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Self-storage is a simple concept, but if you are using self-storage for the first time, there are still plenty of tips and hints that can make your self-storage experience as smooth and efficient as possible.

To help you, our storage experts have created a comprehensive list of tips to help you get the most out of your self storage unit and ensure your belongings are kept in perfect condition.

1.    Choose the Right Size Unit

The first step is always to make sure you select the perfect-sized unit. A unit that is too small or “borderline small” will inevitably lead to cramming too much into the unit. There are various problems with this, including:

  • Cramming goods into a unit will inevitably end up with damaged belongings.
  • Reduced airflow can lead to dampness, mould, and mildew, as well as creating conditions ideal for pest infestations.
  • Boxes and belongings that are stacked too high can be dangerous.
  • Retrieving belongings can be troublesome.

Equally, while it is tempting to rent a larger unit “just in case”, this will lead to unnecessary costs. To help you choose a perfect size unit, we have created self-storage size guides for home and business users.

2.    Don’t Skimp on Packing Materials

Once you have selected your unit, it is time to prepare your belongings for storage. This is where the importance of using high-quality packing materials comes into play.

While it might be tempting to save money by using second-hand boxes or newspapers for packing, investing in high-quality packing materials can make a significant difference in the protection of your belongings. Here’s why:

  • Durability: High-quality packing materials are designed to withstand the rigours of moving and storage. They can help protect your items from damage caused by shifting, falling, or external pressure.
  • Protection: Specialty packing materials, like bubble wrap or foam peanuts, provide a cushion for your items, reducing the risk of breakage. They are particularly important for fragile items like glassware, electronics, or antiques.
  • Climate Resistance: Quality packing materials can help protect your items from environmental factors. For example, plastic bins can prevent damage from humidity, while furniture covers can keep dust and pests at bay.

The importance of high-quality packing materials cannot be overstated; this is the first line of defence between your belongings and the environment.

3.    Pack Smart

A little care and attention spent packing your belongings can ensure a happy self-storage experience. Here are some expert tips to help you achieve this:

  • Label Everything: Clearly label all boxes on all sides for easy identification.
  • Heaviest on Bottom: Place heavier boxes at the bottom to prevent damage.
  • Fill Gaps: Use packing paper or bubble wrap to fill empty spaces in boxes.
  • Dismantle Furniture: Take apart furniture to save space and prevent damage.
  • Use Covers: Cover mattresses and sofas for protection.
  • Leave Aisles: Arrange boxes to leave aisles for easy access.
  • Fragile Items Last: Pack fragile items last so they’re on top.
  • Uniform Box Sizes: Use packing boxes of the same size where possible for easy stacking and organisation.

By spending a little time organising your packing properly, you better protect your belongings and have easier access to your goods.

4.    Don’t Forget the Insurance

Even with the best packing and storage practices, unforeseen events can occur. U Store It recommends that all customers have insurance for their stored items to protect against potential losses or damages.

Here are some points to consider for insurance purposes.

  • Protection Against Unforeseen Events: Insurance can cover loss or damage caused by incidents such as fire, lightning, explosion, storm, and flood, among others.
  • Assess Your Needs: Different customers have different needs. Depending on the value and nature of the items you’re storing, you may want to consider specialised insurance options.
  • Coverage for Your Property’s Worth: It’s recommended to have an insurance policy that covers the full value of your property.

Remember, securing insurance for your stored items provides peace of mind and financial protection.

5.    Regularly Check Your Stored Belongings

While properly packed and stored belongings should be safe enough, it is always good practice to keep an eye on things. This allows you to spot issues early (like dampness or pests) and take remedial action.

Some of the things to look out for during an inspection include:

  • Signs of Moisture: Check for any signs of dampness or water damage, which could lead to mould or mildew.
  • Disorder or Damage: Ensure that your items are still well-organised and undamaged and that boxes or furniture haven’t shifted or fallen.

Regular checks can go a long way to ensuring your stored items are preserved in perfect condition.

U Store It: Making Self-Storage Easy

At U Store It, we are here to help you get the most from your storage unit. All our facilities are clean, dry, and secure, with easy access and everything else you need to get the most from your storage unit.

Contact us today to find out more about our storage solutions and how we can tailor them to meet your specific needs. Whether you’re storing personal belongings, business inventory, or seasonal items, we’re committed to providing you with a storage experience that’s as easy and hassle-free as possible.