When you’re packing your items for self-storage, it’s easy to get things wrong. But a little care and planning can help you avoid mistakes and make your life much easier in future. Here we’ll look at some of the most common self storage mistakes – and how to avoid them.
If you’re in a rush, it’s tempting to throw your possessions into the nearest box and have done with it. But that’s one of the biggest self storage mistakes you can make. You’d be surprised how much damage even relatively robust items can sustain during loading, unloading and handling, especially if they’re left to rattle around together. Dust, humidity and temperature fluctuations can all affect the condition of your possessions, too – especially sensitive items like books and papers, textiles, ceramics and wood.
To avoid preventable harm, wrap each of your items individually and insulate it with a protective material like bubble wrap. Make sure you don’t overload your boxes or crowd items together, and take specialist advice if you’re packing delicate pieces like musical instruments or antique furniture.
Not Keeping inventory
Keeping an inventory of your items will be helpful in more ways than one. You’ll have a record of everything you’ve got in storage, and importantly, knowing the value of your possessions is the only way to ensure you buy adequate insurance cover.
We recommend photographing each item as you go, paying special attention to any existing marks, damage or delicate points. This is also important for insurance purposes, as it will allow you clearly to identify any damage that might occur in transit.
Not labelling your boxes is one of self storage mistakes
This is one of the most common self storage mistakes. Either people don’t label their boxes at all, or they scrawl KITCHEN or BEDROOM on one side of the box in marker. But clear, complete labelling is an invaluable tool, allowing you to see at a glance exactly what’s in each box and where it should go.
Visibility and durability are key when it comes to labelling for self storage. Either invest in a label maker, or write clearly on white stickers with black permanent pen. Note the contents of each and every box in as much detail as you can, and place labels on the top and (at least) one side. This will make it easy to get an overview of all your possessions, and also minimise handling – which, in turn, minimises the chance of accidental damage. Proper labelling for self-storage actually heads off a few potentially costly mistakes, so it’s worth putting in the effort.
Being careless in transit
When it comes to keeping your belongings safe in transit, your biggest enemies are movement, vibration and impact. Even if you’re under pressure, it really pays to take your time packing your stuff into the van and unloading it carefully at the other end.
Make sure to put heavier items at the bottom and stack them towards the back, with lighter pieces to the front and on top. If there’s room for your boxes to shift around, do what the professionals do and secure them using ratchet straps. Once you get to the storage facility, use the trolleys provided to take your items to your unit. Again, stack heavier boxes at the bottom, and plan to make multiple trips rather than risk overloading.
Not leaving access space when stacking your unit
When choosing a self-storage unit, it can be tempting to take the smallest size possible and try to stack it to the brim. That’s one of the biggest self storage mistakes! It’s important to factor in access space, especially if you may need to retrieve items before the end of your storage period. (You’ll want to store those items towards the front of your unit, to save yourself time.)
It can be hard to visualise how much room you’ll need. Our online storage calculator is a great place to start. Once you’ve got an idea of the size of unit you might need, it’s always worth calling up and talking it through with a member of the storage team.
If you’re looking for flexible, affordable self storage in Somerset, Clear Space can help. Our friendly team will support and advise you at every stage, helping you avoid those pesky self storage mistakes. Get in touch today for your free, no-obligation quote.