Moving can be tricky. Sometimes you have to move into temporary housing; sometimes you end up renting an apartment for a year (or more). It's a common occurrence for our clients to have to purchase a storage space, even if it's just for a small amount of time. For those of you who have a storage unit move in your future, here are 8 useful tips for making the most out of your space.
1. Use Pallets
Keeping your items off the floor is essential. There's no way to promise that melting snow or rain won't creep under the door or leak in. You don't want to put your grandma's heirloom sofa at risk, so use pallets.
2. Wrap What You Can
Wrap what you can in industrial plastic wrap. That way, you know that things are sealed up tight, and it won't collect dust or insects while it's locked up. (You can purchase large rolls through Uline.)
3. Use A Hefty Small Lock
Although most units have security in them, it doesn't mean that you will have 100% protection. Find an all-weather pad lock that has a short arm to ensure a bolt cutter can't slide it's way in to be sliced open.
4. Label, Label, Label
Even though you know exactly what you're putting in your storage unit, it doesn't mean that you'll remember 6 months down the road. In order to avoid digging for ages and opening random boxes until you find what you're looking for, label everything. If you're concerned about having to search for items later, make a checklist that hangs inside the door telling you where items might be (i.e. back right corner under the desk = cameras to sell on eBay).
5. Plan For Temperature Changes
With Indiana's moody weather, you'll need to plan for weather changes. Some items (electronics, vinyl records, old photos, etc) don't like the cold or the heat. We recommend double wrapping them if they are stored at all. Humidity in the air can cause your stuff to exit the space much less awesome than when you put it in.
6. Winter? Carry Sand!
Most outdoor storage units are built so that water drains away from doors and to one central location. However, large ice slicks can form outside the door, making it nearly impossible to get to your goods without risking life and limb. Carry cat litter, sand or even spare sheets of plywood to help you unload or access your items if you're doing so in winter.
7. Protect the Space
While we're concerned about protecting what we put in the unit, protecting the unit itself is also important — there can be heavy fines for scarring the unit during your tenancy. All that to say, use caution when you are moving objects in and out of your space.
8. Practice Your Tetris Skills
Even the smallest storage unit can hold a great deal. Make the best use of the space, which means packing boxes all the way to the ceiling. Bringing in plywood to lay across several boxes can help stabilize layers as you're stacking it up, up and up! It will take the pressure off the tops of your boxes and help keep things safe.
We can't guarantee that these 8 tips will ensure the safety of your stuff. But it certainly will help!
What did we leave out? What storage space tips do you have? Leave a comment below!