When you have a whole life’s worth of belongings, there will inevitably come a time when you’re going to need to use somewhere else to store some of them. If you’re moving home or even if you just own too many things, it might be time to look at your self-storage options, long or short term –whatever you need. But when you’ve secured your extra storage, the job doesn’t end there. In terms of maximising your use, you need to pack it very carefully, thinking which items you definitely won’t need so they can go in first, and those that you might want so you put it last. It isn’t just a case of prioritising your belongings though, optimising your storage space is key – both to keep things safe and make the process as easy as possible for you. Here are some tips for you so you can make the most of your storage choices.
Firstly, make a comprehensive list of everything that you need to store. Not only does this help you with your own organisation, it also gives you a helpful guide as to what size storage you are likely to need. Making a note of three armchairs, two beds and a fridge will make your life easier in terms of both planning and time, but also whether you’ll need boxes and if so, how many.
Once you’ve decided that you need storage, start looking at your options. The three most important things are to find the right size, the right price point and the right location for you. If you can, get it sorted sooner rather than later so you have the best chance of securing the right solution for you. Leaving it until the last minute might mean compromising on what you can have.
The final choice.
Make sure that you go with a reputable storage company. Word of mouth is a great way to work out your options because you’ll get the best chance of reliable opinions. Looking at reviews online is the next best thing. Remember that these are your possessions that you’re entrusting to the company, don’t go with one you’re not sure of just because it’s cheaper.
When it comes to packaging up your belongings, following some tips is an excellent idea to make the process as easy as possible for you:
Don’t store anything (too) valuable.
In all likelihood your possessions will be fine, but you’re always taking a small risk and there’s always the potential for damage or loss so steer clear of packing up valuable family heirlooms.
Wrap up anything delicate
In bubble wrap, cover large items of furniture with blankets and it you have to store anything fragile then wrap them and put them in boxes. Avoid plastic wrapping for anything because any moisture will get under it and provide an excellent breeding ground for mould.
It goes without saying but don’t store anything perishable and clean garden equipment, etc. before you store it.
Boxes – label them.
Even if you’re absolutely certain that you’ll remember the box on the very left at the back is your sports equipment, in reality you probably won’t. Plus, you’ll be able to find stuff more quickly if you need to get it out and unpacking it all will be much easier.
Think carefully about this one. Rather than covering the floor completely, don’t forget that you can go up as well as across. Put the heavy things on the bottom and build up from there, that can save a lot of space. Stack them in a way that you can access them if need be, and ideally leave a pathway through so you can reach everything relatively easily.
Don’t try and tackle this on your own, if you can avoid it. Rope in friends and/or family to help you so you can get everything done more quickly and easier. It’s also good for helping with heavy furniture and avoiding injury.
Once you’ve got everything safely stowed, it’s time to think about securing access so no-one can get in apart from you. If you have to provide your own lock then make sure it’s a very strong one, don’t be tempted to save money and scrimp on cost – these are your possessions we’re talking about it, it really pays to make sure that they’re as safe as possible. Likewise, don’t let anyone have independent access to your storage, i.e. don’t share keys or any access codes.
Keeping these things in mind when you’re planning to use self-storage will help to make sure that the whole process goes smoothly. And when it comes to unpacking you’ll be glad you took the time to do everything properly.
I can personally recommend UK readers to Sloane Self Storage Blackpool - and can help with recommendations across the US as well. Drop me a message if you need any information.