How to Pack a Storage Unit Like a Pro

At SecurCare, we see a lot of first-time movers at one of our many storage facilities. When they use one of our clean, secure, self-storage locations, they become first-time storage unit packers. If that’s you, and you’re searching for real-world tips about packing (aka loading) a storage unit, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together a collection of the very best advice to help you. Read on to pack a storage unit like a pro and ensure your cherished items stay in perfect condition!

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Tip: If you’re Storing Long-Term, Load your Storage Unit in Tiers

If you’re storing your things “long-term” (see explanation below), you should prepare to load your storage unit in tiers. A tier is like a thick wall made out of furniture and boxes. Tiers are typically the width of a medium-sized refrigerator and extend from one side of the storage unit to the other. (Most people start along the back wall.) Tiers can go as high as a foot from the ceiling of your storage unit if necessary. You place large, heavy things on the bottom of a tier and go lighter as you build upward. 

For example, a perfect tier base would be two large dressers, a fridge, and two wardrobe boxes. On top of those, make a level of large, heavy-ish boxes and smaller furniture. Go from one side of the unit to the other and keep things level from side to side. Then, start again above that level with a smaller, lighter level of boxes and furniture like kitchen chairs, etc. (Think of it like making a massive jigsaw puzzle.) Keep adding levels until your tier extends up to the ceiling (almost). When it does, start a new tier in front of the first tier. Keep making tiers until you get to the front of your storage unit and, hopefully, the end of your things.

A Fact-Filled Note About Long-Term Storage

Long-term storage technically means anything over 30 days. However, the average person puts things in storage for quite a bit longer, about 14 months. Also, 17% of storage unit renters rent their units for less than 3 months. Lastly, another 4% rent their storage unit for 10 years or more.

Tip: If Possible, Make an Aisle in the Center of Your Storage Unit

Planning to take things in and out of your storage unit regularly? Maybe you’re going to organize a collection or keep overstock for your business. Whatever you’re storing, if you need to access your things regularly, make an aisle for easier movement. That means leaving a space in the storage unit between your things. That way, you can easily get things from the front or back. Many storage unit renters purchase shelf units and make several aisles. Others leave enough space for a small table and chair so they can work, organize and enjoy their things. The point is, that having an aisle makes getting to things much easier. 

how to pack a storage unit

Tip: To Make Packing your Storage unit Easier, Pack your Things in Boxes

Here at SecurCare, we see folks frustrated because their storage units are so messy. One reason is that, rather than boxes; they packed a lot of stuff in large plastic bags. Now, sure, large plastic bags are cheaper than boxes, but there’s one problem; large plastic backs filled with stuff don’t stack. They flop around, get squished, or, worst of all, split open. (Trust us, it’s the worst.)

Packing things in boxes, especially linens, towels, books, toys, clothes, and shoes, will make packing your storage unit infinitely easier. Boxes stack quickly with ease and can handle the weight with squooshing. Plus, the time and energy you’ll save can be significant.

Tip: Try Not to Stack Things too High

Once you rent a storage unit, you can pack it as full as you like, (As long as you can close the door, you’re good to go.) However, we recommend not stacking things to the ceiling in your storage unit. The problem is that, if stacked improperly or unevenly, a stack of things can fall over. If someone happens to be standing there when it does, they could get seriously injured. We recommend stacking your furniture and boxes no higher than 7 feet to prevent accidents and stay safe.

how to pack a storage unit

Tip: If you Have a Lot of Hanging Clothes, Invest in Wardrobe Boxes

Wardrobe boxes can be a lifesaver when storing hanging clothes. Made with double-corrugated cardboard, wardrobe boxes are super-strong and tall enough to hang dresses and long coats. There’s a metal bar to hang your clothes across the top, and the front folds down to make hanging easy. Believe us; wardrobe boxes will be a blessing if you have several closets’ worth of clothes. They’re also tough and great for a tier’s base when packing your storage unit. Plus, since they’re so tall, you can pack lots of long things inside them. Umbrellas, golf clubs, a small ironing board, baseball bats, curtain rods, you name it! Best of all, wardrobe boxes make moving hanging clothes easy and fast and protect your clothes perfectly.

Tip: If you Plan to Use Something While Stored, Don’t Pack it in the Back

One common mistake when packing a storage unit is to pack something you need all the way in the back. Of course, you don’t realize your mistake until you come back to retrieve the item. The problem? Moving all your stuff out of the storage unit and then back again so you can get what you need. Remember, you can go in and out of your storage unit as often as you like. If you store things in it that you’ll access occasionally (or every day), no problem. Just don’t pack them in the back, or you’ll waste a lot of time moving things around.

These Tips on How to Pack a Storage Unit are Brought to you by SecurCare Self Storage

Packing a storage unit isn’t rocket surgery, but it can be challenging. We hope the tips and advice we’ve given today will be helpful when you pack yours. At SecurCare, we make it even easier by providing storage units that are clean and safe. We offer both outdoor drive-up storage units and indoor storage units. Roll-up garage doors make our storage units easy to open and close. Plus, all our self-storage locations have 24/7 video security and on-site managers

If you have questions about renting a storage unit, please visit the SecurCare main webpage. You’ll find information about self-storage, our storage locations, and phone numbers for each. If you have more questions about packing your storage unit, just ask! The on-site manager at your local SecurCare location will be glad to answer all of them!

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