Helpful Storage Tips

General Tips

Do not store food or any items that will attract pests.

Label boxes. Take home a list of the labeled boxes for easy reference when you need to locate your goods.

Fill containers to capacity; partially full or bulging cartons may tip or collapse. Heavy items like books or tools should be packed in small boxes so they are easy to lift.  Protect your fragile goods with packing, bubble wrap, and place them near the top of your storage space.

Pack the storage space carefully.  Leave air space around the perimeter to aid in ventilation.  Place a pallet on concrete floors and do not lean items against walls.  Leave a walkway to the rear of your space for easy access.  Use all space available including the height.  Place frequently used goods near the door.

Self Storage Specific Tips

Appliances: A refrigerator or freezer should be thoroughly dry and stored with its door slightly ajar.  Some goods can be stored inside large appliances and boxes can be stacked on top of stoves, refrigerators, and freezers.  Make sure that stoves and cooking equipment are cleaned before they are stored.

Bicycles and Other Metal Items:  To retard rust, wipe all metal surfaces with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil.

Books and Documents:  Pack books flat to protect their spines.  Do not place boxes directly on concrete floors, but use pallets or skids to prevent moisture absorption.  Use packing to fill out empty pockets in boxes.  Do not pack fragile items in the same box with books and do not overload.

Bedding, Clothing, Curtains, Drapes and Linens:  Clothing, curtains, and drapes should be stored on hangers.  If hanging cartons are not available, such items should be carefully folded and stored in dresser drawers or cedar chests along with bedding and linens.  Food crumbs or stains should be removed before storage and avoid storing anything that may attract pests.

Dishes and Glassware:  Place a layer of packing inside the bottom and at the top of boxes containing glassware.  All glass items should be individually wrapped: nest cups and bowls.  Wrapped glasses should be placed near the top of cartons.  Again, fill all pockets with packing.  Label all boxes containing glassware and do not place heavy items on boxes containing glassware.

Furniture:  Place a pallet, corrugated cardboard mat, or plastic sheet on the floor and stand sofas and mattresses on end.  Disassemble beds and tables and wrap table legs in paper.  If a table will not disassemble, place padding on the floor and place table on its top with legs pointing up.  Use dresser tops for stacking cartons and dresser drawers for linens or small delicate items.  Keep upholstery off the floor.  Most lightweight chairs can be stacked “seat to seat” or placed upside down on tables, which cannot be disassembled.  Finally, place a light cotton (bedsheet) dust cover on your furniture.

Holiday Decorations:  Save the original cartons that contained delicate ornaments and pad the ornaments with packing paper or newsprint.  Wrap strings of lights around a piece of cardboard before placing them in a carton lined with packing paper.

Lamps:  Wrap large lamp bases with padding, wrap smaller lamps and place them in boxes, and pack delicate lamp shades separately.  Do not use newsprint to wrap lamp shades or any other goods that may be damaged by ink stains.  Do not store heavy items on cartons containing lamps or lamp shades.

Mirrors, Windows, and Screens:  These items should be stored on edge, not flat.

Tools: Metal tools should be cleaned and wiped with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil to prevent rust.  Long handled tools such as rakes, shovels and hoes should be cleaned, lightly oiled and tied in bundles.