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Tips on Self-Storage

Packing Boxes
  • Choose boxes/plastic bins that are close to the same size so they are easier to stack and fit together without wasted space. Choose boxes that can be closed or have lids for the best protection and easier stacking.
  • Group fragile items together and on top of heavier and/or sturdier items.
  • To avoid items “rattling around” inside or having empty corners collapse fill boxes completely. Use newspapers or bubble wrap to fill empty spaces if needed.
  • Make a list of all items in each box and label the box clearly. Keep the inventory list handy for easy reference.
  • For wrapping breakables, paper is OK, but bubble wrap can be used repeatedly, is cleaner, and because it is transparent, makes identifying contents easier. Wrap each item individually and store in specially-designed boxes with dividers. Put a layer of padding on top and bottom. Stand bowls, cups and plates on end. Fill all pockets with padding. Label boxes as “glass”, and stack these on top.
  • Pack books flat to prevent damage to the spines. To avoid trying to lift a heavy box, place books in a small box so they do not weigh too much to lift.
  • Box up everything that you can. Anything left unboxed can collect dust or become damaged.
Moisture Tips:
  • Keep boxes up off the concrete, lay strips of wood down before you stack boxes. Concrete will sometimes draw moisture. This will allow air to circulate around the boxes.
  • It is a good idea not to stack boxes tightly together, leave a little space for air to move around the boxes.
Packing Large Items
  • Make sure the floor is clean of dust and dirt and consider putting down a protective canvas sheeting or wooden boards.
  • When packing your storage unit, create a center aisle for access to all items with frequently used items near the front.
  • Remove legs and wrap with furniture pads to protect from soil and scratches.
  • Disassemble bed frames and tie them together to save space. 
  • Wrap and label all pieces for easy reassembly. 
  • Put all hardware in marked bags. 
  • Stack chairs on top of each other, seat to seat. 
  • Use drawers in furniture to store smaller or fragile items. 
  • Place pads, blankets or towels between stacked furniture to prevent scratching. 
  • Give your wood furniture a coat of polish before storage for added protection.
  • Avoid plastic covers in non-climate storage as moisture can condense under plastic. 
  • Wrap mattresses in mattress bags or cover with paper or cloth. 
  • Stand mattresses and sofas on end with cardboard or pallets.
  • Place electronics in the back of your unit, away from the door and away from easy viewing when the unit is open.
  • Use original boxes whenever possible for maximum protection.
  • Store television sets on top of something, not the bare floor.
    • Wrap small pictures in foam or bubble wrap and stand them on end, in boxes. Store larger pictures in picture boxes.
    • Keep photographs from curling by placing them between two pieces of cardboard and taping them together. 
    • Consider climate-controlled storage for precious photographs or valuable works of art.
    • Separate lamp bases and lampshades and wrap for protection. 


  • Store clothing, curtains and drapes in wardrobe boxes on non-rusting hangers. 
  • Use drawers to store delicate items. 
  • Store wool with cedar chips or mothballs to prevent damage. 
  • Consider climate-controlled storage for the best protection of clothes and other fabric items. 
  • Use vacuum%dash;sealed bags.
  • Clean and dry appliances and keep refrigerator doors ajar. This prevents mold from forming.
  • Tie down hoses and cords on washing machines and dryers before storage. 
  • Use the space inside appliances for such things as blankets and towels. 
  • For vacuums, make sure you put in a clean bag or clean out the canister first: bacteria, mold and pests can accumulate otherwise. 
  • Tools should be wiped with machine oil to avoid rust. Keep these away from other items. 
  • Consider putting odd shaped or sharp tools inside empty garbage cans for protection.