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Packing & Storage Tips

Keeping your things organized and stored properly is important during a big move. Check out some of our favorite packing tips for moving and self-storage tips.

How to Choose a Storage Unit

Which Storage Unit Size?

Choosing the right size storage unit can be overwhelming, but a little thought beforehand can help with the decision. Too large of a storage unit wastes money and too small of a storage unit can be quite inconvenient. To help you choose a storage unit size right for your needs, try the following:
  • List out the items you plan to store, including furniture, appliances, sports equipment, clothing, décor, and electronics.
  • Estimate the size and number of boxes you’ll be storing.
  • With this information you’ve just listed, refer to our storage unit size guide to help you visualize and understand what will fit in a storage unit.

Finding the Best Location

The best storage facility is the one that’s convenient to where you plan to be when you use it. It also has the amenities you need. If you plan to use storage as an extension of your home, then look for a location that is close to your home for ease of getting to and from it when you want. If it is for your business, then it is best to choose a location near your place of business. Cleanliness, well-maintained facilities, and features such as 24-hour video recordings, electronically gated access, extended access hours are important to consider, depending on your needs. If you’ll be loading and unloading carloads of items, a location with drive-up units may be ideal for you.  

Access Hours and Availability

We know your time is valuable and it’s not always easy to fit a visit to your storage unit into a 9 to 5 schedule. At CubeSmart, you get extended access hours to visit your storage unit when it’s convenient for you. Our access hours are typically 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily. Speak with the facility’s manager during office hours, which are typically Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. with typical weekend availability Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. There’s no need to wait for office hours when you use the CubeSmart Mobile App. With the app in hand, you’ll always be able to manage your account anytime and anywhere.

Securing Your Unit

When choosing a lock for your storage unit, you’ll want to be sure you have a lock that is the industry standard for securing your storage unit. While you can use your own lock, CubeSmart sells locks that are resistant to bolt cutters and lock picking in your facility’s office. These locks help to deter thefts. Do not share the key with anyone to help limit access to your storage unit.

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Moving into Your Storage Unit

Preparing to Move

Taking time to prepare for your move into your storage unit will save time and space, not to mention reduce some of the stress that comes with storing your items. Here are few helpful tips:
  • Break down large items such as bed frames, tables, and large furniture before moving them into your storage unit. Keep all parts (screws and smaller items) together by putting them in a small container or bag and attaching them to their disassembled furniture counterparts.
  • Before electronics are disassembled, take a picture to help properly set them up later.
  • Protect furniture chair legs by wrapping them with protective bubble wrap, furniture covers, or pads to prevent scratching.
  • Use larger boxes for lighter items like blankets, pillows, and towels.
  • Use smaller boxes to store heavier items like books, kitchenware, and tools.
  • Pack dishes vertically and fill in empty spaces with partitions to prevent cracking or breaking.
  • Cushion fragile or breakable items before placing them in a box. Newspaper may bleed ink onto your items. Use packing paper or bubble wrap to wrap your items.
  • Seal boxes with packing tape to prevent dust from entering.
  • Label boxes on all sides for easy identification. Include where you’d unpack that box in your home, or something that’s important inside so you can easily grab it later.
  • Bend with your knees! Avoid straining your back by following proper lifting techniques.

Protecting Your Items

While providing padding for stored items is important, there’s more to protecting your belongings than surrounding them with a protective layer. Here are some tips to help you prevent damage to your stored belongings:
  • Do not store anything flammable (such as paint or other chemicals).
  • Do not store or anything perishable.
  • Do not store any hazardous or combustible materials.
  • Drain any fluids prior to storing snow blowers, lawnmowers, and other equipment.
  • Ensure you have a strong lock for your storage unit door.
  • Place items on a pallet to raise them off the floor.
  • Place moisture absorbers such as packets of silica gel or DampRid around the storage unit to help control moisture and humidity.

How to Pack Your Storage Unit

Packing Your Unit

Poor storage unit organization leads to the most headaches with storage. People tend to drop things in haphazardly with no attention to reachability or the need to add items later. Here a just a few tips to help you arrange your storage unit:
  • Place frequently accessed items toward the front of your self-storage unit. Less frequently needed items should be placed toward the rear of your unit.
  • Organize your storage unit starting with larger items in the back and to the sides and work forward.
  • Place fragile boxes on top of heavier, less delicate boxes. Be sure not to over pack boxes as they can become heavy and dangerous.
  • Store like items together
  • In large and medium units, make a walkway so you don’t have to remove everything to access the back.

Maximizing Your Space

Maximizing your storage unit space is a lot like playing Tetris. Put your skills to use in real life with these tips to get the most storage space out of your unit:
  • Use the height of the unit by stacking boxes, especially in smaller units. BUT, don’t stack so high you create an unstable tower.
  • Store items in and under furniture pieces like bookcases or tables to use dead space.
  • If possible: hang bikes, store couches upright on one arm.
  • Use valuable space inside drawers and larger appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, and even night tables to store small items like towels, linens, toys, etc.

With a little planning, the right supplies, and the storing and packing tips we’ve provided, your move-in day will be smoother and less stressful. Remember you can always speak with your facility’s manager for help and guidance for your storage needs.