Moving your belongings into a self-storage unit is a big undertaking, whether you're planning on keeping them there over the long term or just housing some items temporarily. The process will go much more smoothly if you take some time to think about how you're going to arrange the contents of your storage space. Here are a few key factors you need to take into account.
Plan for people
When you're planning the layout of your storage unit, think about how you're going to be using it in the future. If you're just using the space as affordable storage during a move and won't need to access anything you're storing there, you won't have to leave room to move. If you'll need to get into your storage boxes or move items in and out regularly, though, you need to make sure the space is large enough not only to store your items but also to allow you to move around in it.
Even in a dry space like a storage unit, keeping items in cardboard boxes for a long period can lead to a musty smell. There are several ways to reduce this risk, including allowing some clearance between the contents and the wall to improve air flow; using shelves to keep your boxes off the floor will also help with this. To absorb odours, place an open container of baking soda or cat litter in a safe place in your storage unit; dryer sheets in storage boxes full of clothes will serve a similar function.
Stack high, but not too high
The key to efficient use of a storage space is using vertical space. Stack boxes on top of one another, placing the heaviest boxes on the bottom; if you're storing furniture such as bookshelves, make use of them to add vertical space. Large items like tables or mattresses can be stored vertically, as long as they're properly padded and held in place. Be careful, though; don't place heavy objects above head height, as lifting them can be unsafe.
Make a plan
As you're moving your items into storage, draw a quick plan of your storage unit and keep it near the door to the unit; for extra insurance, save a photograph of the map on your phone. On moving day, you may feel like you'll never forget where everything is, but as time goes by, you'll be thankful to have the locations of important items written down.
Store larger items together
One of the most frustrating parts of packing for storage is dealing with large, irregularly-shaped items. These could include garden tools like rakes, sport equipment like skis or fishing rods, musical instruments, and more. To make room for these tricky items in your storage space, use large outdoor waste bins. You can stand tall, thin objects upright in them, providing maximum storage for minimum floor space.