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Preparing Your Stuff For Storage

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You might be ready to take advantage of self storage--but is your stuff ready? Here are a few tips for making sure your belongings are clean, organized, and properly accounted for before you lock them away.

How The Pros Use Self Storage

Imagine someone who has a lot of stuff. Maybe they're a collector; maybe they run a business out of their house; maybe they just have a lot of friends who give a lot of really cool gifts. No matter how they ended up with all this stuff, they need somewhere to keep it--but their house is always perfectly organized. How do they do it? Well, chances are they're a self storage pro--and you can be too.

Here are a few tips for preparing belongings and making a self storage plan:

#1: Choose Your Unit

Choosing the right self-storage unit should always be your first step. That's because the size, shape, and climate of your storage unit will determine which items you can store and how to prepare them. So do your research, visit the unit before signing anything, and think ahead to make sure you end up with exactly what you need.

#2: Choose Your Items

Once you know how much space you have to work with, it's time to decide which items are going into your self-storage unit. This step becomes especially important down the line, so don't rush. Instead, be sure to consider the material each item is made of, how often you'll need to access each belonging, how long you'll want to store things for, and more.

When you've decided what you want to put in your self-storage unit, make a list. This will help you keep track of everything during transportation (and will remind you where your stuff is if you go looking for it later).

#3: Clean, Prepare, and List

Remember when you took note of the material each of your items was made from? That's about to become important--because now, you need to clean and prepare your stuff for storage.

Some belongings, like clothes, are easy enough to handle--just pop them in the laundry, fold them, and you're good to go. However, other things need a little more care. For example, furniture may need to be vacuumed and wiped with high-quality furniture cleaner, tools should be completely dried to limit the risk of rust, and vehicles should be winterized to reduce wear and tear. You may also need to disassemble larger items and prepare each part individually--just make sure to keep everything together.

Whether you're storing an item for a few days or a few years, you'll be happy you took the extra time when you find it clean and in good condition.

#4: Create a Storage Plan

You should know the dimensions of your self-storage unit and have a list of items you'd like to store. When you put those two things together, the result is a storage plan.

This "plan" helps you create an organized, efficient approach and allows you to make the most of your space. This is where you get to decide which items go in the back (stuff you won't need that often) and which go in the front (stuff you'll want to retrieve soon and/or frequently). You should also think about the boxes you'll use--for example, cardboard vs. clear plastic--and how you'll label them. If you plan to add shelves or other organizational tools to your self-storage unit, remember to do this before you start packing things inside.

#5: Transport Carefully

Your items are prepared and your work is done, right? Not so fast. You still need to make sure your stuff can be transported safely and carefully. For smaller items, that usually means putting everything in totes or boxes, which you can move straight from your car to your self-storage unit. Bigger belongings, however, may need to be wrapped in blankets or sheets and then prepared for storage after you reach your unit.

Self-storage is a great way to give yourself some breathing room. However, if you want to make the most of your space and take care of your items no matter how long they're in storage, you'll need to do a little prep work. The details depend on what exactly you're storing--but the outcome should always be the same: a well-organized self-storage unit.

Are you ready for extra space? Contact us today to find the self-storage unit that fits your needs!