Store Flammable Goods: While every storage facility has their own rules, this one is pretty much universal – no flammable items. At all. Even if you have a climate-controlled storage unit, something like a power outage (which does happen) or another emergency could cause a temperature spike, and flammable objects can easily ignite or explode. It’s just too dangerous for any storage facility to allow. So we repeat – no flammable objects!
Store Perishables: Another thing your storage unit isn’t is a pantry, or a fridge. So if you need somewhere to store food, plants or other organic matter, we recommend you look for a more specialist facility, because if you put them in a self storage unit, they will spoil. At best this will lead to an awful smell in your unit (and the facility as a whole), but at worst it means hazardous mould that could put the whole floor out of commission. And while some facilities will make exceptions for canned goods, most will also ban perishables from being stored.
Climb on Boxes: If you’re trying to reach something up high, it can be tempting to just hop up onto one of your boxes to get it. After all, the boxes on the bottom can hold more weight, right? But this could spell disaster, both for your boxes and your body. We’ve seen a fair few accidents because customers tried climbing their boxes, which is why all of our facilities have stepladders and full ladders, as well as assistants to help you on hand. So if you need a hand reaching something – just ask!
Wrap in Plastic: Wrapping things in plastic, especially if they’re going into storage for a while, might seem like a good idea, but trust us, it’s not. Because while the short-term will be fine, in the long-term you will run into problems. Plastic wrap preserves everything inside it, including the moisture, dirt and anything else you might have inadvertently sealed inside. So after a while, you will get condensation, which will turn into mould. No plastic? No mould.
Find a Unit Close by: the last thing you want to be doing when you need to access your storage unit is travelling miles and miles, or getting stuck in heavy traffic and spending hours on the round trip. Convenience is key, so set yourself a convenient distance from your home and find a storage facility within that area.
Label Things: You might think when you pack your unit up that you’ll remember which box you put what in, or where in the unit you put things, but honestly? You won’t. Memories fade, boxes get moved, and you will forget what went where. So rather than spending half an hour rooting through all of your boxes to find what you need, we recommend clearly labelling every box. That means large, clear and readable labels on at least 3 sides (preferably an end, a side and the top) of each box. It might take a few minutes longer to pack, but it will save you so much time in the long run.
Stack Smart: The way you pack your unit can make a huge impact to how much space you have to play with. If you stack your boxes properly, you can store double the amount a badly stacked unit could. Start by buying boxes of uniform sizes, so that they can stack effectively and sit flush, so no space is wasted. Put your big, bulky boxes at the bottom, and lighter, smaller boxes on top. Don’t pile the weight up high, and don’t stack right to the ceiling where you can’t easily reach either.
Put Frequently Used at the Front: Your unit will probably be made up of things you only need occasionally, and some things you need access to a bit more often. Think of it as the difference between the Christmas decorations and your entertaining china. You’re going to use one more than the other. So it makes sense to put the one you will need more often at the front of the unit. That might seem simple, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t realise this little thing will save so much time and stress.
Make an Access Way: While it might be tempting to fill every inch of your storage unit, we recommend you don’t. Because that will make it very difficult for you to get to anything packed at the back. So instead, leave yourself an alley down the middle to walk down, so that you can get to everything at the sides and even at the back, without having to move dozens of boxes to get to it.
Of course, these are just a few tips to get your started. If you’d like to know more, our team are always happy to answer any questions, or provide you with tips and tricks to make the most of your storage space. Just get in touch with your local centre to find out more.