is Climate controlled.

Climate controlled units will have an impact on how you pack and organize your space. If your unit is indoors and temperature controlled, you’ll spend less time packing your belongings for maximum protection. Climate controlled units will protect your items from mildew and other weather-related damages. If your space is not climate controlled really think things over before you store any electronics, expensive clothing, and instruments in your unit.

Thoroughly clean Your Storage space.

Clean inside your storage unit and check for areas that might be damaged. Look for any sharp edges, leaks that could potentially damaged anything you put in there. If necessary scrub the floor and walls with disinfectant. If your unit is not climate controlled or outdoors, consider using tarp or wooden pallets on the ground to help protect your items from weather and pests.

Clean everything that’s going into Storage

If you put something into storage while it’s dirty it will only get more dirty when you go to unpack it some time later. Don’t forget to scrub, wash, and dust your items. Here are some steps to keep in mind.

1- Wash your clothes and remove any stains before putting in.

2- Wipe down and wax wood furniture

3- Clean leather with cleaner or gentle soap.

4- Scrub fabric-covered furniture with antibacterial cleaner and let it dry

5- Wipe down appliances and run a final wash cycle with cleaner.

Make Your inventory of What will be Stored.

Before your stuff goes missing in an overwhelming amount of boxes, write down a list of what’s going into our storage unit. When your list is complete you can scan over it and know what needs to be packed and what you had planned to put inside before hand. Here are some examples of what you could do.

1- Take photos of serial numbers, model numbers, and brand clothes or items when making your list.

2- Make a brief description of the item, including if there is any damage pre-move.

3- For expensive items note the value and what part of unit you plan of storing them in. (incase items are stolen from unit or lost.)

4- The name and location of the storage facility or lot.

How to Pack your items for a Storage Unit.

Your belongings can easily be damaged if you don’t know how to appropriately pack and organize a unit. The steps below will explain how to pack anything from a T.V to a winter jacket.

How to Pack Furniture for a Storage Unit.

Take extra care as you pack your furniture for storage. Rule of thumb is to avoid plastic packing materials (Unless you’re using bubble wrap for a lamp or picture frame) Since it can suffocate the furniture and lead to mildew. Instead, drape furniture loosely with quilts, drop cloths, or old sheets. If you need to tape coverings over more fragile items, be careful not to tape directly onto furniture. This could cause accidental paint or fabric removal, ruining the furniture you’re trying to safely pack for your storage unit.

How to Pack Appliances.

When packing appliances for storage, drain any remaining liquid from the appliance, remove glass shelves or fragile pieces (pack separately) and do not plug the appliance in once it’s in your unit. To avoid smells, you can take baking soda and put inside the appliance while leaving a door open once moved into storage. Keep in mind the mechanical parts can rust if the unit is not climate controlled.

How to pack Electronics for a Storage Unit.

When deciding how to pack a storage unit, pay special attention to your electronics. Pack these items in the original box if possible and in a climate controlled unit. Take photos of wires before unplugging them. Also wrap the items in packing paper or linens so if box gets damaged they are protected.

How to pack Clothing for a storage Unit.

The best way to pack clothes for a storage unit is to use plastic containers with secure lids. This will keep dust off the clothes, mildew and moisture. Another tip is to pack with cedar balls with your clothes to prevent damage of moths and to ward off musty odors. Wash and Fold the clothing neatly so you wont have to pay for it to be cleaned when you take it out.

How to Organize a Storage Unit.

Now that we went over how to pack for a storage unit, knowing how to organize it is the next step. There are a few different ways to do it so take what would work best for you.

Organize Storage Unit by Priority.

With using the inventory list you created before, go through and highlight what you feel would be something you would need to grab on occasion and store those items in the front of the unit for easy access.

Organize the Unit with descriptive labels

By putting labels on the items your storing you will be able find things much easier when it’s time to pull it out of storage. If you put descriptive labels explaining what’s in the box you will know what box is the one your looking for. For example labeling the Kitchen box’s, put a list on contents of what’s inside those box’s so you don’t wind up having 5 or 6 box’s that are labeled the same-thing .

Organize the Unit by creating a map.

By creating a map of where your items are kept in the unit finding what you need because very easy and will save you hours of digging through items to get what your looking for. Draw a path of where things are laid out giving you space to walk through to pick up box’s or furniture. With a accurate map drawn up you will be able to find things in minutes.

How to Maximize Space for Storage.

So we went over how to pack. Know what if you have to much stuff and you don’t want to pay for a bigger unit? Here’s how to do it.

Maximize Your unit’s Space By starting at the Bottom.

The best way to get the most space is start at the bottom and stack upwards. Put the heavy box’s on the bottom, then stack up with lighter box’s. Keep enough space for you to walk through the storage space so grabbing clothing or furniture is easy.

Maximize Your Space by including Shelving.

By installing shelving into your storage unit it will drastically increase space because it is less items being stacked on top of each other and anything that is oddly shaped can be hung now giving you more room.

Maximize Storage space With furniture.

With certain furniture like dresser draws that cant be taken apart, pack smaller box’s and delegate items in the draws underneath. Get creative as best as you can without breaking anything.

Now that you have gone over this guide use it for your benefit if you are either moving or just putting things in storage for additional space.

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