How To Make The Most Out Of Your Self-Storage Space
Handle your unit like a pro!
So, you’ve finally selected the best storage unit to suit your needs. And now, you’re facing the challenge of moving into a storage unit for the first time. You’ve probably heard tons of horror stories about bug infestations or malodour — fret not, there are many ways to prevent those situations from happening in your storage unit.
In fact, your storage space could become your dream with just a little bit of effort. Read on to know how to get started.
Know what and what not to store in your unit!
Here are a few things to avoid:
- Perfume bottles, especially those from dressers. Their contents can ruin the furniture’s finish.
- Anything flammable or hazardous (such as paint, gasoline, propane, or other chemicals)
- Perishable food, including canned foods, meats, dairy products, cereals, produce and other types of perishables. You don’t want unwelcome guests!
- Plants — your plants will die in the storage unit and damp soil can cause bad odours or mould!
Get yourself organised and plan beforehand!
Nobody likes looking at or dealing with mess. Ensure your storage unit is mess-free and organised by following these few steps:
- Use quality boxes and always pack them to the top so they don’t collapse when stacked.
- Label your boxes on top and all sides for easier identification.
- If you’re packing dishes and other fragile items, place a protective layer of fabric or paper on the top and bottom of the box.
- If you’re packing furniture, save space by disassembling them, and make sure to properly identify their respective hardware after.
- Important documents, photos, and paperwork should be packed in boxes of similar sizes so they can be stacked safely. You may also want to speak to your storage space manager about shelving installations.
- Leave an open aisle in your storage space so you can easily access items anywhere in your unit.
Protect your items
As you’re packing and rearranging items, you’ll realise that some items require extra care and attention. Be it your grandmother’s china or your favourite book collection, here’s how to maintain the lifespan of the items you’ll be keeping in your storage unit.
- If you’re packing dishes or glass items, ditch bubble wrap. It’s bulkier and offers less protection than heavy paper, which is a lot more affordable and adheres more closely to packed items.
- Make sure your electrical appliances are completely empty, clean, and dry before storing them, as they retain moisture. Leave the doors of fridges, freezers and dishwashers ajar.
- Wrap industrial-grade plastic wrap around your furniture and mattresses to prevent damage or a pest infestation.
- Place fragile boxes on top of heavier, less delicate boxes. Make sure not to over pack boxes as they can get heavy and result in accidents.
- Never leave your boxes on the ground — use pallets or shelves. You never know when you might accidentally spill something. Your back and shoulders will also thank you later.
- Use charcoal briquettes — they’re effective in absorbing moisture and eliminating musty odours. Place them inside buckets lined with plastic or foil, or set them on a metal tray.
- Alternatively, you can use peppermint oil, a natural deterrent to mice and spiders, which also smells much nicer than mothballs. Simply place a few drops of peppermint oil onto a cotton ball, then position the cotton ball at any hole or crack through which a mouse could enter the unit.
Conduct regular cleaning
The cleanliness of your storage space should never be taken lightly — if you’re going to leave your items in a dark and enclosed space for a long period of time, make sure to take necessary precautions. You definitely don’t want to be greeted with an infestation of insects or a horrible odour the next time you walk into your storage space. Here are some things to take note of:
- Sealing your boxes tightly with packing tape will prevent dust from entering.
- If your storage unit is an outdoor-facing one, never leave clothing or bedding near the ground — it could easily become a cozy nest for small rodents!
- Leave a few inches between your items and the walls — it’ll help improve air circulation and minimise odours.
- Spray the walls, floor, and ceiling of your storage unit with bug spray.
Keep track of your inventory
Having a detailed inventory is important and will be useful in the future. Not only will you (and your colleagues or employees) have a clearer overview of everything in your storage space, an inventory is an important document to have in case you ever need an insurance claim. Plus, if you’re still in doubt over how much storage size you need, having a proper list of items will probably help you come to a final decision.