Storage Room Move-In: Essentials

what do you bring when moving into a storage room

What to Bring When Moving into a Storage Room

When moving into a storage room, there are a few things you'll need to bring with you. Firstly, make sure you have a valid, government-issued photo ID such as a driver's license, passport, state ID, or military ID. If you've made a reservation or rented the space online, bring your reservation confirmation email as well. You'll also need to provide proof of insurance coverage for your belongings, and if you're supplying your own lock, bring that along too. It's important to choose a reliable storage company and to read up on their specific rules and regulations before moving in. Some common items that are usually not allowed in storage units include perishable food, hazardous materials, weapons, ammunition, and unregistered or uninsured vehicles.

Characteristics Values
Items to bring Large household appliances
Collectibles and artwork pieces
Seasonal items
Books
Furniture
Important documents
Insurance
Appropriate lock
Packing and moving supplies
Reservation confirmation email
Valid government-issued photo ID
Proof of insurance coverage
Own lock

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What to pack your items in

When packing your items for a storage unit, it is important to consider the materials you are using to pack them in. Here are some tips on what to pack your items in when moving them into a storage unit:

Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes are a popular option for packing items for storage. They are inexpensive and can often be obtained for free. However, it is important to ensure that you are using sturdy cardboard boxes that can withstand the weight of the items packed inside. It is also a good idea to label the boxes with a permanent marker or printed labels, indicating the contents of the box. This will make it easier to locate specific items when you need to retrieve them from storage.

Plastic Bins

Plastic bins are another option for packing items for storage. They are more durable than cardboard boxes and can provide better protection for your belongings. Plastic bins are also easier to stack, which can help maximize space in your storage unit. However, they can be more expensive than cardboard boxes. When using plastic bins, it is still important to label the contents of each bin for easy identification.

Bubble Wrap and Packing Paper

Bubble wrap and packing paper are essential for wrapping fragile items such as dishes, glassware, and electronics. Bubble wrap provides cushioning and protects items from breaking during transport and while in storage. Packing paper can be used to wrap individual items or to fill in gaps in boxes or bins to prevent shifting and reduce the risk of breakage.

Furniture Covers and Blankets

When storing furniture, it is important to protect it from dust, moisture, and pests. Furniture covers and blankets can be used to drape over furniture to keep them clean and in good condition during storage. Avoid using plastic to cover furniture, as it can trap moisture and lead to mildew and mould.

Mattress Bags

If you are storing a mattress, it is recommended to use a plastic mattress bag to protect it from dirt, moisture, and pests. A mattress bag will also help keep your mattress clean and in good condition during transport and storage.

Original Packaging

Whenever possible, it is ideal to store items in their original packaging. This is especially true for electronics, as the original packaging is designed to protect the item during transport and storage. The original packaging also makes it easier to identify the contents and ensures that you have all the necessary cables and accessories.

Climate-Controlled Storage

If you are storing items that are sensitive to temperature and humidity fluctuations, consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit. This is especially important for items such as electronics, musical instruments, antiques, and collectibles. Climate-controlled storage units help protect your belongings from extreme temperatures, humidity, and other environmental factors that could cause damage.

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How to transport your items

When it comes to transporting your items to a storage unit, there are several options available to you. The best option for you will depend on factors such as your budget, the distance of the move, the weight and volume of your items, and how much time and energy you have available. Here are some of the most common options for transporting your items:

  • Full-service movers: Full-service movers will handle everything for you, from disassembling and packing your items to transporting and unloading them at the storage unit. While this is the most convenient option, it is also the most expensive. If you don't want the full service, you can also hire labour-only movers to help with the heavy lifting.
  • Rental truck, cargo van or trailer: For small to medium-sized moves, you may want to consider renting a truck, van or trailer. This option gives you more flexibility and control over the moving process but will require more time and effort on your part.
  • Moving containers: Moving containers are ideal for small moves and can fit about a room's worth of belongings. They are also a good option for urban environments where space is limited. Some companies offer multiple-size containers, and certain containers can double as storage units.
  • Your own car: If you are only moving a small number of items, using your own car may be the cheapest and most flexible option. This is a good choice for college dorm room moves or other small-scale relocations.
  • Shipping services: For long-distance moves, you may want to consider shipping your items to your new location. Shipping services can handle the transport of specialty or fragile items, as well as boxes and other miscellaneous items.

When choosing a transportation option, it is important to consider the condition of your belongings, your timeline, the distance of the move, your storage needs, your time and energy constraints, and your budget. If you have fragile or valuable items, for example, hiring professional movers or using a shipping service may be the best option to ensure their safety. If you are on a tight budget, using your own car or renting a truck may be more cost-effective.

Additionally, keep in mind that some storage companies offer free truck rentals or other transportation incentives at select locations. Be sure to inquire about any available options when booking your storage unit.

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What to do before packing your items

Before you start packing your items for a storage unit, there are several steps you should take to ensure your belongings are kept safe and organised. Here are some essential things to do before packing your items:

Research storage restrictions

First, it is important to be aware of any restrictions on what can and cannot be stored in your unit. The storage facility should provide a list of restricted items, but if they don't, be sure to ask for a list of rules and regulations. Some common examples of prohibited items include dangerous goods such as gasoline, fertilisers, paint, chemicals, fireworks, explosives, narcotics, and propane tanks. Perishable food, medicine, and plants are also typically not allowed.

Decide what to put in storage

Consider whether you really need to store each item. The more you store, the larger and more expensive the storage unit will need to be. If something is not sentimental, valuable, or useful, consider donating or selling it instead.

Clean your belongings

It is important to thoroughly clean all items before placing them in storage. This is especially important for upholstered items, as they can bring in bugs, mould, and other unwanted substances. Clean all surfaces with a disinfectant spray, vacuum cushions, and wipe down appliances. For clothing, wash and remove any stains. For wood furniture, wipe down and wax. Clean leather furniture with a specialised cleaner or gentle soap.

Create an inventory

Before packing, create a comprehensive inventory of all the items you plan to store. This will help you keep track of everything and prevent chaos when unpacking. Include photos of serial numbers, model numbers, brand logos, and a brief description of each item, including any pre-existing damage. For expensive items, note their relative monetary value in case of theft.

Clean the storage unit

Before packing your unit, ensure it is clean and free of damage. Examine the walls, roof, and floor for any cracks, sharp edges, or leaks. Sweep the floor and, if necessary, scrub the walls and floor with soap or disinfectant. If the unit is not climate-controlled, consider laying a tarp or wooden pallets on the ground to protect your belongings from pests and moisture.

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How to organise your storage room

Step 1: Prepare the storage room

Before you start moving your belongings into the storage room, make sure it is clean and free of damage. Check the walls and roof for cracks, sharp edges, and leaks, and give the floor a sweep. If you want to be extra cautious, scrub the walls and floor with soap or disinfectant. If the storage room is outdoors, you may want to lay a tarp or wooden pallets on the ground to protect your items from weather damage and pests.

Step 2: Clean and inventory your belongings

Make sure everything you put into the storage room is clean. Wash and dry-clean clothes, vacuum pillows and upholstery, and disinfect boxes. For furniture, you may want to use a leather cleaner or gentle soap, or a cloth with soap or disinfectant.

Take an inventory of your belongings. Make a list of what you are putting into the storage room, including photos of serial numbers, model numbers, and brand logos, a brief description of each item (including any pre-existing damage), and their relative monetary value. This will help you keep track of your items and could be useful for insurance purposes.

Step 3: Disassemble and pack your items

Disassemble any larger pieces of furniture to save space. Wrap certain furniture items, such as headboards, table legs, and mirrors, in protective covering. For smaller items, use sturdy cardboard boxes or clear plastic bins, and pack them with bubble wrap, plastic wrap, packing paper, and packing tape. Make sure mirrors, TVs, and artwork are packed in appropriate boxes.

Step 4: Label your boxes

Number each box and write a corresponding list of its contents. For example, "Box 1: 10 everyday dishes; Box 2: A dozen wine glasses; Box 3: Wedding photo albums; Box 4: Books". Keep this inventory list in an easy-to-access location.

Step 5: Place your items strategically

When placing items inside the storage room, be thoughtful about how you position them. Mirrors and artwork should be placed upright, not lying flat. Boxes with fragile items should be placed higher up, so they aren't crushed by heavier items. If there's room, lay your mattress flat on top of boxes, so its condition isn't damaged. Place items you need more frequently towards the front of the room, and put items you won't need to access at the back.

Step 6: Maximise space

To maximise space in your storage room, start at the bottom and stack up. Put the heaviest boxes on the bottom layer and work your way up, putting the lightest items at the top. Leave an aisle to walk through and keep necessary items accessible. You can also install shelving or use furniture to maximise space. Take furniture such as dresser drawers apart, and pack smaller boxes and fragile items inside them.

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What not to put in your storage room

When renting a storage unit, it's important to be aware of the restrictions on what items you can put in it. Public storage restrictions are in place to ensure the safety of your belongings, other people's belongings, and the entire storage facility. Here is a list of things that you should never put into a storage unit:

  • Food or perishable items: Food left for a prolonged period can attract insects or rodents and start rotting, providing favourable conditions for bacteria and mould to grow.
  • Live or dead creatures: It is against storage terms and the law to leave live animals in storage units. Plants are also not allowed, as they need sunlight and water to grow.
  • Combustible or flammable substances: Gas, paint, petrol, oil, cleaning solvents, and compressed gases pose a risk to stored items and the facility.
  • Firearms, explosives, weapons, or ammunition: These items are subject to strict storage requirements and are required to be stored securely and inaccessible to uncertified individuals.
  • Hazardous substances: Chemicals, radioactive materials, biological agents, toxic waste, propane tanks, and asbestos are prohibited due to the risks they pose.
  • Items emitting fumes or odours: Avoid storing items with strong smells or dampness, as they can attract pests and lead to mould growth.
  • Currency, deeds, and securities: While storage units are secure, items of high value are better kept in a bank's safe deposit box for enhanced security.
  • Unregistered or uninsured vehicles: Most storage companies allow vehicle storage, but they must be properly registered and insured.
  • Stolen or illegal items: Self-storage facilities are well-monitored, and employees will report any suspicious activity to the authorities.
  • Priceless or irreplaceable items: While antiques and valuables can be stored, truly irreplaceable items should be kept nearby to minimise the risk of loss or damage.
  • Scented items: Strong scents can attract insects or rodents, even if the items are not edible.
  • Wet or damp items: Moisture creates the perfect conditions for mould and mildew to grow, putting your stored items at risk of damage.
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Frequently asked questions

You will need a valid, government-issued form of ID, such as a driver's license, passport, state ID, or military ID. If you are supplying your own lock and insurance coverage, bring those too.

It's important to prepare your items for storage. Clean and dry all items, disassemble furniture, and pack everything carefully. Label boxes and create an inventory list.

Do not store perishable food items, hazardous materials, stolen or illegal goods, weapons, living things, priceless items, unregistered vehicles, tires, and cash.

You can store antiques, collectibles, seasonal items, furniture, appliances, books, and artwork.

Choose a reliable storage company with good reviews. Start your search early and take an inventory of what you plan to store to determine the size of the unit you need.

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