How To :Pack Like a Pro

Packing is part art and a science. Doing it properly and with some careful thought will ensure that your stacks of boxes will not fall over and possibly hurt you or damage your other things.

Tips for Packing Boxes:

1. Stay organized: Before putting your things in a box, make a list and assign each item to its respective box. Make labels for each box and attach these labels to all sides of the box as well as the top of the box.

When making your list, also write down the estimated replacement value for each, particularly if you want to ensure your things. If there are breakables, place “fragile” stickers on the box.

2. Use no more than two sizes of boxes: This way, stacking the boxes will be easier and more organized. Boxes should be sturdy enough that the bottom box can withstand the weight of all the other boxes being stacked on top of it.

3. Keep your items safe: As often as possible, put your items in boxes to prevent them from getting dusty.

4. Try not to waste space: Fill up the entire box but not all with heavy materials. You need to fill up a box completely to avoid its tendency to collapse or tip over. However, you should avoid filling it up with heavy items so that it won’t be hard for you to carry.  When packing, fill the box with the heavy items first and then fill it to capacity with lighter items.

5. Avoid using plastic bags: Putting items in sealed plastic bags may seem like a good idea but it can actually invite mildew.

6. Pack books smart: When packing books, use smaller book boxes rather than putting them all in one large box. Store the books flat in the boxes rather than standing on end so that their spines will not be damaged.

7. Avoid a watery mess: Freezers and refrigerators should be stored with the door slightly open. Electrical appliances should be completely dry–defrost freezers and refrigerators, drain washing machines completely.

8. Pad your breakables: Pack breakables in bubble wrap or packing paper. Wrap mirrors and picture frames with bubble wrap.

9. Use wardrobe boxes: When packing clothes we recommend that you make use of clothes or wardrobe boxes where you can. Hang the clothes inside to ensure that they retain their shape.

10. Make use of old towels or sheets: When wrapping your things, use cloth and not plastic.

11. Store tools and equipment safely: When preparing metal tools and equipment for storage, you should drain these of fuel completely. A rub down with some oil will also help to prevent rust from forming.

12. Seal boxes with packing tape: Sealing your boxes will help ward off dust.

Tips for Organizing Your Self Storage Unit:

1. Plan ahead. Make a general plan of how you will place the boxes and furniture inside your storage unit before you get started.

2. Pallet the ground: Before putting the boxes in, arrange raised pallets according to your plan. This will prevent rats, silverfish and ants from making their home underneath your boxes. Be sure to also thoroughly clean the storage area.

3. Avoid mildew: Avoid putting in wet items as these may invite mildew, mold and other types of water damage.

4. Use shelves for storage: If there are shelves available, make use of them! Store smaller items or things you would like to keep handy.

5. Store smart: Store mirrors and frames standing on end, never flat.

6. Maintain accessibility: Stack boxes in such as way that each box can be easily accessed. Don’t store stacks and stacks of boxes together. Make an aisle that will allow you to access a box without having to move anything out of the way.

7. Keep important things front and center: Place the boxes with the things that you’ll most frequently need at the front part of a storage unit.

8. Dismantle furniture to save space: For instance, to store a table, you can remove the legs. Just be sure that all bolts and screws are kept in a labeled container and that you actually know how to put the piece of furniture back again.

9. Save space: Create more space in your storage box by using the hollow areas of big furniture. For instance, you can put in a box or two inside a wardrobe. The same goes for refrigerators, washing machines or stoves.

10. Avoid nasty situations: Place moisture absorbers, mothballs and rat bait in key areas.

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How To

How to: Store Books

How to: Store Documents

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How To: Store a Wedding Dress

A wedding dress is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase…well, most of the time, haha, but when the big day or days are over, it’s essential to know how to take care and store a wedding dress in storage properly.
Keeping in the same condition as you had it on that day takes time. Here are a few hints to help you store it with care-

storing a wedding dress
  • Get your dress professionally dry cleaned before you plan on storing it. Taking the time to dry clean your dress will remove any odor that might linger over the years. When adequately done, it will also take care of any food stains from the wedding dinner!
  • When it is finally time to store a wedding dress you need to find a quality storage facility. This is key for the longevity of your dress. It is vital to store it in a climate-controlled storage unit. When you store it in a facility like that you greatly reduce the humidy and alsos the heat during the summer months. If you are storing your dress in winter, the store is heated, similiar to your home or place of work. Remember, humidity and heat are the enemies.
  • Find a quality dress bag to store it in. This bag needs to be breathable and not your standard trash bag! They even sell specific wedding dress boxes. BTW, they do not sell these at Home Depot!
  • If you plan on storing it in a quality box, make sure to use acid-free tissue paper between the layers of the dress to prevent any yellowing.
  • If you do these steps while storing your dress in self storage, you will be able to enjoy it for years to come, and who knows, you might be able to pass it on to future generations!

Check out a few other of our ideas

How To: Store Documents

How to: Store Books


How To: Pack your truck

Moving truck and moving boxes outdoors. Flat removal concept. Vector delivery car illustration.

If you’re moving and you’ve decided for one reason or another to pack your truck, understanding how to maximize space in your truck is a must. You want to make as few trips as possible. If you’re local, you can handle multiple loads; but, if this is a long-distance move, you have only one chance to get it right.

The first thing you need to do is choose the correct size moving truck. You want to save yourself as much hassle as possible, and having the right truck will go a long way in making your move easier

Following are some tips to help you make the most of your moving truck space while keeping your move safe and convenient.

Assemble Your Packing Supplies

By now you have everything packed securely into high-quality cardboard boxes and plastic crates. The furniture and large items are just sitting there waiting to be loaded onto the truck. Don’t forget the other supplies– the moving blankets and padding to fill the gaps between large items and boxes to protect your belongings if there is any shifting during the drive. Moving straps are another important item – we’ll talk more about them later. Just make sure that you have enough of these items to meet your needs. 

Break Down Tables and Bed Frames

Furniture takes up the most space on your truck. You can save room by disassembling tables and bed frames. Start by taking the legs off of the tables so that you can store them, along with the legs, in an upright position. Then, go for the bed frames and headboards as well as any desks and dressers that can be broken down. For large pieces that you can’t take apart, try storing moving boxes and other items inside drawers or on top of these furnishings. 

Roll Up Rugs

Area rugs should be rolled and secured with string or plastic ties, and then they can be wrapped in paper or plastic wrap or secured in large plastic bags made for this purpose. By doing this, you’ll prevent the extra strain on the rug’s backing, which could later cause stretching or cracking. Rugs should be placed upright on the truck.

Time to Load the Truck

Distribute Weight Evenly

This is probably the most important factor in packing your truck. Even distribution of weight will make the truck easier to drive, load and unload without boxes and furniture shifting and falling over or damaging other items. To be sure the weight is evenly distributed, heavier items should be located towards the front (near the cab) and along the walls. Medium items should be placed on heavier items, and the lightest items should be on the top. Everything should be secured with moving straps.

Load the Largest and Heaviest Items First

Start with the largest, heaviest items. Load mattresses, bed frames, tables, chairs, large appliances, couches, sectionals, coffee tables and occasional tables. To save space, place couches, headboards, rugs, and tables in an upright position. Locate large appliances like washers, dryers and refrigerators toward the front of the truck, near the cab. Be sure to use extra padding and moving blankets around these items to prevent damage. 

Load the Lightest Items Last

As soon as you finish with the cumbersome, heavy items, load up the medium to lightweight items: small furniture, boxes, pictures, mirrors, and TVs. It’s best to keep valuables and jewelry with you in the truck cab or in your car; but if you’re loading them into the truck, clearly label them and place them in an easy-to-reach spot along with moving day essentials and your overnight bag.

Use Moving Straps

As you pack the truck, secure everything with moving straps to prevent shifting. Strap down one section at a time, staring with the heavier items that you load first, then the medium-weight items, and so on. Don’t forget to strap the moving boxes.

These tips are common sense, but we all need a little help during a move. Moving day is always chaotic, and guidelines and structure will smooth the bumps and get you to your destination with little or no damage to you or your possessions.

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How To: Store Books

How To: Store Documents

How to: Store Books

I need to confess, at times, my house looks like a used book store. I try as hard as I can, but I cannot seem to get rid of the many books I have read and plan to read over the years! 

When it comes time to store your books, you want to make sure that they look the same when you put them in as when you take them out. So you can read and love them for many years to come, and perhaps hand them onto another generation to love and care for too.

So, how do you store books safely?

Placing your books in Self Storage

Like books, not all storage centers are created equal. So make sure you choose one that is cool, dry, safe, clean, and in an environment that’s safe away from all the nasty sunlight, leaky pipes, and evil mice.

Handle Your Books With Care

Handle your books as if they are a newborn child.

Okay, maybe you don’t have to cradle them, but try not to drop them. If you want to keep your beloved books in the best condition, then handle them with care. Depending on the quality or type of books, you may choose to pack them in smaller boxes or place them on bookshelves in your storage unit! 

While packing your books, keep this in mind, it is okay to make a few more trips. You don’t need to pack everything in one box. Let you book breath a little. 

Be aware of humidity. 

Just like Goldilocks, your books are going to want it not too hot, but not too cold.

To keep it just right, avoid heat sources like air vents and radiators, as dry heat like this can crack the spines by melting the glue that holds the book together. Also, avoid water and any potential water sources that could leak, like old pipes. If you are storing your books on the ground, make sure to place them on a pallet first. Now the books will be elevated in case of a flood or leak.

I don’t think we have to explain how a leak can damage your books, but even condensation from water sources can cause mold to grow.

Keep it clean

Find a storage unit that is clean and dust-free. This will be a unit that is inside. No matter how good they are, outside storage units will eventually allow air and dust inside if you plan on storing for a period that could mean a dustbowl in your unit. 

Check out our other “How to” series

-How To: Store Documents

How to: Document Storage

Paper, paper, paper, from TPS reports to Karens who require carbon copies. Paper is still alive and well in the age of technology. There is only so much office space with so much paper going around. Often businesses turn to self storage operations to help alleviate their need for space. Here are a few helpful hints for document storage.

1-Recycle what’s not needed
Before storing your documents, recycle the items that you don’t need. There is no reason to store unnecessary or duplicate records, no matter what Karen says.
By eliminating what you are storing, you can cut down on the storage unit you need. Rather than having a large 10×10 storage, you can now fit all your documents in a small unit like a 5×10. So play it smart!

2-Buy quality containers.
First, the people who will be moving the documents to the storage unit will love you forever. Second, a quality container will enable them to store them all uniformly. We recommend an excellent banker’s box

3-Label and date.
There is nothing worse in personal or document storage than looking at a wall of boxes and not knowing what is inside. Take the time to plan out how you will store your documents. It is not the wild west. Carefully think and organize how you will do it. People will praise your name for years to come.
After you have devised your master plan, make sure you label each box extremely carefully and clearly. Take time to do this with a sharpie marker or another method that won’t fall off over time.
There’s nothing more demoralizing than staring at 20 blank boxes and having no idea what documents are where.
To avoid a complete unpack, draw up a plan for what documents are going in what box. As you pack each box, write an inventory and attach it to the side.
Try and keep the same labeling system going across all your boxes so other people can understand it too.

4-Create order
When you are finally ready to store your boxes, it might be tempting to toss them in and call it a day! Don’t let all your hard work be for nothing.
Find the documents you are most likely to need and move them to an area that is easily accessible. The least likely box goes to the rear of the stack.
Like any move, little things seem to go a lot smoother when you plan! Good luck with your move, and let us know how to help!

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