There are a number of reasons someone would need to rent a self storage unit. Whether you’re moving and can’t take everything with you, you’re trying to declutter your home and get things out of the way, or you’re looking for a place to store seasonal items, a self storage unit is the perfect solution. When you move your things into a self storage unit, you’ll want to keep them safe and protected until you need them. However, there are a number of mistakes that people make when storing items that do the opposite. In fact, contrary to what you might think, when things are damaged in self storage units, it’s almost always the result of the owner—or the person who packed and moved your things. This should be a huge wake up call! You might think that storing items is simple, but here are 12 common mistakes people make when storing items and how to fix them. Follow this list to avoid unnecessary damage to your items and keep them looking good for years to come.
- Packing Carelessly
Most people hate packing and therefore don’t put a lot of thought into. But careless packing is one of the best ways to ensure your things get ruined. Don’t just throw things wherever they fit. Take the time to pack your items with care and order. Use packing paper, bubble wrap, and other protective materials to make sure things aren’t broken. You should also pack like things with like—either by room or type.
- Using Newspaper
Replacing packing paper with an old newspaper is a great way to reduce your up-front costs, but could lead to unfortunate endings. However, there’s one major issue we need to address: newspaper ink. Newspaper ink isn’t permanently bound to the paper and with time, transit, and weathering, the ink will bleed. If you find yourself with ink-covered belongings, it’s going to be close to impossible to remove. Avoid the newspaper and spring for packing paper instead. Make sure you recycle it when you’re done or save it to use again!
- Not Labeling Boxes
When you’re in the process of packing things for your self storage unit, you focus on putting things away, not taking things out. However, that time will come, especially if you’re using your self storage unit for seasonal storage or overflow. Rather than having to open every single box to find what you’re looking for when the time comes, you need to label your boxes. Not labeling is a huge mistake and will leave you hitting your forehead in frustration at all of the wasted time and energy.
- Leaving Space in Boxes
Leaving space in boxes should be avoided at all costs. Not only does it waste usable room, it will increase the likelihood that your boxes collapse in storage. Filling all boxes up to the top increases stability. Pack each box with care—fill the bottom with heavier items and the top with light ones. This helps make for an even weight distribution and maximized efficiency.
- Putting Weighted Items on Top
When you head to your storage unit, you need to remember a very necessary rule: stack heavier items first then put lighter items on top. Doing the opposite will lead to damaged boxes, personal items, and a potential recipe for disaster. You need a structural weight distribution in order to keep things from falling down and collapsing.
- Storing Perishable Items
If you have a small kitchen and an affinity for cooking, create more space in your kitchen by storing appliances, not perishable food. Even though it sounds disgusting, people still do it. Never, ever, keep perishable food in your self storage unit. Believe us, it’s a huge mistake that will draw pests, mold, rodents, rot, and more.
- Not Planning for Efficiency
We talk about this a lot, but that’s only because it’s so important. Failing to make a plan is a huge mistake! Taking the time to plan for efficiency will help the transition go quickly and easily while creating a space that’s accessible. You’ll need to plan what you want to store, how often (if at all) you’ll need to access items, and understand how you’re going to get things there. Making a plan helps keep things stress free and efficient.
- Failing to Map Out the Layout
While you’re making your plan, make sure to take the time to map out your self storage unit’s layout. Decide what will go where and how to include access pathways. Creating an aisle in a self storage unit seems weird, but makes future retrievals much easier than having to take everything out for a box in the back later on. Creating a layout will also help you get the most out of your storage unit and make for an organized moving day.
- Storing Items on the Floor
When you finally get to your self storage unit, make sure you have some pallets with you. Line the floor with pallets except for where you’re creating an aisle. Then, store boxes and larger items on top of the pallets rather than directly on the floor. Storing things on the floor is a mistake that could ruin your items. Raising boxes off of the floor creates an airflow so moisture can’t get trapped and damage your things. Pallets are an easy, affordable solution to make sure that your things are taken care of.
- Not Knowing What You Need
If it’s your first time using a self storage facility, you’re going to need some supplies. Starting the process without knowing exactly what you need is a mistake that will cost you time, energy, and money. Instead, understand your needs, anticipate your modes of transportation, and move in with ease. Take a quick inventory of everything you’ll be moving into your self storage unit and then do some research about truck rentals. If you have a lot of things going into storage and live far from your facility, it’s worth it to rent a truck. At The Lock Up, moving trucks can be used for free if you sign up for a new self storage unit lease.
- Selecting the Wrong Size Self Storage Unit
A huge mistake when storing your items is renting the wrong size self storage unit. If you get something too small, you’re going to need to start limiting your storage or get rid of things you wanted to keep. If your unit is too big, you’re going to be paying for excess space you don’t need. Instead of just hoping for the best, do some research, visit different facilities, and have an idea of what you’re going to be storing. This will ensure you find something that’s the perfect fit for your needs.
- Only Focusing on Price
Similarly, when you only focus on price and ignore features, you’re making a mistake. Self storage units are priced based on size and features, and when you only focus on monetary numbers rather than what a lease includes, you’ll be in for a big surprise. More often than not, cheaper self storage units are cheap for a reason—they’re either small, poorly accessible, not secure, or don’t have climate control. Maybe you don’t need all of these features, but having them rules out the possibility of needing to replace items due to damage or theft. Look at customer service, ownership, leasing options, on-site management, and overall flexibility to find the best self storage unit for your needs. Instead of risking it, opt for a fully featured self storage facility, like the ones at The Lock Up Self Storage.
Regardless of what type and size of self storage unit that you need, or how long you need it for, The Lock Up Self Storage is here to help. All of our units are climate controlled, secure, and aimed to fit your needs and budget. We have a variety of different sizes and will work with you to ensure you find exactly what you need. Plus, when you start a new lease with us, you’ll be able to use a moving truck, free of charge, and have access to supplies to help you move. Coded access gates, perimeter alarms, and 24/7 video monitoring protect all of the units at The Lock Up Self Storage, so you can have a strong peace of mind. No matter what your storage solution needs are, you’ll find them at The Lock Up. Visit us at www.thelockup.com or give us a call today to browse our available storage units.