Storage Tips for First-Time Renters

A couple walk through a storage facility pushing a cart of boxes, ready to be packed into their unit

It can be a bit nerve-racking, renting a self-storage unit for the first time. You’ll probably find yourself uncertain of a lot of things: how to select a storage unit that’s right for you, what items not to store, and whether or not you need air-cooled storage, among other factors.

All of these are valid concerns — and fortunately, they have easy answers. Arizona Self Storage is no stranger to this business, and we’ve come up with an intuitive short list for catching you up to speed on all things storage.

Here are some of our favorite storage and packing tips, so you can feel confident in how to pack a storage unit and make the decision best for your needs.

How to Select a Storage Unit

Let’s start by talking about storage unit types. Depending on what you need to store, the type of storage you want to have is subject to change based on a few different variables.


Your storage unit needs are highly dependent on how much space you expect your belongings will take up. Each facility will offer different size options, but usually your choices will span between a 3×3 locker, all the way up to a 10×30 massive storage space. If you’re just looking to relocate some items after spring cleaning, you’re likely not going to need as much space as if you were renovating your house and need to store large furniture. It’s up to you to decide how much space you’ll need (and don’t forget, you can stack certain items, like boxes and shelves, to make use of vertical space).

Vehicle Storage

A row of RVs, trailers, and vehicles are parked in a self storage facility

Now, maybe you aren’t on the market to store things from within your home, but a vehicle, instead. Most facilities with vehicle storage allow you to securely store cars, trucks, trailers, RV’s, and boats of all sizes.

At this point, your decision lies in what kind of vehicle storage you want. Arizona Self Storage offers the following:

  • Uncovered: Uncovered vehicle storage consists of traditional outdoor parking spots that can range anywhere from 25’ to 40’ long. This gives you plenty of room to comfortably park your vehicle or trailer, freeing up valuable room at home.
  • Covered: Covered vehicle parking provides your RV, boat, or automobile with protection from the elements with a roofing structure, shielding it from baking directly underneath the intense Arizona sun.
  • Partially enclosed: Yet even more protective is the partially enclosed option, which defends your car from harsh weather on most sides.
  • Fully enclosed: The most protective storage option for your recreational vehicle, many of our properties have very large storage units that give you private accommodations for indoor boat and vehicle storage.

Arizona Self Storage is proud to offer a unique indoor RV storage barn at our Sahuarita location, giving you an air-cooled space to store your RV indoors with all the amenities you could need, including trickle charging and an onsite dump station. Our Litchfield Park location also has a full offering of new RV amenities for you to take advantage of, including wash bays with vacuums, filling stations for air, fresh water, and propane, a dumping station, and trickle charging capabilities.

Air-Cooled Storage

When you live in a state like Arizona where the harsh sun is beating down on you year-round, it can have an impact on items left in a standard self storage unit. If you have items that are sensitive to long-term exposure to warm conditions, such as vinyl records, upholstered furniture, and electronics, an air-cooled storage unit is your best bet when it comes to beating the heat.

Air-cooled storage units function exactly like how it sounds: cool air is filtered in through an air conditioner in order to maintain the temperature inside of the unit. If you are looking to spare your belongings from the cracking, warping, and chipping brought about by the extreme heat of Arizona, these units are your best bet — save yourself the stress and the costs of replacing your damaged property with an air-cooled storage unit at Arizona Self Storage.

What Items Not to Store

Though every storage company operates on their own rules/policies, there are some common wisdom items that most of them don’t accept.

  • Food
  • Money
  • Weapons/ammunition/flammable materials such as propane
  • Plants/animals
  • Drugs or other illegal/stolen products
  • Furs
  • Unregistered vehicles

Storage tip: if you ever want to know what a specific facility will or will not accept, you are advised to call them directly.

How to Pack a Storage Unit

Items designated for storage are stacked up on top of each other in boxes, with labels such as "books" inscribed upon them

There are few critical packing tips to be aware of your first time packing a storage unit.

  1. If stacking boxes or similar items, put the heavier belongings with wider bases on the bottom for a stable foundation.
  2. Put the big items in first. It’s easier to maneuver small items around larger ones than to attempt to do the opposite.
  3. If you expect to grab a certain belonging often or soon, make sure it’s near the front of the entrance so you can access it quickly.
  4. Try not to leave sensitive belongings on the ground. Instruments, artwork, collectibles, etc. should all be in containers or on shelves.

You can explore our full list of storage and packing tips for more ideas on how to successfully move into your storage unit. If you need any moving or packing supplies, those are often available for purchase at the storage facility as well.

Arizona Self Storage: Solve All of Your Storage Needs

Hopefully we at Arizona Self Storage managed to address most of the questions and concerns surrounding your first renting experience!

If you are moving to the state of Arizona, or you’re an existing resident who has found themselves in need of more space, Arizona Self Storage operates several locations in Glendale, Oro Valley, Gilbert, and beyond. Find the facility closest to you, and let’s start you down the road towards a great first rental experience!

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