Packing a self-storage unit is not easy. However, if you follow these time-tested tips, you will learn how to pack away an abundance of items in a 5'x10' space and keep them safeguarded from weathering and destruction. |
Packing Materials Needed
When packing the majority of your smaller possessions, it is important to use boxes instead of plastic bags. Not only are boxes much more rugged than plastic bags, but they also stack well, taking up less room in the unit. Also, plastic bags have the tendency of trapping moisture, which can lead to the formation of mildew.
You will need to invest in the right types of boxes. You should purchase average-sized packing boxes, such the type used by professional movers, rather than using supermarket cast-offs that have already been used and weakened. You will also need to purchase other packing materials such as tape. Masking tape and clear duct tape tend to work best. Also, you will need to gather old newspapers for wrapping fragile objects and for stuffing any extra spaces inside boxes. This will prevent the corners and sides from collapsing.
Closest to the door of the self-storage unit, stack the boxes that you will need to access most often. Label all boxes on one side and stack them so the labels are all visible. Remember to clearly label boxes filled with breakable belongings as "fragile."
When you pack away furniture, you should take specific precautions if your self-storage unit is not climate controlled. In essence, it is similar to leaving furniture outside in a barn. You don't have to worry about precipitation, but temperature changes can do a number on different materials and surfaces.
You should always treat leather sofas and seats with a leather conditioner before packing them away, and spray wooden furniture with furniture polish to give it extra protection. Then, to further safeguard furniture from dust or scratches, cover each piece with a large sheet or tarp. Also, any non-upholstered sofa or mattress should be stored under a slipcover for further preservation.
Disassembling tables and beds makes them much easier to pack. Make sure you place all the larger parts of a lone piece of furniture together, while keeping all assembly parts, such screws and nuts, nearby in a small, plastic bag labeled appropriately.
Larger pieces of furniture that cannot be dismantled, such as sofas, can be placed vertically to conserve space. If you have room to position your sofa flat, you can place other small pieces of furniture on top of it, extending your unit's capacity. You can also fill the sofa with boxes or breakables. Even kitchen chairs stacked seat to seat can line the inside of the sofa if done correctly. Always use empty space to your advantage.
While smaller appliances can mostly fit in boxes, larger appliances must be prepared properly before placement in self-storage. You should wipe down the insides of appliances with a baking soda mixture to ensure that they remain dry. The metallic portions should be rubbed down with a bit of oil to avoid possible rusting.
If you are planning to store a refrigerator or stove, make sure that you enclose the back with a tarp or place it tightly against the wall to prevent vermin from getting inside. Defrost refrigerators and accompanying freezers and drain them thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew from growing. Drain your washing machine completely and tie all hoses and cords prior to putting it in self-storage. Usually, to save space, you can place a dryer on top of a washer.
Clothing, Draperies, and Bedding
If you have the means to get one, a wardrobe box with a built-in hanging rod is the best way to pack clothing. By hanging everything up on hangers, you will prevent wrinkling, and the enclosed box prevents any damage caused by moths and other vermin. However, if a wardrobe box is not within your budget, you can place clothing, as well as bedding and curtains, in vacuum-sealed bags. Another trick is to stick blankets, sheets, and pillows inside washers, dryers, and dressers already in the unit.
You must take care when packing away fragile belongings and items that are delicate, such as personal photographs. For example, a good way to preserve photographs is by placing them between pieces of stiff cardboard and taping these pieces together tightly. This stops pictures from curling in excess moisture.
You can wrap mirrors in protective bubble wrap and purchase cardboard corners for those that are square-shaped. These corners are inexpensive, prevent injury, and reinforce the weakest portion of the frame. Also, mirrors and framed artwork should not be placed flat, because they may collapse under their own weight. It's always best to place such breakables and fragile objects inside furniture drawers, inside wardrobes, or on the shelves of bookcases already placed in the unit.
For great options in self-storage, Pelham, AL residents can learn more by visiting http://coolboxselfstorage.com/.
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