Plan ahead. Gather up plenty of sturdy, corrugated cartons, packing paper, bubble wrap, sealing tape and marker pens, along with any furniture covers.
Wrap furniture legs with protective bubble wrap, furniture covers or pads to prevent scratching. Leave slipcovers on upholstered chairs and cover them with plastic chair covers. Tape or tie bed rails together. Mark the pieces for easier assembly later. Place covers or plastic bags on mattresses to keep them clean during storage.
Label boxes on all sides for easy identification. Keep a list (as well as pictures and descriptions) at your home or office for reference. Mark clearly all boxes containing fragile items. Make sure fragile boxes are placed on top of heavier, less delicate boxes.
Use valuable space inside dresser drawers and larger appliances, such as stoves and refrigerators, to store small items such as towels, linens and small, fragile items. Secure items in drawer by filling empty spaces with towels or packing paper.
Pack as much as you can in the same size boxes. Fill boxes tightly, but take care to neither over pack nor under pack. (Bulging cartons tip when stacked, while half full boxes tend to collapse). Use wadded up newsprint, bubble wrap, rags, towels, or blankets to fill in empty spaces. For maximum protection seal cartons with tape.
Pack heavy items such as books and tools in small boxes. For easier handling limit the weight of all cartons, regardless of size, to 30lbs. or less.
Clean and dry appliances before storing. Secure all movable parts with paper, or wedge and wrap a paper pad around each item for protection. During transport tape all doors shut, but remember to wedge them open for storage.
Pack books flat to protect their spines. Line cartons with plastic and fill empty spaces with packing paper.
Use lots of paper to pack dishes and glassware. Place a layer of packing paper inside the bottom and top of cartons. Wrap each dish and glass separately and cushion them with crumpled paper. Plates are best stacked on edge.
Hang clothes and draperies in wardrobe boxes.
Pack lamps and lampshades in individual boxes. Use plenty of clean paper or clothing for padding.
Pad mirrors and paintings with paper. Place them in special mirror packs or large boxes; mark boxes.
Store items you'll need most often at the front of the unit.
When you pack your storage unit, create a center aisle for access to all items.
Do not place boxes directly on concrete floors, but use pallets or skids to allow air flow around and under items.
If you're storing tables and other furniture, remove legs and store tabletops and sofas on end, to save space.
Old photographs tend to curl over time. To keep them flat, place them between two pieces of cardboard and tape them together.
Drain gasoline and oil from lawn mowers and other items with small engines.
Common sense and state law determines what may be stored. You alone control access to your storage space therefore never store firearms, illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia, live animals, perishables, liquids, explosives, flammable liquids and fuels, toxic materials, or other items that need a controlled environment.
Use trash cans to store shovels, hoes and rakes.
Mattresses should be covered and stored flat on level surfaces.
Use protective covers and treat wood surfaces before storing.
When storing metal items, to retard rust, wipe all metal surfaces with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil.
Pack blankets, draperies, and dress clothes on the hanger in a wardrobe box.
Always use high quality locks on your unit. Locks are available for sale-just ask your site manager for a recommendation.
Always use climate control for humidity sensitive items.
Whenever possible, place dressers and tables top-to-top to save space.