Taking the Hassle Out of Storage

Congratulations!  You’ve sold the house, moved out of your cramped office into bigger quarters, left the dorms for an apartment on your own, etc.  and you can’t wait to get started moving!  Or maybe you just need some extra space in the house, so you decide to pack up and store some extraneous possessions.  It might seem like a huge undertaking; renting a storage unit, packing things, transporting, and so on.  Here are a few tips to make it less of a war zone and more the proverbial walk in the park.             Depending on what you will be storing (clothes, valuables, electronics, furniture), you’ll need a different type of unit.

Drive-up units are the classic garage-type storage unit.  They have roll-up doors, which makes for easy loading and unloading.  Furniture or well-packed boxes or almost anything can be stored in these types of units.  Many are climate controlled for better satisfaction and less damage.

Indoor units are part of a main building, often with multiple floors.   While unit quality can vary between a little more protected than a drive-up to climate-controlled and very secure, the indoor units have additional features like being well-lit, well-maintained and a good place to store more valuable items.

Make sure you know how often the owner raises the rent on their units, unless they have a fixed rate.  If you don’t settle this with them beforehand, you might find the prices getting raised too often for comfort!

A general rule of thumb when moving is to count the number of rooms, including closets, etc.  in the house and multiply it by 150.  That final number will give you the square footage of space you’ll need to store the contents of  all those rooms.  Obviously, if you’re only looking to store some extra things, or if you have a business and want to have a place to stash seasonal merchandise, this isn’t the formula you’re looking for and you may have to just eyeball it.

Most units, if well-packed, can fit a surprising amount of stuff.   Before you start stacking up the boxes, though, make sure you put pallets down first. Keeping things 4 to 6 inches off the floor helps keep water or mold from damaging the boxes.

Wrapping boxes in heavy grade plastic or even just a garbage bag will help to deter bugs and other undesirables from invading.  If you’re storing clothing, using good plastic tubs with airtight lids will also keep out mice and/or moths, etc.

Label all your boxes, too.  Nothing is worse than trying to find “that one box” amid an entire unit of others, having to open each one and look through it…  Another trick is to group boxes packed with like items in specific areas of your unit.