5 common mistakes to avoid when using a storage unit

Renting a storage unit is a great way to declutter your home or garage, keep your belongings safe during a move or to house your holiday decor. With so many different and easy ways to take advantage of the many benefits afforded by using a storage unit, there’s always a reason for renting one.

However, if you’re not careful and strategic, you might make some errors that could hinder you from maximizing the space. Be sure to avoid these five common mistakes that might pop up when you’re using a storage unit:

1. Not making a plan

Having a plan in place before you start using the storage unit is always a smart move. Simply shoving items into the space will not allow for an optimal arrangement. Before bringing anything to a storage facility, take a look at the unit to get an estimate of how much space you’ll have to work with. Just seeing the square footage numbers on a page can sometimes be hard to properly visualize without seeing it.

Once you have an idea of the amount of space in the unit, you can have a better sense of how to fit in your stuff more effectively. Be sure to move in larger items first and keep them toward the back (unless you’ll be needing these items sooner). Packing loose items into boxes and totes makes it easier to stack in more objects in a smaller space and keeps the space organized. 

In addition to the plan, as you move in items, keep a detailed inventory or draw a quick map identifying what objects are located where in the storage unit. This makes it easy to slip in and grab exactly what you need, instead of having to dig through or unpack everything. 

2. Failing to label

Even the most efficiently arranged storage unit can still leave you confused when you try to find something if none of the boxes or totes are properly labeled. This trick is especially useful if you’re hiring a moving company to transport your belongings to and from the storage unit. These movers will have no idea what’s in the boxes, and a label identifying its contents can ensure they take proper care of fragile items, like dishes or glasses.

Plus, if you’re going to be coming and going frequently to grab things, having everything listed on the outside of any boxes can speed up the retrieval process. 

Not labeling boxes can create confusion when they're placed in a storage unit.Not labeling boxes can create confusion when they’re placed in a storage unit.

3. Wrapping things in newspaper

While it might seem like a good idea to wrap fragile items like dishes, cups or vases in newspaper before putting them in a box or tote, the ink from the newspaper can seep off the pages and bleed all over your stuff. This can tarnish or damage the items, potentially leaving them permanently ruined. Instead, consider using bubble wrap or butcher’s paper to wrap up your fragile belongings.

4. Packing in food

Although many people might be tempted to keep food in their storage unit, this isn’t a good idea. Not only is this against the rules, but it can attract pests like bugs or mice. Worse, food gets moldy and spoiled and can end up rotting.

5. Not getting enough storage space

Much like your eyes can be bigger than your stomach, so too can they be bigger than your storage unit. After trying to fit in as much stuff as possible, you might find too late that you simply don’t have an extra square inch available for any more items. Without the proper preparation in place, you might find there’s no more available units left to rent either. 

Contact SecurCare Self Storage to learn more about the low rates for our storage units.