What Size Unit?
|How much storage space do you need? Plan ahead. If you're moving a limited quantity of goods, make a list for yourself of everything you plan to store and then visualize how much you can store the items in the smallest possible space. Plan yow you'll box and stack.|
If you will be storing too many items to list, consult with your self-storage facility manager. Charts have been developed as a starting point in defining how much storage space to allow for the contents of various size "typical" household rooms. The manager's training and experience, coupled with these charts and your overview of the quantity of goods you have, should define your space needs.
Experience indicates that many people overestimate the space they need; ask the facility manager or staff for guidance. He/she may save you money by downsizing your storage room. If you have any other questions about how best to store your goods, don't hesitate to ask.
Obviously, you can stack many items on top of each other. In doing so, however, use common sense and plan ahead.
The heaviest items should be on the bottom of any stack you plan. Don't stack partially filled boxes; boxes must be filled to be strong enough for stacking. Put heaviest items in boxes that are small enough to still be manageable; save the big boxes for lightweight items.
Items you might want to retrieve early or often should be accessible without having to move everything else. Put them on shelves if they are available; near the door if there are no shelves. Beware of possible rust from steel shelves; use paper under fabrics.
Items that might drip or leak should not be placed on top of anything that would be severely damaged by liquids.
Items that would break if frozen must be stored only in a climate controlled storage unit. It is not advisable to store musical instruments or art objects except in climate controlled units and, even then, recognize that these items may suffer from even small changes in temperature, moisture, etc.
Don't be so efficient in your packing and stacking that you fail to leave enough space for air circulation. Use pallets, skids or another method of keeping your stored items off the floor to provide for air circulation under them and to prevent the transmission of moisture from the floor. Leave a small air space between your goods and the walls for air circulation. Leave some room for yourself to walk so that you'll be able to retrieve items that aren't up front.
If you use boxes, put similar items in each box and label each box. Don't mix items from different rooms in one packing box. Clearly label boxes with the rooms where they should be taken when removed from storage. Seal your boxes with tape. Put the boxes on pallets or skids.
If you store a car, outboard motor, lawnmower, motorcycle, etc. that might drip some oil, ask your self-storage manager in advance for a drip pan. The facility usually has drip pans available and is happy to keep oil off the floor as well as off your stored goods.
Many steel hand tools, bicycles, etc. will rust when exposed to any moisture and air. To prevent this, wipe saw blades and similar items with an oily cloth or special rust inhibitor before storing.
|Disassemble beds and tables and wrap table legs in paper.
Bundle bed frame parts together. Stack them in rear a corner where
they won't get knocked over onto something else.|
Knock down or take apart any items such as outdoor furniture, modular units, etc. that are put together with screws or bolts. Place parts in sandwich bag and tape to item.
Wooden furniture, picture frames, T.V. cabinets, etc. may be sensitive to moisture; wax them before storage. Use furniture pads, towels, or cushioning if you stack wooden cabinets, furniture or similar items on top of each other. Use dresser tops for stacking cartons and dresser drawers for linens or small, delicate items.
Place a pallet, skid or cardboard mat on the floor and stand sofas and mattresses on end. Keep upholstery off the floor. Most lightweight chairs should be stacked "seat to seat" or placed upside down on tables which cannot be disassembled. Place a light dust cloth over your furniture.
In non-climate controlled units, stay away from covering furniture with plastic; use cotton or other covers that "breathe". Condensation frequently forms on the underside of plastic when temperatures change; the condensation can do more harm than the cover prevents.
Wrap mattress or box springs with plastic covers, drop cloths or non-printed paper. Do not store directly on floor or lean against walls to avoid absorption of moisture and to allow air circulation.
Pictures & Mirrors
Small pictures can be wrapped and stood up in normal packing boxes with other goods.
Extremely large pictures, such as the type commonly found hanging over a sofa, should be packed in specially designed picture or mirror boxes.
|If possible, pack in the original cartons. If not, pack
each item separately and cushion well. Transport these items
carefully. Protect against dust.|
Label wiring and connectors with masking tape for each re-installation
In hot or cold weather, allow equipment to return to room temperature before turning on.
When moving a personal computer, "park" the hard disk using the program often included on the diagnostics diskette. To protect a floppy disk drive, put in an old or blank disk and close the drive. Back-up important diskettes.
|When moving a stereo, fasten down the tone arm, tighten turntable
screws and secure the dust cover. Pack records vertically to prevent
warping. Use small cartons to keep weight down.|
When moving a compact disc player, check instructions to
secure the laser. Heat can warp compact discs, so don't store them where they may get too hot.
For all electronic equipment, check your Owner's Manual for special moving instructions.
China, Crystal and Similar Items
|Plan to pack glasses, cups and stemware in boxes with
dividers, if possible. Wrap in soft paper, then pack in shredded
newspaper or other cushioning. Cups and glasses may be "nested"
(one placed inside another) and three or four wrapped in a bundle.
Put a sheet or 2 of paper between each glass or cup as a protective
lining. Pack goblets and stemware singly (i.e. no nesting).
Your self storage facility should sell boxes and unprinted newsprint for
|Place a layer of packing inside both the bottom and top of boxes containing glassware. Label all boxes containing glass. Fill all pockets with newspaper for cushioning. Do not place heavy items on top of boxes containing glassware.|
|Clothing , curtains and drapes should be stored by hanging on
non-rusting hangers. Your self storage facility should sell wardrobe
style, cardboard cartons which allow you to hang up your
|If hanging facilities are not available, these items
should be carefully folded and stored in large boxes or left in dresser
drawers along with bedding and linen. Be sure that the contents of a
drawer are not too heavy. Too much weight could cause damage to the
drawer while your furniture is enroute. Food crumbs or stains should
be removed before storage; they can attract vermin. Keep newspaper
away from fabrics to avoid smudges; use unprinted, uncolored
|When storing wool garments and other fabrics that are susceptible to moth damage, pack cedar chips or moth flakes along with the clothing.|
|Small Kitchen Appliances: Pack your small
kitchen appliances (blender, toaster, can opener, coffee maker, etc.) in
one or two medium size boxes. Label the cartons
Wrap each appliance individually with two or three sheets of wrapping paper. Separate items that might dent with cardboard.
When all appliances have been packed, if there are small spaces that are empty, wad-up some of the paper and fill in the spaces.
Pots and Pans: Pots or pans can be nested, one inside the other. Put some pieces of packing paper between each pan. Nest smaller pans inside larger ones to form bundles. Wrap each bundle in paper and tape the paper. Pack the bundles in medium-sized cartons so they aren't too heavy. Follow this same procedure for packing large bowls.
Utensils and the contents of any "miscellaneous" drawer(s) you may have in your kitchen should be bundled and labeled. Plastic bags can be used for small items. Depending on weight, the bundles may be combined in medium-sized boxes.
Refrigerators: Defrost and dry. Store refrigerators in an upright position. Use interior space for bulky, lightweight, non-abrasive goods such as stuffed toys, comforters, and pillows. Store with the door open slightly to prevent mildew and musty smell. Use the space on top of the refrigerator to store boxes of fragile items.
Secure spring-mounted motors. Brace tub to prevent damage -- wedge
space between tub and the side walls with heavy rags. Disconnect
hoses, place washers and instruction manuals in a sealed plastic
bag. Place in tub.|
Tape closed any laundry detergent boxes you're moving and place them in tub of washer. (Discard anything that's not almost full.) Secure bottles so that they won't leak or "pump" liquids while being moved. Small plastic bottles of stain remover, etc. can also go in the tub if you're sure they won't leak. If you're afraid of a leak, discard the item or put it in a sealed plastic bag.
Sports Cars, Exotic and Antique
|Make sure there's nothing that will create an odor or attract
rodents, etc. (candy bars in the glove box, etc.) Use a car cover to
keep dust off the finish. Do not use a plastic sheet since
condensation may build up under it; use a fabric that
Use a drip pan under the engine. Oil stains on the floor will be your responsibility; your self storage lease will require that you clean up the mess or reimburse the facility for the clean up.
|Check your owner's manual or discuss with your mechanic whether you should disconnect electrical accessories, change oil, remove the battery, etc.|
|Tools: Remember not to pack the tools you'll
need to disassemble / re-assemble your other goods and to move into your
new place. Power tools are best packed in their original boxes; if you
don't have them, use small to medium sized boxes so they don't become too
heavy. Try to keep instruction sheets, accessories, etc. all together --
use plastic bags and tape. Cover all sharp edges so no one gets cut when
Tie or tape shovels, rakes, and all other long handle items together. Drain hoses completely and coil them with the ends connected and tie them.
|Flammable: For your protection, do
not move or store flammable or potentially explosive substances such as
propane. Empty and air out your power mower and other gasoline engines,
camp stove and lantern fuel tanks. Your self storage lease prohibits the
storage of flammable and explosives for everyone's mutual benefit;
violation of this rule could even expose you to a lawsuit if a fire or
explosion was traced to your unit.
|Cooking Equipment: Make sure barbecue
grills, camp stoves and other food related items are clean before storing.
It will avoid odors and vermin.|
Papers and Books: Important papers such as passports, birth certificates, etc. should receive your special attention.
Use a safe deposit box at a local bank if the items are truly valuable or irreplaceable. Papers that don't warrant a safe deposit box should be stored off the floor of your storage room in a file cabinet or box that's plainly labeled and positioned to be accessible if you need to retrieve anything.
Small boxes are the perfect size for books and other heavy items. Large boxes become too heavy to be practical. Pack books flat so that the spines won't break, and don't jam them in too tightly. Don't pack fragile items with books.
Seasonal Items: If you plan to store your goods for an extended time, you may want to group seasonal items together for easier retrieval. This is especially helpful for recreational items you always use together (e.g., skis, poles and ski boots).
Natural Threats: Freezing, Humidity & Vermin
|Beware of freezing liquids. They'll break their containers and
leave quite a mess; use climate controlled storage to avoid this. If a
climate controlled storage room is available, we highly recommend it for
storage of any items that may be damaged by large changes in temperature
(such as freezing liquids) and humidity (e.g., a stamp
Do not store food unless it's in unopened metal or glass containers. Remember that mice, ants, etc. can and will make their way easily through cardboard and plastic to reach food. Avoid storing anything that will attract rodents.
Your self storage facility should regularly place rodent poison throughout the facility. If you don't see a poison container in your storage unit, ask for it to be placed there. If poison is used, mind your children and pets carefully.
|Don't tell others what you're storing and don't leave packing
lists, your storage lease, or other papers showing your storage room
location, padlock keys or other such information where thieves may see
|If you are storing:|
you will probably need a
|5'X 5' storage unit|
|1-2 rooms of small furniture +
small boxes, you will probably need a
|5' X 10' storage unit|
|2-3 rooms of furniture without
appliances, you will probably need a
|5'X 15' storage unit|
|2-3 rooms of furniture with
you will probably need a
|10' X 10' storage unit|
|3-4 rooms of furniture with
you will probably need a
|10' X 15' storage unit|
|4-5 rooms of furniture, other
you will probably need a
|10' X 20' storage unit|
|Furniture can range
from small and lightweight to oversized. Consider the character of your
furniture in sizing up your storage needs.|
Remember, the size unit you'll need will reflect how much stacking you can do or choose to do with your goods. If you'll want to be able to retrieve selected items from time to time, choose a larger unit than if everything is to be moved in/moved out together.
Based on the nature of what you'll be storing, consider whether you'll want
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