When storing for the first time, there is a lot of useful information and tips available to help you make the best decision for your belongings. The property manager of the storage facility you use should also be knowledgeable about your needs. Learning how to properly utilize the square footage of your unit is very helpful. It is also important to know what causes mildew and how to prevent it, especially if you have chosen a non-climate controlled or heated & cooled building.
If you are packing boxes for storage, more is not always better. Of course you want to fill the boxes with the most items possible, but boxes of heavy or fragile items should not be too heavy. Packing heavy items creates a risk of the bottom of your box falling out, so the less weight, the better. Try to use no more than 2 different sized boxes. This will make it much easier to stack and organize them in the storage unit. When putting items in the storage unit, leave a small isle in-between boxes, so you can easily access your items. Most people say they will not need anything out of the unit, but more times than not, a return visit is necessary. Label boxes not only on top, but also on the side. This helps if the boxes are stacked, you are still able to read what is in the box. Packing boxes by room, bedroom, kitchen, etc. makes not only storing easier, but will help with unpacking once you reach your new home. Plastic totes are also a great way to utilize space. Not only are they roomy but the lids are sealed tightly, the sides are clear so you can see what is inside of each one, without opening them, and they are made with sturdy plastic, which will make stacking much easier and safe.
Utilizing the square footage in your storage unit is also vital to maximize the use of your unit. Even something as small as removing the legs from a table, can help make more usable square footage. When possible you can also place items vertically not horizontally. Hollow spots in appliances and furniture, like wardrobes, stoves and refrigerators, can usually hold small boxes inside of them. Use wardrobe boxes for clothes. One wardrobe box takes up a lot less space than bags or boxes full of clothes and it also makes them easier to access if you have forgotten something.
Another suggestion to protect your belongings is are make sure your boxes are sealed and taped tightly. This will prevent dust, bugs, or other unwanted things from getting inside your boxes. You should drain all fluids from tools and equipment, but oil them down to prevent rust. Breakables and fragile items should be wrapped in bubble wrap and packed tightly in the box, so they don’t slide around. Mirrors and pictures should always be stored vertical, not flat. Laying them flat causes a risk of items being set on top of them or accidentally getting stepped on.
Most people believe sealing items up in plastic bags is protecting them, but actually it invites mildew. Other ways to avoid mildew are making sure refrigerators and freezers are defrosted and the door left cracked open, and drain your washing machine well.