Storage Suggestions


What not to store Preparing for storage Moving in Car, boat & RV storage

What not to store

Never store any of the following in your storage unit:

  • flammable or combustible items including gas, diesel, oil, kerosene, explosives
  • machinery or rags with fuel or oil in or on them
  • hazardous materials such as pesticides, herbicides, biohazards
  • food, especially cereal, crackers, sugar, sweets, pet food
  • illegal items such as drugs or stolen goods
  • pets or any other living thing
  • valuables such as jewelry and furs (these are best kept in a safe deposit box)

Preparing for storage

When packing boxes:

  • Use uniformly sized boxes so they will stack more easily and conserve space.
  • Put books and other heavy items in smaller boxes for easier lifting.
  • Books should be packed flat to prevent warping, whereas vinyl records should be packed upright.
  • Wrap dishes and glassware in paper or bubble wrap before boxing, or use special boxes called dishpacks. Label these boxes "fragile."
  • Pack larger fragile items, such as lamps, individually wrapped in blankets or towels. Label these boxes "fragile."
  • Lamp shades should be packed separately from lamp bases. Use towels or bubble wrap to cushion lampshades, since newspaper can stain them.
  • Use bedding, towels, etc. to fill in space in corners and tops of boxes so packed items will not shift during the move.
  • Seal boxes with tape to prevent spilling and to protect from dust.
  • Label every box!

Special items:

  • Clothing should be clean and packed in plastic bags or dry-cleaner bags before boxing for storage. Wardrobe boxes can be used for clothes to be stored on hangers. Valuable quilts and draperies should be handled similarly.
  • Pillows, sofa cushions, and large stuffed animals should be packed in large plastic bags to protect from moisture and dust.
  • Leather should be treated with a leather conditioner prior to storing.
  • Treat metal items such as tools and bicycles with rust protector.
  • Photos are delicate, often irreplacable, and do not take up much space, so keep them with you if at all possible. If you must store photos, choose a climate-controlled unit, and place photos between pieces of cardboard and tape the cardboard together to prevent curling.
  • Mirrors and framed pictures can be wrapped in towels or bubble wrap and stored inside flattened boxes to protect from scratches and breakage.

Furniture and large items:

  • Remove legs from tables, if possible, to conserve space. Keep the hardware in a bag taped to the underside of the table.
  • Short legs or other protrusions on dressers etc. should be wrapped in towels or bubble wrap to prevent scratching walls or other furniture during the move.
  • Furniture drawers can be used to store small, light items. Fill empty spaces with towels or newspaper to prevent shifting.
  • Secure drawers and doors of furniture to keep them from opening during the move.
  • Place blankets over furniture to protect from scratches and dust.
  • Mattresses should be stored in plastic mattress covers to protect from dust and moisture.
  • Appliances should be cleaned and dried, and stored upright with doors propped ajar to allow for ventilation.
  • Shovels, rakes and other large lawn implements can be stored together in a large trash can.

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Moving in

  • Store heavy items on the bottom and light or fragile items on the top.
  • Store items you will not need to access at the rear of the unit, and items you will need in the front.
  • Leave a small space between stored items and the walls of the unit, to provide ventilation. In climate controlled units, be sure not to block the air vents.
  • Store boxes with the labels facing out so you can see them.
  • If possible, leave a small aisle through the middle of the unit so that you can walk in and have easier access to more of your items.
  • In units that open directly to the outside, you may want to put down pallets or flattened boxes on the floor before you move your items in, to protect from moisture.
  • Be sure to lock the door to your unit!

Car, boat & RV storage

Note that all of our vehicle storage is outside.

  • Be sure all windows are closed.
  • To protect cars from the weather, cover with a car cover or tarp, and fasten cover down so it won't blow off.
  • Boats should be covered and/or left with drains opened so that the boats will not fill with stagnant water.
  • Trailers should be secured with a hitch lock (available in our office).
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