Here at Fife Group, we are in the know when it comes to self storage. That’s because we’ve been in the storage business a very long time and through time comes experience. We are often asked by our customers how to make the best possible use of their storage space. And it’s a good question, so in this article we are going to provide you with self storage tips: 10 tips to make the most of your self storage unit.

If you are shopping around for storage or have just rented your unit, then you want to make sure you use your self storage wisely, after all you are paying for it. The key is to fit all your belongings in safely and securely, whilst making the best possible use of the space available. You also want to make sure you can easily access your belongings when you need them.

If you are unsure of what size of storage unit you require, staff at your chosen storage provider should be able to tell you what size of unit is suitable for the amount of belongings you have. Likewise, if you think the unit you have is too big, speak to employees at your self storage location and tell them that you might be better off with a smaller more cost effective unit.

10 tips for making the most of your self storage unit

1. Plan your move ahead of time

This sounds like common sense, but you should always plan ahead when it comes to putting your items into storage. Shop around and find out what each supplier is offering before you make any decisions.

You might also want to determine what type of storage solution best fits your needs – individual units (that’s what we offer here at Fife Group), outdoor containers and vertically stacked wooden boxes are also options.

A word of caution, always check the terms and conditions with your elected self storage company. By that I mean, we personally don’t tie our customers into contracts, if they no longer require storage they stop paying for it.

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Put all your heavier items into smaller boxes, this will stop them moving about and prevent damage. And remember to mark the box as HEAVY. The last thing you want to do is put your back out lifting a heavy box.

You should also seal your boxes over to ensure they are safe and secure when it comes to moving them in transit.

3. Place lighter items in larger boxes

Use larger boxes to put lighter items in, such as clothing, bedding and cushions.You can fit more in these boxes and because you are filling them with lighter items, the boxes are less likely to fall apart.

Again, all your clothing and bedding should be sealed to ensure they are preserved, and don’t forget to mark the box!

4. Heavier boxes on the bottom

The best approach is to put heavier boxes on the bottom of your unit, they will support lighter boxes being stacked on top. It should also hopefully prevent damage or breakages.

5. Take your time to pack correctly

Make sure everything is stacked securely, so boxes don’t tumble over and fall when you close the unit door. If you have fragile items such as glass or china, you should bubble wrap them and mark this box as FRAGILE inside your unit. Ideally put these to one side and make sure heavier goods are not stacked on top of these boxes.

6. Do you need plastic or metal shelving?

You should be able to request plastic or metal shelving should you require this in your unit. You should ask for this in advance of booking your unit. Shelving is perfect if you have loads of old paperwork, important files or documents that you want to keep safe.

7.  Label your boxes

Yes I’ve mentioned this before, but sometimes people forgot what they have in their unit or what lurks underneath a box flap. Through time you can easily forgot what you have in your unit and you don’t want to be pulling boxes out all over the place to find something. Remember the saying finding a needle in a haystack, don’t let this happen in your storage facility.

8. Transporting your goods to and from your self unit

It makes sense to put heavier items on the bottom and put lighter boxes with clothes on top, put any fragile boxes on the floor in your car to make sure they are safe when transporting them from A to B.

If you are using a van follow the same approach, heavier items on the bottom and lighter boxes on top. Fragile goods should be put on the floor of your front seat to ensure they won’t get damaged by heavier boxes stored in the back.

9. Write down what you have in your unit before your forget

Surprisingly because self storage can often become a longer-term solution for many people, they often forgot what they have in their unit or find items that they thought they had thrown away. You should write a quick note to yourself or leave it in your unit to say what you have in there. It doesn’t have to be a full list, but roughly indicate what is where in your unit.

10. Try to leave an isle or walkway for ease of use

Access to your unit is key, so make sure you leave an isle or walkway, this will enable you to access the back of your unit if need be. Failure to leave an isle or walkway means access can be difficult and time consuming to get what you need.

I hope this helps you make the best use of your storage unit. If in doubt, you should always ask the staff at your storage provider to help you pack your unit or their best approach to packing your unit.

Happy storing!

Brian Munro
Operations Director
Fife Group