• People carrying boxes with a plant in the background

    Self-storage is a great way to free up some space and securely store things that you don’t use anymore. However, it’s important that you know how to manage your storage and make the most of it. In this guide, we’re going to look at mistakes you need to avoid and self-storage tips to bear in mind. 


    1. Picking the Wrong Size Unit

    One of the most important things to remember, when hiring self-storage, is to pick the right unit size. There is a wide array of different sizes of storage unit available. For example, at ANVSJ, we have personal storage units that can hold the contents of a 1-bedroom flat all the way up to ones that can hold the contents of a 5-bedroom house! 

    Picking a storage unit that’s too small will mean that you won’t be able to fit everything you need in it. This is especially frustrating as a lot of the time people don’t realise this until they’ve already started filling their unit. Alternatively, without due research, you could hire a unit that’s too big for your needs, and you’ll end up with storage going to waste and a higher bill.

    Our number one self-storage tip for this is to think carefully about how much storage you’re going to need. It’s better to err on the side of caution and get a slightly larger unit than you need, but ideally, you should try to find one that perfectly fits your items. If you’ve already boxed up your items, you can break out the tape measure and get an idea of how much space all of them take up, which can help considerably.


    2. Not Packing Properly

    Proper packing practice is vital to keeping items safe in storage. For example, you need to take care to pack large and heavy items separately from lighter items, and mark them so that you can safely store them below lighter or more fragile boxes. It’s also worth bearing in mind that plastic boxes are far more hard wearing than cardboard boxes, and more resistant to leaks or other unforeseen issues that could arise. Ensure that they seal well and these should protect your goods without any issues. 

    When it comes to fragile things, you should wrap them in bubble wrap or use packing peanuts or similar materials to keep them safe. Clearly mark the boxes as fragile so that you won’t forget which boxes need to be handled with extra care. When it comes to items that you can disassemble, you should always do so to save space.


    Best practices for packing, extend beyond packing up at home, though. For example, at the storage facility a handy self-storage tip you can use, is to place your boxes on pallets to raise them off the floor. This will help to keep pests off your belongings while also reducing the likelihood of water damage caused by a wet floor.


    3. Planning With Precision

    A blank notebook with a pen above it, a succulent is in the corner of the image.

    Before you start moving your packed up stuff to your self-storage unit, you should draw up a plan. This is perhaps the most important self-storage tip of all – without a plan, you’ll be left floundering in the dark, trying to store items without a concrete idea of what you want the end result to look like. 

    When drawing up a plan, you should start by making an inventory of everything that you’ve packed. This will help to ensure that you know where things are and what you’ve packed up, without having to dig through a load of different boxes. In addition to this, you should also consider marking your boxes with permanent marker so that you can tell what is in each box at a glance. 

    Finally, you should consider which items you’re more likely to need quick access to. These should be stored closer to the front of your storage unit, while ones that you’re less likely to need can go to the back.


    4. Not Taking up an Insurance Offer

    One of the most important storage units tips and tricks that often gets overlooked, isn’t anything to do with packing your goods, or issues you can completely avoid. Instead, it’s about covering your belongings when they’re not under your roof. The owners of the storage facility aren’t liable for damage to your belongings, apart from under very stringent circumstances. 

    While it’s unlikely that your belongings will be damaged while in storage, having contents insurance means that you won’t have to fork out too much, should that happen. Ensuring insurance covers your belongings in storage will give you peace of mind.


    5. Not Checking for Dampness Before You Pack

    Damp can cause real issues when it comes to storage. If you pack damp items away in a box and store them with the rest of your belongings, you’ll likely end up with mould growing on your stored items and on boxes, which can cause permanent damage. 

    Before you pack anything away, always check that it’s dry. If it’s even slightly damp, thoroughly dry it with a towel before packing it away. 


    6. Storing Perishables

    When you’re storing a wide variety of belongings and items from across the length and breadth of your home, you may come across bulky perishables. These could be large bags of grains such as rice or flour, or a wide range of other goods. 

    Storing these in a storage unit might seem like an easy way to save space, but it’s a horrible idea. Leaving food or other perishables in a storage unit will likely lead to insect or vermin infestations, which is not only unhygienic, but could also cause severe damage to your belongings, as well as potentially resulting in a loss of your deposit and cleaning fees.


    7. Not Thoroughly Researching a Storage Company

    A man doing research with a laptop, looking at papers.

    Before you commit to a storage company, it’s important to do your research. Without adequate research, you will never know whether or not the company is the right one for you.

    For instance, do they have a number of locations? Are the facilities secured? What types of storage are available and for what types of customers? You should be able to find the answers to all of these questions on the company’s website. It’s also well worth checking online reviews for the company in question, on Google, Trustpilot, and any other review sites that you trust. 

    If you’re going to entrust your belongings to a facility, you need to make sure that it’s run by a company that you can trust.


    Now You Can Be Confident With Your Storage

    We hope that you’ve found this collection of self-storage tips helpful. Many of the mistakes can be avoided by buying well-made storage containers and planning your packing. You should also bear in mind that perishables and damp items should never be packed away in a storage unit, to avoid uncleanliness, vermin and damage to your belongings 

    If you have any questions about hiring a personal storage unit, we’re here to help. You can contact us by phone at 01709 701155 or by email at info@anvsj.co.uk.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are some storage tips and practices?

    When it comes to self-storage, you should always pick the right size of unit, plan well, label your boxes, and remember not to store anything heavy on top of fragile objects.

    What is the best way to store things in storage?

    Start from the bottom, then work your way up. You want to ensure that you start with heavier things on the bottom, then progressively add lighter and lighter boxes.

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