For many projects, preparation is 90% of the work. The same rule applies when you are moving items into a self storage facility. By taking extra care up front, you’ll save yourself a lot of headache during the move and any time you need to pull something out of storage in the future. Here are a few tips to help you get organized.

Where to Start

First, determine what items will need to be stored. That will help you figure out what size storage unit you will need. Take measurements of large items, and estimate the number and size of boxes.

What You’ll Need

Start gathering packing supplies. Often you can find these items around your house or office, or you can purchase them.

  • Small, Medium, Large Boxes –You can usually find boxes for free in your office mailroom, the grocery store dumpster or on Craigslist.
  • Pallets – You can usually find perfectly good ones at your grocery store. Ask the store manager if he needs to get rid of any.
  • Tape Guns – If everyone can have their own tape gun, the packing will go by so much faster. See if you can borrow a few from the office.
  • Bubble Wrap, Styrofoam Peanuts, Air Pillows – Start saving these stuffing items from packages that you receive, or check your office mailroom for any reusable bubble wrap.
  • Newspaper – Again, start saving your Sunday papers a few weeks ahead of the move.
  • Blankets and Padding – Use old blankets you have around the house or get them on the cheap from your local thrift store.

How to Organize

  1. Make sure to label all boxes with their contents. Be sure to mark boxes that contain fragile items.
  2. Keep like boxes together.
  3. Stack heavier items at the bottom of the pile, with lighter and fragile items at the top.
  4. Keep an inventory list of all the items you have in the storage unit and create a diagram of where the items are located within the storage unit.

Check out more self storage preparation and planning tips and share any of your own here.