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Storage ideas to help you make better use of your self-storage units.
Putting your items in a self-storage unit when you're moving or remodeling your house can be a great way to put everything in one place and make sure that it's all protected. There are plenty of storage ideas to consider, as well. You don't want to just throw everything in your truck and head to the closest storage facility, because that could damage your items and put them at risk. It could also mean that you don't get things organized well, making it very hard to find them later. Learning how to pack and store items properly is vital when you want to keep your items safe.
1 Load Your Unit According To Need
Packing up and moving your things into a storage unit can be stressful, and in the rush to get it done things can get misplaced. By carefully labeling all of your boxes and other containers, and by scheduling more time to make the move, you'll save yourself a lot of trouble - and digging - later. When you can find everything you need quickly and easily, you have a lot less to worry about and won't end up being without items that are important to you. It may not be fun to spend time labeling boxes and organizing them in the right order, but it's also not fun to unload half of a storage unit because you can't find something you need.
Avoid all of that with proper labels and extra time to load your unit with the items you'll need the least in the very back and the most important items up front. Being able to open your storage unit and just grab what you need because it's right there is a great feeling, and will save you a lot of hassle. That's especially true if the items in your storage unit are going to have to stay there for a while. Maybe you're remodeling or having a house built. Maybe you've combined households with someone else and you need to plan some yard sales. Perhaps you've inherited items you're not sure what to do with just yet. No matter the reason for the extra things, loading your unit according to need is well worth taking the time to do.
2 Load Your Unit Properly To Avoid Theft And Hazards
It can be tempting to just put things into your self-storage unit and be done with it, but some careful planning has the potential to save you a lot of heartache. There are few things worse than that sinking feeling you get when you pull up to the unit where your things are stored and see that the lock or door has been tampered with. You don't know what you're going to find, or if there's anything left inside the unit. It can happen even in storage facilities with good security, but you can help be a part of protecting your things by keeping any valuables either out of the unit or hidden in the back.
You may not have a choice when it comes to putting valuables in the unit. If there's no other place to put them, they'll have to be stored along with the rest of your things. Still, that doesn't mean you need to put them right up front. If you can't see them and you would have to dig for a while to find them, a thief would have the same problem and will generally give up long before anything of value is discovered. Keep that in mind when you're loading your unit, and make sure everything is stacked solidly so it's not going to fall on you when you do have to dig for something. You'll be glad you took the time, and it will make everything a lot easier for you while things are stored and when you have to move things out of the unit at a later date.
3 Consider The Facility’s Safety Features
The best storage units are those you can feel safe with, and that you're comfortable leaving your items in. If you don't feel comfortable putting your items in a particular unit or facility, look for one that seems better to you. It's not necessary to feel like your items are stored at Fort Knox, but you do want to feel like you can leave things there and those things will still be there when you get back. You also want to be able to get into the facility during all reasonable hours, but make sure it's not a facility where the gates are just open to anyone all day. Letting everyone drive in there is just asking for trouble. If the facility doesn't have a code lock or some other kind of locking gate, at least for after-hours visits, it may not be for you.
You don't want to just think about getting in and out of the facility, though. There are other features to consider. If the cameras don't work, or there aren't any cameras at all, or if the lighting is bad or nearly nonexistent, you may not feel like your items are going to be safe. Another question to ask yourself is whether you would be safe if you need to stop at your storage unit after dark. If the answer to that question is no, or that you're not sure, another storage facility could be a much better choice for your needs. Safety really should come first, even if that changes the price of the unit.
4 Read Your Self Storage Agreement
It's understandable that you don't want to stand at the counter and read a big agreement when the storage facility employee is waiting for you to just sign it and move on, but it's important that you take the time to make sure you understand what you're signing. If there are other people waiting, just move out of the way and read the agreement. If there's something in it that you simply can't agree to, you'll need to find another storage unit. Still, many will have very similar agreements and clauses, so think carefully about what's acceptable to you. There's no point driving all over the place to a bunch of different storage facilities if they're all going to be asking the same things of you.If you are moving to a different State, the laws can be different for instance what applies in Miami may not be applicable in Los Angeles.
The main thing to take note of is what kinds of fees will be charged and when. If you know your responsibilities and follow the requirements of the contract, you shouldn't end up having to pay a lot of extra money. That can include things like leaving the unit clean when you move your things out, giving a set length of notice when you plan to leave, and other factors. The goal of reading the contract is to make sure you have a strong understanding of everything that needs to be done, so the contract doesn't become a problem for you and your wallet. Most contracts for storage facilities are pretty straightforward, but make sure you understand everything you're agreeing to and being asked to do.
5 Put Stuff in Boxes or Storage Containers
Just piling stuff into your self storage unit might be faster, but in the long run it's not going to be much help. You won't be able to find the things you need, and you can really struggle to get to items that aren't clearly marked. Whether you choose to use storage containers or you want to get boxes instead, make sure each and every thing has its place. A lot of people buy boxes that are all the same size, so they can stack things neatly. Others prefer to purchase storage containers with lids that snap on or lock. If you want to save a lot of money, ask grocery and retail stores for free boxes. A lot of them will hold boxes for you to pick up.
No matter how you get your boxes or containers, though, packing stuff up and making sure you're protecting items from damage is a good way to handle things. You won't end up with a lot of broken items, and you won't have a higher chance of losing things. When you pick up your items from the storage facility later, it will be easier to move those things to your new place, since boxes and storage containers will stack in a moving truck, a pickup truck, an SUV, or even the back of a car a lot easier than random bags and lose items. Get solid boxes that will hold any heavy items, and use lighter weight boxes for smaller and lighter things, so everything stays where it should be.
6 Label Everything Before you Store
Keeping things in containers or boxes is a great way to pack everything into your storage unit. It's not just about the storage, though. It's also about knowing what you're storing and being able to find things when you need them. You can do that more easily by labeling everything you put into your unit. Whether you write directly on the box with a marker or use actual labels, you want to be sure you know everything that is in a box. Don't just mark it with a person's name or a room in the house. That still won't give you enough information. Be specific, and you'll always be able to find the things you need.
Another way you can label things is to number the boxes and write the numbers down on a sheet of paper, along with an explanation of what's in each box. If that's easier for you, it's another great way that you can label things and still have no trouble finding what you're looking for. There isn't really a right or a wrong way to label something. You should choose the option that works best for you, and that you feel comfortable with. Just make sure your labels make sense, and that they aren't going to easily come off the boxes. You don't want to end up with a label pile on the floor and no idea what's in any of the boxes in your unit. By taking the time to label things correctly, you avoid the hassle of hunting through boxes looking for an item later on.
7 Clean It Before You Store It
No matter what you're planning on storing, if it's dirty you'll want to clean it up first. Otherwise, you can end up with all kinds of problems in your self-storage unit. Mold and mildew are big problems, but not the only issues. Bugs and even rodents could also be a concern. You may also end up with bad smells and could find that items won't really come clean if they've been left dirty for too long. Your clothing, boxes, storage containers, and any and all kinds of items that go into your storage unit should be cleaned before they are packed away. Wash everything, or at least rinse or wipe it off well, and don't leave anything wet. That dampness is how mold gets started, and you don't want mold, mildew, and that musty smell to take hold in your storage location. A climate controlled unit might be a good idea if you have items that are easily ruined by mold or mildew.
Some things are easier to clean than others, of course. Clothes and other fabric items can go through the washer and dryer before they get packed up. Hard items like dishes and knickknacks can be washed in the sink or at least wiped down if they have some dust on them. Some other items, especially those that are a lot larger, can take longer to clean or be more difficult, but the main goal is to make sure that none of your stored items have anything on them that could contribute to the growth of mold or that could attract insects or rodents. As long as you avoid those things, your unit should stay clean and your items should be safe from weather or creature related harm.
8 Consider Storage Insurance
While it makes sense that you wouldn't want to pay for more insurance than you need, it's also not completely realistic to just assume that your homeowners' or other type of insurance will cover everything you have in even the best storage unit. The best way to be sure would be to read your insurance policy and/or call your insurance agent, and ask specifically about stored or off-site items. If you're in the middle of moving and/or don't have homeowners' insurance for some reason, you may want to get storage insurance to protect your items when they aren't with you. That's also a consideration if you're renting, as renters' insurance may not cover stored items.
As long as you aren't storing priceless antiques or items that have a high market value, your storage insurance policy shouldn't cost very much. The facility where you store your things may offer a policy, or you may need to get insurance elsewhere, but either way it's worth considering. Take a careful inventory of the items you'll be storing at the facility, and consider how much it will cost to replace them. Even things like couches, chairs, and beds can really add up, especially if they're name brand or fairly new. The cost of storage insurance would likely be significantly less than what you would have to pay to replace a lot of your items if they weren't insured. Clothing, dishes, towels, and everyday use items all add up, as well. You don't have to insure your stored belongings, but you should ask about the cost of insurance so you can make an informed decision.
9 Quantify Your Storage Load
It's so easy to take a look at a storage unit and think that everything you want to put into it will fit, but it's also possible that you're misjudging the amount of space you really have. Rather than take a wild guess and hope it works, you really need to have a better idea of how much space you're going to need. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and get a unit that's going to be a little bit larger than what you think you really require. You'd rather have too much space than not enough, since not having a big enough storage space may mean that you have to spend extra money to rent a second one. With some planning, that kind of problem can be avoided.
Quantifying your storage load may not always be easy, but some measurements of the storage location and calculations with the number of boxes and other items can give you a pretty good idea if everything is going to go into the unit properly. You can also judge off of the moving truck you're using, because you know you will need a unit that is at least as large as the truck you move everything in. Of course, that won't help you if you use your pickup truck, SUV, or car to move things, but there are still great ways to determine how much space you will need to fit everything you plan to store. Overestimate, and you won't be frustrated and running out of room before everything is in the unit. You can also use our handy storage unit size guide to help you determine how much square footage you will need.
10 Measure Large Items Before Moving
Many people have trouble with moving because they don't take all of their large items into consideration. Instead of actually measuring those items, they just "eyeball" things and judge what will fit. Unfortunately, they often judge wrong, and that means they're sitting at their self storage unit with items that just won't fit into the space they've rented. That's very frustrating, and can also end up costing them money and time that they might not be able to comfortably afford. You don't have to let that happen to you, though, as long as you carefully measure the bigger items that you want to put into your storage space. A lot of things can be stacked up or have other items placed on them, but you still need to know how much room they take up.
Don't forget that height matters, along with length and width. If you underestimate how tall something is, you limit the amount of space you'll have to put boxes or other items on top of it. Since even a few extra feet of space can be critical when you're trying to get everything into a unit at a storage facility, you want to make doubly sure that you've correctly measured all of the bigger furniture that you'll be storing. By taking good measurements and doing some calculations, you'll be ready to determine what size unit you need, and everything you want to put into there will fit without a struggle. That can make moving much easier, and reduce your stress level.
11 Don't Store it if You Don't Need it
It's easy to get caught up in the idea that you have to take everything in your home and put it into the storage unit. If you own it, you must need it, right? Well, not necessarily. Your storage space should be reserved for the things you really need, which may not be the same as all the things you own. While it doesn't make sense to get rid of things you're really going to use, a lot of people have things in their home that aren't actually valuable to them. There may be clothing in your closet that you haven't worn in years, or other items in your house that are there because someone gave them to you or because they've been tucked in the back of the linen cabinet since you moved in. Rather than take all that with you, it may be time to let it go.
If you really don't need something, you don't want to pay to store it. Storage spaces can get expensive over time, and the more things you have to store the larger the space you'll need. The goal is to have the smallest storage space you can use, so you're not paying a lot of extra money out for the storage of items that you'll wonder why you even brought along. You don't have to fall victim to that, and you can focus on de-cluttering your life at the same time you're moving things to storage. It's a great time to have a big yard sale, or donate items to charity.
12 Choose The Right Location
If you aren't sure where you want to store your items, take some time to consider what you're looking for. The best storage unit for you will be the one that's clean, safe, fairly priced, and in the right location. Generally, most people would think that the best location would be the one that's closest to them, but that's not always the case. If you choose a storage facility close to the area you're moving from, it's easier to put things in it when you're packing up and vacating your old place. Choosing a location close to the place you're moving to can mean a longer drive at first but an easier time when you move things into your new place. Still, the facility has to be a good one, or a longer drive might be a better choice.
The closest storage facility to your new place might be a few miles away, in an area you don't care for. Rather than store your things there, where you aren't sure if they'll be safe, it's worth driving a few extra miles to a facility that's cleaner, better lit, or just has other characteristics you feel better about. You can't always select a place based on how close it is to you, but you can take the time to make sure you find a storage facility in a good location that's a fair compromise between proximity and the other things that matter to you when you're storing your stuff for days, weeks, or even months at a time.
13 Pick Your Boxes Carefully
The boxes you use can make a big difference when it comes to packing your self storage unit. You have two options for getting boxes: you can buy them, or you can scrounge them for free from retailers and grocery stores. Liquor stores can also be a good source of boxes, because the boxes are often heavy, and they can have dividers. Packing glassware into boxes like that can keep it from breaking and protect it from harm. If you have heavy items like dishes and books, you'll want to make sure they go into boxes that are strong and sturdy, with solid bottoms that won't give way. Lighter items can go into lighter weight boxes that aren't as strongly built.
Another thing to consider with boxes is the size you need. Even a very sturdy box might not be a good choice if it's very big, because putting heavy items into that box will mean it becomes too heavy to be moved or carried safely. Look for small, sturdy boxes that can be used to pack books and other heavy things, and consider getting larger, lighter weight boxes for other items that aren't going to weigh as much even when there are bigger quantities. Whether you buy boxes or get them for free, it's important to take weight and size into consideration. Doing that can mean you aren't left with a lot of boxes you really can't use, and that you get what you need to pack things up efficiently. That will reduce stress, and keep costs low, too.
14 Get Help For The Heavy Stuff
Even if you're strong and healthy, you still need to get help moving the heavy items to your storage unit. Big dressers and other items can weigh hundreds of pounds, and you don't want to get injured or damage anything trying to get them moved. You can either hire someone to do the moving for you, or enlist the help of friends or hired hands to get the job done. No matter what option you choose, make sure you're not asking too much of people who may not be able to physically do the job, such as children, women, or elderly or infirm relatives or friends. They may want to help you out, but you need people who can do the job safely and not be at high risk of harm.
It's not just furniture you need to think about, either. Some boxes may be too heavy for you to move on your own. Depending on what's packed in them and their size, getting help loading them onto the truck and then into your unit isn't a bad thing. It's important to protect yourself and your belongings, so focus on hiring someone or recruiting friends so you can get your heavy items to the storage facility and safely packed away. Once those items are in place, it can be much easier to start moving the smaller, lighter items and stack them on the heavier pieces. That also means stability in the packing, which is a good thing to consider when it comes to any storage situation. You don't want to take the risk of something falling over and breaking or hurting someone while you're moving things in or out.
15 Save Money on Packing Materials
Packing materials cost money. All that paper and bubble wrap and those little Styrofoam peanuts can get expensive. Fortunately, there are ways you can save on packing materials, so you don't have to spend so much money to get things packed up and moved into your self-storage unit. Saving newspaper, sale ads, plastic grocery bags, and any paper or packaging that comes from things you buy is a good idea when you know you have a move coming up. The more of those kinds of things you save, the better off you'll be when the actual packing gets started. Not having to buy a lot of packing materials can mean big savings, and that money can be better spent on something else.
Another way to save on packing materials is to use towels, dish clothes, sheets, and even clothing items to wrap up some of the more fragile things you want to take with you. By using soft items to pack around more breakable things, you'll be packing up more items at once, and you won't need to buy as much packing material. It's a winning situation on two counts, and well worth considering. Just make sure anything you use as packing material isn't going to get damaged by being against the other items you're packing, or that can defeat the purpose of using things like towels or clothing to help pack fragile or breakable items. When done correctly, that type of packing can really save you big money and also help you use fewer boxes, overall.
16 Always Ask About Discounts
Want to save money on the best storage unit for your needs? Ask! If you don't ask about sales or discounts, you'll never know if you could have gotten something for less. There might not be a discount available for you, or for the unit you're interested in, but there's certainly no reason to avoid asking the question. The worst that happens is that you're told no, and then you can expect to pay the full price. Often, though, asking about a discount will remind the storage facility employee that there are discounts available, and get their help in securing the one that's going to save you the most money. That could even mean a bigger or better unit for the same price or less than what you were expecting to pay for a smaller one.
A discount may be large or small, but there's always no discount if you aren't prepared to ask. There may be online coupons you can use, as well, so it's important to take a look and see if there are coupon codes or other types of discounts offered. In many cases you can't use discounts in combination with each other, but there are some companies where that isn't the case. If you can use more than one discount to save even more money, you might as well do that. You can certainly use that saved money for something else, and there's no reason to pay more for something than you absolutely have to. The more you save, the more you can have as a cushion if other, unexpected expenses come up.
17 Protect Clothing
Clothing is something everyone has, and most people have more of it than they really wear or need. Still, you may not be ready to get rid of some of your clothing, so you'll want to put it in your storage unit. It's very important to keep that clothing from getting damaged. Otherwise, there's no point in storing it or keeping it at all. Some of the clothing you have can probably be used as packing materials, but the nicer, newer pieces of clothing will need to be more protected in order to make sure they don't get damaged while in the storage facility. One of the ways you can protect your clothing is with wardrobe boxes. These are specifically for clothing, and they can keep your items from getting damaged or dirtied while they're being moved and stored.
If you don't have wardrobe boxes or don't want to use them, you may want to consider either very heavy, solid boxes or plastic storage containers. The goal is to make sure your fabric items don't get dirty, but also that they don't sustain any rips or tears. Once they're stored, they also need to be protected from insects, rodents, mold, mildew, and anything else that could cause them damage. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to do that, and plastic containers that seal well are among the best choices. They keep clothes safe and keep unwanted things out, so they can really help make sure your clothing is in good shape when it's time to get it back out of the unit.
18 Proper Way to Protect Silver
Protecting silver needs to be done if you're going to have it in your storage unit for any period of time. Fortunately, it's not that difficult to protect it properly. How you pack your silver will depend on whether you're concerned about it tarnishing, or whether you just want to make sure it doesn't actually get damaged. Wrapping it up carefully and storing it away generally works to keep it from getting dented, bent, or otherwise damaged. If you don't want it to tarnish, you'll need to take extra steps to make sure it doesn't get exposure to the heat and humidity that can cause it problems. A good silver polish can also be important, as you can coat your silver lightly to help keep it safe.
If you purchased your silver recently, or if you kept the original materials from an older silver item, there may be specific instructions as to how the maker of that silver wants it stored and protected. When that's the case, you should follow those directions to make sure your silver is handled the recommended way. In the absence of those recommendations, though, protecting silver from damage is not deeply complicated. Commercial polishes and homemade options can both work, and there are special kinds of boxes and containers that can be used to store silverware or other types of delicate silver items. Packing up your silver properly before it goes into the storage facility is important in order to keep your silver pieces looking great, so don't neglect to care for your silver the right way.
19 Moving? Prepare Accordingly
Moving is generally pretty stressful, but there are some ways to make it easier. One of those ways is to have the best storage unit for your needs. If you have the right storage facility, you can move out of one place and into another without the need to do everything in the same day. There might be reasons why you don't want all of your stuff put right into your new place. For example, you may want to paint, remodel the kitchen, or put new carpet in the bedrooms. You may also be moving out of a house you're selling, and you need to stay in a hotel for a few nights before closing on the house you're buying. No matter what your circumstances, having the right storage options can help your move be less difficult.
As you pack things up and prepare to get them out of the house you're selling or the rental you're leaving, being able to take them to a storage facility can make things a lot less difficult. You'll feel better without so much clutter, and you'll also be able to see anything you need to clean or repair before you leave. Having a storage facility to take your things to gives you another big benefit when it comes to moving. You don't have to do everything in one day. Instead, you can rent the unit and move things at your own pace, over the course of days or weeks, so you'll be less stressed and not in as much of a rush on the day you actually have to be out of your home.
20 Remember to...
Remember to make a list, and check it twice. One of the main problems a lot of people encounter when they're putting things into a storage unit is that they forget how much they have or everything they need to do. They may also forget to make sure they pack things properly, or to address how they're going to move the larger items from their home to the storage facility and then to another home later on. Because it can be difficult to remember everything, making a list is a good place to get started. That list can allow you to focus on one thing at a time, making moving preparation an easier thing to handle. Overall, it's not always easy to get through a move, so doing things to make it easier and better for you is important.
One of the things that should definitely be on your list is making sure you're choosing the right storage facility for your needs. There are all kinds of factors that go into choosing a storage location, so you want to take those factors into proper consideration. If you ignore important concerns, you could end up with a storage facility that really doesn't meet your needs. That's never a good thing, and you don't want to feel like you need to move your items from one facility to another because of a lack of planning and preparation. While you're trying to get moved from one place to another, you don't want to be worried about the things you placed in storage. Moving is stressful enough without that.
21 Important Document Preparation
Among the things you might keep in storage units are important documents. Especially if you're moving from one place to another, all of your important papers will have to be stored somewhere you can feel comfortable with. Even if you're very happy with your storage facility, though, you could end up having a problem with your important documents if they aren't protected properly. Just putting them in a box or a bag might not be enough, since your unit could be exposed to temperature and humidity extremes. With that in mind, you may want to consider a plastic container that seals well, to reduce the risk of your papers yellowing or becoming damp and musty, depending on the climate you're in.
Sealing your papers in reusable bags can also work, especially in combination with a plastic tote or other type of container. If you have to put them in a standard box, make sure you tape up all the seams really well and ensure there aren't any holes in the box where moisture or dust can get inside. That will also keep bugs and other pests out, as some of them could potentially eat your papers and damage them. Don't let that happen to you. It's better to be safe than sorry, and seal up your important papers the right way. Once they're packed up, be sure you put them in the storage facility in a place where you can locate them easily. You might unexpectedly need something, and you want to be able to find it.
22 Inquire About Pest Control
One of the things you really don't want to have to deal with in your storage unit is pests. From rodents to insects, nearly anything alive that gets into your unit could cause a big problem for you and your items. Fortunately, most of the good storage facilities are careful about pest control, because they know they could lose a lot of business if they don't handle things the right way. That's good news for you, and can help you avoid a lot of problems that you could otherwise have with your unit. Don't just assume that pest control is being used, though, and that it's appropriate. Be sure you actually ask, so you know what to expect. Sometimes information on controlling pests will be in the contract, but that's not always the case.
It's generally the best choice to get confirmation from the storage facility employee that there is adequate pest control. The employee should be willing to give you information on the issue, and should be up front about it. If they don't know, they should know who to call to get answers to your questions. If you're not satisfied that there's adequate pest control at a particular storage facility, it may be in your best interest to find another facility to store your things. You don't want bed bugs in your items, or bug or rodent damage to anything you need to leave in storage for a while. You may have to go out of your way a bit to find another facility, but it's always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to pest control.
23 Moving Organization
Organizing your plans, people, and items during a move to a storage unit can be difficult and stressful. There are plenty of ways to make it easier, though, so you don't have to feel so stressed and can get more done on your move each day. Having a list is very helpful, so you can see what all needs to be done. Create a master list of everything you can think of that relates to your move, and then group those things into sections, so that items that are important to one another or tied to one another in some way are all together. That will help you get through things more easily, and can keep you from forgetting something very important. You can also use your list to figure out what kinds of moving supplies and help you're going to need.
Boxes are vital, and you need to know how many and what size you want to get. You don't have to get everything all at once, but it's always a good idea to buy what you have figured that you'll need. Most people have to get a couple more boxes or another roll of tape somewhere during the process, but minimizing how much of that you do will make things much easier. If you go from room to room and pack and label as much as possible in each space before moving on to the next one, you'll be much more likely to keep track of everything and keep it organized. That can help you feel more in control, and keep your move on the right track.
24 Box Foundation
The right boxes can make all the difference when it comes to getting all your things packed up and into a self-storage unit. The types of boxes you use, along with the size of them and how many you need, all matter. Building a good foundation with your boxes, and making sure each box has a good foundation, both matter, as well. When your boxes are solidly built and sealed up well on the bottom, they will hold up to a lot more and you can use them for all kinds of things. Smaller boxes should be used for heavy things like books, but can also contain lighter items that are breakable and need packing material around them. Large boxes that are well built can be used for nearly anything, as long as they don't become too heavy.
Once you have all of your boxes packed up and you get them over to your unit, it's time to get them inside where they can be stored for days, weeks, or even months, until you're ready for them. To get everything handled correctly and get as much into the storage facility as possible, build a good foundation with your boxes. Large boxes should go on the bottom, with smaller boxes on top. However, you also have to pay attention to the weight and contents of the boxes you're stacking. If there are smaller boxes that are very heavy, you don't want to put them on top of larger boxes that may contain items that could be crushed or damaged.
25 Proper Tape Usage
Securing boxes is needed, and to do it properly you'll want good quality tape. Don't assume that boxes that are just folded on the bottom will survive the move to your storage unit. Instead, tape up the bottoms solidly. You can use packing tape or duct tape, as both seem to work very well. You want to make sure you tape along the middle seam, and may want to put more than one strip of tape there, depending on the weight of the items going into the box. Proper use of tape isn't about overdoing things, but it's also not about using as little as possible to try to save a few cents. You want to tape things up securely, and that goes for the tops of the boxes, too. Leaving things open just invites mold, bugs, and other problems.
To avoid serious issues with your boxes, tape them on the top and the bottom, and seal up any seams if there are clothes or important papers in the boxes. Bugs can get into small cracks and holes, and you don't want to take the chance of things getting ruined. The odds are high that proper pest control is being used at the storage facility, but don't take the chance. It's always better to be safe rather than end up being sorry later, so use plenty of tape and you'll feel more secure about your boxes being left at the storage facility. Moving is stressful enough, and well taped boxes give you one less thing you need to be concerned about.
26 Do Not Store the Following
There are some things that you just don't want to put in your storage unit. That includes anything that can't cope with extreme temperatures, anything that's flammable, and anything that has to be climate controlled. For example, some people store cans of gasoline or other flammable liquids, and that's a completely unacceptable practice for a storage facility. Most facilities have information right in their contracts about the things that can and cannot be stored on location, so make sure you read and understand the requirements. You could be putting all of your things at risk by storing something dangerous, and could also be liable if there is damaged caused by those items.
If you have aerosol cans of any kind, don't store them in your unit. They can explode if they get too hot, and that would make a huge mess. You could damage a large number of your things, and you also might cause damage to the unit and to things that belong to people in the units near yours. Again, your liability could be high in those types of situations, and you might even be sued. That's especially true if the information about not storing those types of things is clearly in the contract you signed when you paid for the rental of the unit. By not storing flammable or dangerous items, or anything that you know will be damaged from temperature or climate extremes, you'll be protecting yourself and others around you from the potential for serious or significant harm.
27 Choosing a Moving Company
Moving things into a storage unit by yourself or with the help of some friends isn't always the way to go. Instead of doing that, you may want to hire a moving company. That can make things a lot easier for you, and can also make the move faster and more efficient. Still, you want to make sure you're choosing the right company, or you could end up with problems. Don't just pick the first company that people suggest to you, or the first name that comes up in your online search. That can lead you to a company that just won't work for you, and that you wouldn't feel comfortable using for your move. Instead, check around more and find the company that feels best to you. That will help you accomplish your move with a lower level of stress.
Make sure the company you select to take things to the storage facility is licensed and insured, and ask if they contract out or do the work themselves. The people who come to your home to give you an estimate of the cost may not be the same people who show up to do the work. Knowing about that ahead of time can be very helpful, and can also help you make a decision about whether you want to use that company or a different one. Even a company with good reviews can make a mistake, but when you choose a high-ranked company with a good reputation, you'll have a higher chance of seeing things go well.
28 Control Smells
Among the problems you might find with even the best storage unit is controlling smells. People are used to the way their own homes and the items in those homes smell, so they often don't think about how their things might smell if they weren't around them for a while. That can surprise people when they open their unit after a while of being away, because they aren't expecting things to smell the way they do. Fortunately, you can control a lot of the smell issues by making sure everything you put in your unit is as clean as possible. That will reduce the chances of anything smelling bad after it sits around for a while. You can use a fragrance spray on soft items like couches, and make sure all clothing and bedding has been washed.
Another way to control smells in a storage facility unit is through the use of fabric softener sheets and air fresheners. Leaving those things in your unit can mean a great smell when you open the door again, instead of something musty and unpleasant. Of course, you also don't want to go overboard on the good smells. They can get overpowering and also get into everything. That's not necessarily a good thing, even when something smells nice. It's like wearing too much perfume or cologne, and something you want to avoid if at all possible in your unit. By keeping everything clean and using only light sprays or fresheners, you can end up with a unit that's very neutral but still pleasant smelling.
29 Clothes Give-A-Way
If you're like most people, you probably have more clothes than you normally wear. Some of them are seasonal, or they might be for special occasions. You might even have some clothing that's very sentimental to you, like a wedding dress or the outfit you wore on your first date with your spouse. No matter what, though, there are most likely clothes in your closet and dresser drawers that you don't actually need and that you can get rid of. By having a clothes giveaway, you can reduce how much stuff you're putting into your self-storage unit, so you can get moved more easily and not have to spend as much time or money in the process. Giving away your clothes can also make you feel really light and free.
There are several ways to give away clothes. You can ask your friends and family members if there's anything they want. You can also give them away from your home, like you would with a yard sale but for no charge. Another option is to donate them, and that can be to a thrift store or even to a shelter or other organization that can use them. Overall, there are plenty of options for a giveaway of the clothes that you don't wear anymore, that no longer fit, or that you've decided you just don't need. Don't let them continue to pile up, or move them to a storage facility. It's time to let them go, and make moving easier for you in the process.
30 Save Space
One of the things you really want to do with your self-storage unit is save space. The smaller unit you can rent, the less money you have to pay. Of course, you also want to make sure you choose a unit large enough to really hold everything without damaging items trying to get them in the door or stack them on top of one another. Some items have very specific measurements, like large pieces of furniture, and you will need to be sure you have room for them. To help save space, though, consider things like packing dresser drawers full or leaving your clothing in them. If you empty them, you waste a lot of space that can be used for storage while everything sits in the unit. Make use of all the available space, and you'll need fewer boxes and packing materials, too.
When you do have to use boxes for items you're packing up, consider getting boxes that are all the same size, or that are only a couple of different sizes. That can help you stack boxes more easily, without leaving empty spaces. The tighter the boxes all fit together, the easier it will be for you to get everything into a smaller storage unit and save a lot of money and time. Having boxes that are all similar in size can also make things easier for the people who are helping you pack and move, because they know what they'll be doing and can get into a loading or unloading rhythm that makes your move faster and more enjoyable.
31 Use Qualified Movers
If you plan to use movers to put everything into your storage unit, make sure the ones you hire are qualified. They should be licensed and insured, and they should have a good reputation. It's not really possible to please everyone all the time, but if they have a lot of negative reviews or seem to be a problematic company, you'll want to choose someone else. Even if you don't have a lot of fragile or expensive items, the things you have are yours, and you don't want them damaged or lost. When you choose a qualified company with good movers, you'll get a good experience that can help you feel better about your move and ease some of your stress. Shopping around for the right movers is a good idea.
You may want to start the process of looking for qualified movers a little early. If you're moving things to your unit during a busy time of year for moving companies, the dates you need to reserve the movers could be booked up quickly. With that in mind, start early and plan ahead. That way you can find great movers you feel comfortable with, and can have the move take place when you need it to. Depending on why you're moving, you may have a very tight deadline that you have to follow. The earlier you get started working with a moving company, the easier it will be to complete your move efficiently. Then you can focus on other important things in life, and not spend time worrying about moving
32 Climate Controlled Units Usually = More $
If you're moving items that can't handle temperature or humidity extremes, you may need to rent a climate controlled storage unit. Those units are kept at specific temperatures and levels of humidity, so your items will be stored in basically the same way they would be stored in your home. Traditional storage facilities don't offer that, since there is no heat or air conditioning in the units they rent to people who need a place to put their stuff for a while. Renting a climate controlled unit means spending more money for the same size space, but it can be well worth the extra price. You'll get a unit that will have set levels of humidity and a set temperature range, so you won't have to worry about delicate items being damaged.
Some antiques and other very expensive items need climate control. It's also very important if you have a piano, because they don't handle humidity fluctuations very well. They also need to be kept out of direct sunlight and you shouldn't expose them to extreme temperatures. With that in mind, take a careful inventory of all the things you have in your home, and consider whether climate controlled storage may be the best choice for you. If it is, you'll want to shop around for the best deal, and get the smallest unit that will accommodate what you have to store. It can be frustrating to spend extra for climate control, but the damage to your items could be too severe otherwise. It's just not worth the risk.
33 Storing Tires
Tires can be safely stored in a self-storage unit, but you'll want to make sure you read the contract first. Some storage facilities don't want you putting anything in the unit that could be assumed to be automotive related, because they don't want people storing engines, oil, gasoline, and other items that could potentially become flammable or dangerous in any way. However, most storage facilities aren't as particular about tires, because they don't contain anything that could explode. Still, you want to store tires properly, and that starts with keeping them clean. Leaving mud, dirt, and other things on your tires can mean that they'll grow mold, create unpleasant smells, and dirty up your storage location. Cleaning them before you store them can help avoid that.
Also make sure you stack them up neatly, so you have plenty of room in your storage unit, and that you leave them in a place where you can get to them if they'll be needed for the change of seasons. Many people in colder climates or areas of the country that have harsh winters, store their winter (snow) tires during the summer months. When the weather starts to change, they get those tires out, put them on their vehicle, and store their normal tires until spring arrives. If you're going to be doing that, or you have another reason to store tires, you'll want to make sure you're storing them the proper way. That keeps them lasting longer, and also reduces any risks of damage or problems for you and the storage facility.
34 Buy Quality Boxes
When you're moving things to your storage unit, you don't want to skimp on the boxes. A lot of people get boxes from anywhere they can, mostly for free, and that can work out for them. If you want to really do things right, though, you'll need to buy quality boxes that are solid and secure. That can keep you from having a lot of the problems you'll have with cheaper boxes, such as ripping, tearing, and even having the bottom of the box fall out or give way. Not only is that frustrating, but it can also mean a lot of damaged or broken items. You can avoid all of that with the right boxes. Those boxes can be purchased from the storage facility, or from packaging, home improvement, or retail stores.
Even if you don't want to spend the money on quality boxes for everything, consider getting them for items that you need to be very careful with, or that could be fragile or more easily damaged. It's important that you don't end up destroying good items that matter to you just because you wanted to save some money on boxes. Saving money is great, but you also need to protect the things that matter to you. That's much more easily done when you use good boxes that are high quality and that aren't going to break or let insects get inside. Having peace of mind when things are in storage is sometimes difficult, but with the right boxes you can feel better about leaving your items stored in a facility for a while.
35 Proper Bubble Wrapping
Plenty of people love bubble wrap. They like to pop the little bubbles and listen to the crackling noise it makes. They also generally know that bubble wrap is a great way to protect all kinds of valuables and make sure they stay in good condition while they're being moved from one place to another. Overall, bubble wrap can be one of the best and most important packing items you'll want for your storage unit. Any boxes that have breakable things in them need great packing material. You can ensure everything has the best chance of making it safely to its destination when you're careful about how it's packed up. That's not to say that newspaper and other items don't work, but sometimes bubble wrap is clearly the best choice for the job.
To use bubble wrap properly, make sure you use enough of it. More than one layer is usually recommended, because that gives a lot more cushioning power and really helps to protect the items. Especially for things that are very fragile or that can break easily if the box they are in is dropped or banged into something, extra bubble wrap will help. While you don't want to fill the entire box with bubble wrap just to put one or two things inside it, you should be aware that the wrapping will take up some space. Make sure you have enough bubble wrap to properly protect all the things that matter to you, so you can get them packed and into the storage facility without too much worry about them.
36 Leave Water and Power Connected When Moving Until...
Turning off water and power when you're moving is something you want to be careful with. That's especially true when you're taking everything to a storage unit and then you may want to come back and clean the house before you leave completely. If you don't have power and water, it can be very hard to get things cleaned up properly. Some people also leave water and power on until the home is sold, especially if there are a lot of showings or they live in an area where turning off the power could mean damage to the home from cold weather. You don't want frozen pipes and other kinds of problems occurring when you turn off the utilities, so be sure to follow the advice of your real estate agent.
If the home is already sold and you're headed out to another place, or if the home is a rental and you don't need to leave the utilities on for showings, you'll want to turn power and water off after you're sure you're done getting everything out and cleaning the house thoroughly. Otherwise, you could be left with dirty sinks, floors, or countertops and no water to clean them. You may also have trouble seeing everything that needs to be cleaned if you don't have the power on, which can be avoided by being patient and leaving utilities on for an extra day or two. That little bit of extra time won't hurt anything, and will help you handle your move and get everything done the best way possible.
37 Choose Appropriate Unit Size
One of the things you really want to pay attention to when you're selecting the best storage unit for your needs is to choose the right unit size. Get one that's too small, and you'll never get all your stuff in there. Get one that's way too big, and you're paying for a lot of space that you're not using. Neither of those things is good, so you want to make sure you get a unit that's going to work for you. It's not always possible to get a unit that's the perfect fit, though, because everyone has a different amount of items that they need put into their storage facility. The best option for most people is to take a careful inventory of the things they need to store, and measure everything that's large so they know how much room it's going to take up.
Once you've taken all your measurements and made calculations for your furniture and any other large belongings, it's time to consider the number of boxes you have. They take up quite a bit of space, too, and you don't want to end up with a unit that won't hold everything you want to put into it. With a little planning and some calculations, though, you can figure out exactly what you need and will be able to focus your efforts on getting moved with as little stress as possible. It's generally always stressful to move from one place into a new one, but with the right size storage facility for your things you'll have one less thing you really need to be concerned about.
38 If Heavy, Go Small
Books, dishes, tools, and all sorts of other things can really become heavy if you pack too many of them in a box together. Rather than take the chance of having the bottom of the box give out or the way to your storage unit, or hurting yourself trying to carry something that's too heavy for you, go with smaller boxes. The heavier the item is, the fewer of those items you should put in a box and the smaller the box you should use. That way, the box doesn't way too much to be safely carried, and you can just use more boxes to pack all of your things up. While it does take a little while longer to handle things that way, it can also help protect you and anyone who's helping you move from getting hurt. It will protect your belongings, too, so you can have peace of mind that they won't get damaged.
There are plenty of good quality boxes for sale that are small in size and designed specifically for heavy things like books. The more of them you locate, the easier it will be for you to get your things packed up the right way. Don't be afraid to buy some boxes. It's nice to get things for free, but you also have to get boxes that are the right size for what you need. A lot of free boxes won't really help you if they're low quality or too flimsy to hold heavier items. Instead of holding out for freebies only, be prepared to buy some boxes that will hold the items that weigh more.
39 Floor Plan - New Home
The floor plan in your new home may be completely different from your old home, but you can make moving in easier if you label all your boxes with what room they go in. That way, you can put everything in each room as you unload it from the truck or car it arrived in. When you put things into your storage unit, group them by the room they belong in. That makes taking them to your new place easier, because they can get unloaded into one room at a time. While that may not seem significant, it will certainly make things easier in the long run, and may also save you quite a bit of time. When you're moving, it's not just about how much the move is costing you. It's also about the amount of time you're spending to do things. You don't want to take up all your time with the move, and may need to be out of your current place on a specific date.
The more you pay close attention to your floor plan in the new home, the better off you'll be when you have to start packing things up and sending them to storage, or getting them out of storage later and taking them into your house. You can even draw your floor plan out on a piece of paper or on the computer, and label the rooms to match the boxes. Anything you can do to make your move less stressful is generally a good idea, and a floor plan drawing can help with that.
40 Storing Lawn Equipment
Lawn equipment is one of the items that will commonly be stored when you're moving from one house to another. However, you want to make sure it's in your storage unit safely and correctly, so you don't run the risk of problems with it. Lawn mowers and other types of gasoline powered equipment need to be empty when you store them. Leaving them in a storage facility with gasoline in them can mean that they're a danger. They could have the potential to catch fire or explode, since gasoline vapors are very flammable. You also don't want to leave gas in lawn equipment because it's not good for the mower or other device. Gasoline eventually goes bad, and that could be damaging to your lawn equipment.
Instead of taking the risk of damage or other problems, drain all the gasoline out of the engines of all your lawn equipment. That will reduce the chances of something going wrong. If the items are going to be left in storage over the winter, and you live in a cold climate, you may also want to winterize those pieces of equipment to protect them even more. Electric equipment or those that run on battery power also have to be stored correctly. Batteries can go dead and actually be damaged when they're exposed to extreme conditions, so consider that carefully when you put lawn equipment in a storage facility. It may be better to hold out the batteries for your lawn equipment, especially if you're going to be storing the equipment for a long period of time or over the winter.
41 Protect Electronics
Your electronics are probably very important to you, and you want to take good care of them. You need to protect them the right way when you put them in a self-storage unit, so they don't end up damaged. TVs, computers, game consoles, DVD players, and other types of electronics are all vulnerable to temperature and humidity fluctuations. You may want to consider keeping them with you or putting them into climate controlled storage, but if you don't have those options you can also try other methods to protect them. Keeping them out of heat and direct sunlight, if possible, can make a difference in whether they come through your move still working properly.
You also want to protect them from theft, so don't put them right at the front of your unit. Instead, bury them up in the middle of boxes, or toward the back of the unit, where they can't be seen when you open the door. The chances are that your storage facility won't get broken into, but if it does you don't want your electronics to be the first thing a thief sees. If all you can see from opening the door and looking around is a sea of boxes, thieves may decide it's too much trouble to start digging for something that could be valuable. That can protect your electronics from getting stolen, so you can enjoy them for years to come. It's a great way to have more peace of mind during your move, as well.
42 Know Your Self Storage Duration and Save
When you move your things into a self-storage unit, one of the things you should carefully consider is how long those things are going to be there. Just like signing a lease on an apartment, you will need to sign a contract to rent the storage space. If you have a particular length of time you need the space for, and you're sure of that timeline, you might be able to save money. Some storage facilities will offer discounts for people signing contracts for three, six, nine, or even 12 months. If you can agree to a set period of time, ask if there's a discount for that time period. You may be able to adjust your moving timeline just a little bit to save some big money, so it's worth asking.
Just be careful what you're agreeing to. If you're really not sure about your time table, you don't want to sign something that might require you to move your things out before you're ready. Of course, you don't want to deal with the opposite problem, either, and be stuck with a storage space you no longer need. Find out how much you'd be saving to agree to a set time for being out of the unit, and then think carefully about what you would need for that to happen. Saving money is great, but you don't want to stress yourself out trying to meet an unreasonable deadline just to pay a few dollars less for the storage space you need.
43 Monitor Box and Package Weight
The boxes and packages you have to put in your storage unit can really get heavy. That's usually not a problem once they're in the unit, but what about getting them there? You want to be able to do that safely, and you also want to make sure that the movers you've hired understand how much weight they'll be moving from one place to another. Some moving companies judge by both size and weight of items, so you may need to pay some attention to the weight of the packages and boxes you're preparing for the move. That doesn't mean you can't have anything heavy, but just that it's important to be aware of what you're doing so you can help your move go as smoothly as possible.
Even if you don't hire movers, you'll need some friends or family members to help you make the move. You don't want them to get hurt while they're being helpful, so you don't want to get boxes and packages packed up too heavily. It can be hard to avoid heavy boxes sometimes, but if you use smaller boxes the chances are slimmer that things will get too weighty. While it's possible to overload a small box and make it too heavy to carry safely, it's more difficult to do than it would be with a larger box, simply because of the number of items you can pack into the space. The same is true with packages such as bags and storage containers, so pay close attention to how heavy things are getting to make your move easier.
44 Book Care
Taking care of your books may be something that's very important to you. Books are a big part of life for a lot of people, and they may have extensive collections that have to go into a storage unit. Not everyone has or wants an e-reader, and there are still many people who love the feel of an actual book in their hand. With that in mind, you want to pack your books up carefully and make sure they are stored the right way. If you don't care for them properly, they may be too damaged to keep when you finally get them back out of storage. That's something you can avoid, though, with a little bit of careful packing. For example, don't just put them in bags. They won't be protected, and it's too easy for them to get wrinkled if they're paperbacks.
Instead, pack your books neatly in sturdy boxes that you seal up well. You can also put them in plastic containers, because a lot of these containers are very sturdy and will be good choices for storing heavy items like books. Don't underestimate the value of having good boxes and containers around for your books, as you want them to look just as good when you pick them up as they did when you put them in the storage facility. The longer they are going to be stored, the better they need to be packed up and sealed up, so they don't succumb to insects, mildew, or other problems that can be common for books left in a storage facility for a long time.
45 Use Pillows to Protect Certain Possessions
A lot of people have extra pillows. They may use them in shams for decoration, have them on the guest bed, or otherwise have them lying around on the couch or even for people to sit on the floor. No matter what you're doing with your extra pillows, one of the things you can do with them is use them to help protect the items that are going into your storage unit. Pillows are excellent padding for TVs and other large electronics, and can also be used to protect mirrors and larger pieces of glass. It's a great way to use up your pillows and also make sure the expensive items coming out of your home and going into storage aren't getting damaged. The better you protect things, the lower the chance of having to replace something.
Pillows also work well to protect fragile or easily breakable items, like lamps or decorative items. Packing these kinds of things in a box with pillows around them can protect them from getting damaged and also mean packing up the extra pillows at the same time. That helps use up space in the box, and packs more items together so you don't have to use as many boxes. The more things you can pack together safely and efficiently, the easier your move will likely be, overall. That's something well worth considering when you're wondering what to do with all those extra pillows you've got lying around your house. They make great packing material, and you can easily dig them out for use on the beds once you get moved to your new place.
46 Loading Truck Order
Taking things to your storage unit, or moving them out of that unit and into your new home, is very important and should be done as efficiently as possible. That can save you both time and money, whether you handle everything yourself or decide to pay someone else to do the work for you. One of the ways you can make things easier is by loading the truck the right way. Everything that needs to go at the front of the storage space should go on the truck first. The things that go at the back of the storage space should be put on the truck last. That way, when you get to the facility, you won't be moving a bunch of things off the truck and out of the way so you can unload other things into the back of the unit. Things will be much easier that way.
When you move things out of the unit, consider where they are going to be placed in the house. You don't have to rearrange everything in the unit as you put in on the truck, though. Since you're going to a house, the way you load the truck isn't as much of a concern. Each thing that goes on the truck will come back off and be carried to the room it's going to be placed in. You won't need to be stressed out about the order at that time. The biggest concern is taking things from your old house to the storage facility, when how things should be ordered to come back off the truck and into the storage space is really most important.
47 Avoid Plastic When Storing for Some Items
A lot of people prefer to buy plastic storage containers instead of boxes, because they feel the containers are more secure. That can be very true, but plastic also gives off chemicals. If you're going to use plastic containers to keep things in your storage unit, you may want to consider using boxes for some of your items, to help protect them from anything that might come off of the plastic. For example, delicate fabrics and heirloom types of items may not do well in plastic containers. They shouldn't be used for wedding dresses or expensive suits, either. Also consider things carefully before you put any food in them, with the exception of canned goods. You don't want boxed or bagged items to end up tasting like plastic.
You may have better luck with plastic containers in the colder months, as well, because heating up the plastic can cause more chemicals to be released. Putting items in plastic containers and then storing them in a hot facility for a long time can make those items less pleasant to use when you take things out of storage and put them in your new home. Food and clothing are the things to be most concerned about, but anything that could pick up a plastic scent may be better off in boxes. That includes dishes, books, and soft goods like stuffed toys, bedding, and pillows. For hard items that aren't going to risk picking up a scent, plastic containers can be excellent choices for a storage facility.
48 Thoughtful to Your Movers
The movers you hire are there to help you get the things you own into your self-storage unit. While you should expect them to be professional and get the job done, you also want to be kind to them. They're getting paid, but they're doing a difficult job that can take them a while and be physically and mentally taxing. If you're thoughtful to them, they may go above and beyond to help you. One of the ways you can help them out is to have cold water they can drink, and other options, too. Tea, soda, lemonade, or anything like that will generally be appreciated, as will sports drinks. If you don't have the opportunity to supply those types of things, though, even giving them plenty of water can help them do their jobs more easily.
If you really want to help them out, you can also offer to feed them. Sandwiches, pizza, or another option that everyone agrees on can be a good choice, so the movers know you're happy to help them out and that you appreciate the work they're doing for you. That should be a consideration whether they're packing everything into boxes, labeling those boxes, and loading them on the truck, or whether you've packed up your entire house and all they need to do is to put things on the truck and take them to the storage facility. Either way, it's a lot of time and effort, so helping them out beyond what they would get paid for the work is something they will remember.
49 Movers - In-home Estimates
Getting an in-home estimate from your movers is very important. You want to know exactly how much you're going to be spending if you use a particular company to take everything to your storage unit. Some people prefer to use movers for everything, and others would rather save some money and handle things themselves. You might be surprised how little you can spend and still get great movers, though, if you shop around. That's why getting in-home estimates is so important when you're trying to decide what's going to be best for you. Call around to several moving companies, and ask how much they charge for an in-home estimate. Most companies will do it for free. Others charge, but take that amount off the total if you contract with them.
If you're getting a lot of estimates in your home, it might be better to focus on the companies that will give estimates for free. You can consider other companies if you still want to get more quotes, but choosing free estimates generally makes things much easier when it comes to not overspending on your move. It's no secret that moving can definitely be expensive, but you want to save as much money as possible, even when you hire movers. Getting in-home estimates is easy, too. The moving company will send someone to your home to look at your furniture and ask you some questions, so they can give you the best quote and help you have a successful, low-stress move.
50 Use it, if Possible!
One of the things you can do to make your move to a storage unit easier and less stressful is to use up things instead of taking them with you. For example, if you're six months out from your official move date, don't start packing up that extra shampoo or those canned goods. You could probably use those things up before you move, so you won't have to take them along with you. The more you can use, the less you'll have to pack. Not only can that save you time and lower your stress levels, it can also save you money because you won't be paying for as many boxes or as much packing material. If you're paying for movers, they'll have less to move, so you'll pay less for their services.
There may be some things that you can't use up, of course, or that you would be overusing just to try to get them gone. That's not necessary, and not what using things up before a move should be about. Just don't buy anything unless you absolutely need it, and unless you've used up the last of what you had before. That will help you avoid having too much extra on moving day, so when you start packing you'll actually be packing up the things you really need and want to take with you, instead of a lot of things that you could have already used by didn't. That will force you to look through all your things, too, which can really help you when it comes to deciding what's important enough for you to keep.
51 Final Step - Cover It
Once everything's in your storage unit, cover it up! You might feel like that's unnecessary because things are always indoors. By being in the facility, they're protected from the elements. They aren't going to sustain wind damage, or get rained on. While that's true, there are other issues that have to be considered. Storage facilities are not air tight, and there's always the chance of bugs, dust, and things like that getting inside your unit. If you want to protect your items as much as possible, you should cover them to avoid them being harmed and reduce your risk that something could happen to them. Covering the boxes isn't as important, but covering things like furniture and electronics really should be done.
You can use blankets, tarps, or even sheets of plastic, as long as you carefully cover the items that would otherwise not have any protection other than the facility itself. Having things covered up can also help reduce the risk of theft, because people who are looking to steal things from storage units want to do so quickly and move on. They don't want to dig through boxes or have to untie tarps just to see if there might be something worth considering. The less appealing you make your storage space, the less likely you'll be to have something stolen. There are plenty of ways to protect your items from thieves and from the elements, and covering up your furniture and electronics is one of the best and easiest ways.
52 Maximum Insurance Protection
Having insurance on the items you put in a storage unit is very important, especially if you have anything that could easily become damaged and/or that is worth quite a bit of money. Sentimental value is important, too, but may not be seen the same way by an insurance company. To get the right level of protection, take pictures of everything you're putting into your storage space, and make a good inventory of it. Then talk to your insurance agent about how much coverage you need. Getting the maximum insurance protection you need is a good idea, but you don't want millions of dollars worth of coverage for thousands of dollars worth of things. Your insurance agent likely wouldn't agree to a policy of that size, but you wouldn't want it anyway. You'd be spending too much in premiums for the risk you were taking.
Instead, consider the maximum insurance protection that you actually need, which is enough to replace all of your items if something were to happen to them. If you could safely replace everything in your storage shed with items of the same quality or better, than you have enough coverage. You don't need more than that, because you would just be spending too much money for the protection you were being offered. Avoid all that, so you can keep your money for something else. It will be better spent that way. If you're unsure about the coverage you're being offered, you can always get a second opinion quote from another agent or company.