Let’s face it: packing, moving, and storing your belongings are all daunting tasks that can be challenging and overwhelming when unprepared. When moving into a new home, reducing clutter in your business, or preparing for a life transition, Arizona Self Storage is here to help make your move a smooth one. Here are some tips for packing and storing your items and storage unit to help save you time, money, and frustration.
Determine How Much Space You Need
To get started, you’ll first want to evaluate your belongings and determine how much storage space you need. You can do this easily by using our helpful storage unit size guide and space estimator, designed to give you a better idea of which storage unit size is best for you. Our professional managers are also ready to guide you through the process and help you find the right unit for your needs.
Decide What Type of Storage You’ll Need
At Arizona Self Storage, we offer spacious standard storage units as well as affordable air-cooled storage units in a variety of sizes. Our air-conditioned units are air-cooled throughout the year to protect your heat-sensitive belongings from the extremely hot Arizona weather. We recommend renting an air-cooled storage unit when storing:
- Wooden furniture
- Important documents
- Musical instruments
- And other temperature-sensitive items
Prepare Your Belongings for Storage
Before you start packing up boxes, it’s important that your belongings are properly cleaned and prepared for storage. To help save you time and money, Arizona Self Storage has moving and packing supplies such as boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and more available for purchase at our facilities. Explore the drop-down menu below for tips on how to prepare specific items for storage:
Place covers on mattresses to keep them clean while moving and being stored. Disassemble bed frames and mark the pieces so that they are easy to put back together, and mark which pieces belong to the master bedroom, the guest bedroom, and so on.
Lash bed rails together with shrink wrap. Don’t use tape as it may leave a residue or damage the finish when you try to remove it. Place the nuts, bolts and screws in a small zip lock bag to keep them together, and label appropriately.
Spray your wooden furniture with a high-quality furniture spray before storing it in your unit to give it some added protection against scratches, accumulated dust, and other damage. Wrap these items with moving blankets to protect from dings and scratches during the moving process. Wrap upholstered furniture with a protective wrap or use a dust cover to minimize dust, staining, and damage.
Unplug and tape the electric cord to the back of the refrigerator or freezer. Disconnect the ice maker from the water line and drain in advance. Failure to defrost the freezer could result in water damage to your other stored property as leaking occurs.
Thoroughly clean and dry all interior surfaces to prevent mold and mildew buildup. Shelves should be either secured in place or detached and wrapped. Secure the appliance doors during the move, but keep them propped open slightly before leaving them in storage to avoid a moisture build-up that leads to mold. Cover with a drop cloth to prevent the appliance from getting dusty.
All washing machine hoses should be disconnected and drained. If you elect to place hoses in the tub or drum, be sure to wrap the metal couplings with cloth or paper to avoid damage to the tub’s surface, which could result from bouncing or vibration next time the appliance is used. The electric cord should be unplugged and taped to the back.
The washer drum should be secured (see the instruction manual for specifics). Gas dryers need special care to avoid damaging the flexible gas line. Be sure to turn off the gas supply before disconnecting the flex line from the dryer!
Remove furniture legs if possible and wrap in bubble wrap. Place the screws and hardware from the table in a plastic bag and attach it to the leg or the bottom of the tabletop with stretch wrap or tape (if securing to an unfinished surface). If a table has extra leaves wrap them in padding and bundle them together with stretch wrap.
Labeling and Inventory
Label boxes with essential items you need to easily access during storage and immediately after the move. Label the boxes in order of unpacking priority. For example, Kitchen #1 would indicate that the box is designated for the kitchen and needs to be unpacked first. The less essential items would be in a box labeled kitchen #2, #3, and so on.
Keep a list with box numbers, a general description of their contents, and indicate the room from which it came or which it will go to in your new home. Use different colored dot stickers for each room to help with placement.
In order to protect your belongings over time and maximize the space in your storage unit, it is essential to pack them safely and efficiently. Check out the drop-down menu below for tips on how to pack the following items:
Pack books flat to avoid damaging their spines. Use only small “book boxes” to pack books. Don’t place too many books into one box, otherwise, they will be extremely heavy.
All fragile or delicate items should be wrapped individually in paper, bubble wrap, or foam wrap for added protection and to avoid rubbing or bouncing off of other items. Paper works just fine for this, but bubble wrap is a good investment. Mark the box with the word “fragile”.
Most damage to dishes is due to improper packing. It’s best to use dish packs with foam sleeves designed specifically to protect the dish during transit and storage. Bubble wrap or clean newsprint can also be used. Never allow a glass item to touch another glass item when moving or storing them.
Separate lamp bases and lampshades and wrap them for protection. Remove shade, bulb, and harp assembly. Wrap the bulb in bubble wrap. The lampshade should be alone in a box that is as close in size to the shade as possible. Do not add other items to the box to prevent damage to the shade.
For the best protection, framed pictures and mirrors can be stored in specially made cardboard boxes. If you aren’t boxing them, be sure to wrap each in a protective covering such as bubble wrap and stack them on their ends. Mirrors and pictures should never be stored flat.
Find The Perfect Storage Unit with Arizona Self Storage
Now that you’ve learned how to effectively pack your belongings for self storage, explore our list of handy storage tips for help packing your storage unit as efficiently and safely as possible! And when you’re ready, find an Arizona Self Storage location near you to rent or reserve your unit online, over the phone, or in-person. We can’t wait to see you here!