13 Tips and Tricks for Packing your Storage Unit
Moving home throws up plenty of challenges, and finding a place for everything right away can be difficult. Best laid plans don’t always work out. Fortunately, there are options when it comes to temporarily storing your possessions. Modular storage offers long and short term solutions for keeping your personal possessions and homewares safe while in transition.
You might be renting a smaller home while you wait for your new home to finish being developed, or have to hit pause for a few weeks while the current tenants vacant the premises. Whatever the reason, Modular storage lets you pay for just the storage you need, meaning no wasted space and less overheads. To make the most of modular storage, there are number of ways you can optimise your packing. Here are some expert tips on packing and moving for your storage unit, brought to you by the experts at Holloway Removals & Storage.
1. Know how much you’re storing
Figuring out exactly what you need to store doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Take some measurements of furniture and boxes, and pack a couple of trial boxes to get an idea of how much space you will need. If you start planning now, you can save on storage costs and avoid running out of space when it comes to actually moving your possessions.
Chances are you’re storing some items as part of a bigger move to a new house. To get a good idea of what you’ll be storing, start separating items that you’ll need from items that you want to store. Doing this prior to your move will also make moving day less stressful.
Once you know how much you have to go in storage, you can use Holloway’s handy storage calculator to work out how many modules you might need.
2. Gather up your packing materials
Part of making sure your possessions are safely stored is using the right packing materials. Some you might already have around the home. Others you can acquire from your storage provider at a small cost. Materials you’ll want included:
- Packing paper to wrap fragile belongings
- Moving blankets to help with transportation
- Bubble wrap
- Tools for dismantling furniture
- Ziplock bags for storing screws and other small items
- Packing boxes of various sizes
- A trolley for moving heavy items.
Packing tip: Holloway can help
When you choose a modular storage solution with Holloway, our dedicated team will help wrap your furniture in blankets and shrink-wrap mattresses to keep them safe while in storage.
3. Box it up with care
Boxing up items for storage correctly is an art form, but it won’t take long for you to be packing up the perfect box. Just follow these handy hints from the experts:
- Pack small, soft items like towels around larger items to act as a buffer
- Heavier on the bottom, lighter on the top
- Stack plates vertically like vinyl records to avoid breaking
- Don’t place glassware inside each other
- Don’t overfill or weigh down boxes, as they may be too heavy to carry
- Label every box with a clear itinerary of what is inside. You can write on paper and tape it to the box or just write directly onto the box itself
- Mark boxes with delicate items as ‘fragile’.
When it comes to boxing up your stuff, always err on the side of caution. A box that’s overpacked will be heavy and harder to move. A box that’s slightly under-packed isn’t going to cause anyone bother.
Packing tip: Use fit-for-purpose boxes
Great packing starts with the type of box you use. Generally, purpose made storage and removal boxes are better as they have specific features like carry handles, are easy to stack, and built for durability and to hold specific weights. Boxes that are similarly sized also stack more efficiently, saving you money on storage space. Talk to Holloway about our fit for purpose storage boxes and how they can enhance your storage unit requirements.
4. Pack room by room
Where possible, it’s more efficient to pack items from the same room into the same box. This not only cuts down on time spent packing, but unpacking as well. You can mark each box with the name of the room on it, making items easier to find when you remove them from storage.
Packing tip: Pack glassware individually
Whether it’s delicate crystal vases or simple glass tumblers, every piece of glassware should be individually wrapped in paper or bubble wrap and placed in the storage box, never stacked, as stacked glassware has a high risk of breakage.
5. Door open or closed?
For white goods like fridges, freezers and washing machines, the door should be left slightly ajar during storage to prevent any build up of mould. A blanket can be used for a buffer. Whitegoods should also be thoroughly cleaned before storing to reduce odours. Basically, you should never leave anything that can rot or decay in storage. The doors on other items can be kept closed.
6. Polish your power tools
Clean your power tools before moving them into storage. Drain any fuel and wipe down the tools thoroughly. Disassemble where appropriate (e.g. remove drill bits from a power drill) and store them neatly with foam or bubble wrap.
Storage tip: Store in original boxes
Original boxes make great storage solutions for tools, electronic equipment and other stuff around the house. Include the manual in the box as well as any screws you might have removed to make reassembly easier.
7. Stocktake your items
Before moving your possessions into storage, create a thorough inventory of everything you will be storing. This inventory will act as your single source of truth and can be cross referenced once everything has been moved to storage. Items can be ticked off the inventory when they are removed from storage or added to the list as needed.
Packing tip: Save it to the cloud
Save your inventory electronically to the cloud using a service like Dropbox and Google Cloud. They way it won’t be lost and you can easily share it with family, friends and removalists if necessary.
8. Start with furniture
Larger items like couches, beds, fridges and washing machines should probably go in first. It’s easier to manoeuvre them into place in an empty shed, and you can use the hollow spaces around the furniture to store boxes and smaller items. The exception here is if you think you’ll need to access a particular item sooner than the rest, in which case you’ll want to store it near the front.
Packing tip: Store furniture using pallets
Storing furniture and whitegoods over time risks exposure to water from heavy rains seeping into the storage unit. You can protect against this by storing furniture on wooden pallets. Alternatively, laying tarps on the floor will also help prevent damage when moving items around in the storage unit.
9. Space is also vertical
Storage is more than just floorspace. Your storage unit has plenty of clearance going vertical, so plan to maximise your space upwards as well as across the floor. The best way to do this is by stacking heavy items on the bottom and lighter items going up.
There are exceptions to this of course. Fine china can be heavy, but doesn’t make the best foundation for other boxes, so consider the fragility of items as well as their overall weight.
Packing tip: Stacking lampshades
Because of their unique shape, floor and table lamps can take up a lot of space in storage. Removing the lampshades and stacking them on top of each other will help save space. The lamps themselves can be grouped together or packed into hollow area as a space saving measure.
10. Stack from the back
Utilise as much floor space as possible by starting right at the back of your storage unit. Place items you definitely won’t need until time comes to clear out the unit. Some storage masters create an aisle of space to allow better access to items stored at the rear. While this can be a good idea if you need to be going in and out of your storage until frequently, it’s often better to pack items you might want to access frequently near the front of the unit.
Packing tip: Put tall items near the wall
By placing taller items near the back and side walls you make it easier to see around the unit at a glance. It’s also simpler to bring smaller, lighter items in and out of the unit as required.
11. Use a trusted storage provider
Safety and security of your stored belongings is paramount. Though storage is temporary, you’ll want to rent space from a provider with a reputable brand and experience. That way, you can rest easy knowing your possessions are in safe hands.
12. Make the most of hollow space
Hollow space is wasted space. Take advantage of that extra space by moving boxes into the void. Some common items that have hollow space include:
- Wardrobes and dressers
- Stove and microwaves
- Drawers and desks
By placing boxes in these cavities, you maximise the available space in your storage unit. You can use small labels on the outside of the hollow space so you know what is contained in each drawer.
13. Avoid storing perishables
Clearly food is not something you want to keep in storage, but there are other items that should be kept out as well:
- Paints produce a smell and should be kept out
- Old tyres degrade over time
- Petrol for the lawnmower is flammable and should not be stored
- Rat poison and other toxic chemicals should also not be stored.
Anything that is flammable, produces an odour, is toxic or degrades over time should not be stored in your storage unit. Take them with you or dispose of them thoughtfully.
Contact Holloway for your storage needs
Congratulations, you’ve successfully packed and moved your stuff into storage. If you followed the tips above, things should’ve been smooth sailing. If you still need help, contact Holloway Removals & Storage. From affordable storage options near you, to equipment purchase and assistance with moving your stuff, the team at Holloway is ready to help.
Modular storage allows you to rent space specific to your needs and downsize (or upgrade) as needed. Storage isn’t a one size fits all solution, so avoid wasted space and talk to Holloway about our modular storage options and how they can save you money and make storing your personal effects and valuables safe and hassle free.