Most people don’t stop to think about how important efficient packing can be, but the truth is it is essential, whether you’re putting a couple things in the basement, sending furniture or boxes to be stored, decluttering, or moving. The keys to good packing are being careful and planning things out. A few simple precautions and organizational tips can help you avoid damaging your things and make them easier to locate some other time. You don’t want to have to paw through several unlabeled boxes just to find your ski outfit next winter.
The following San Clemente storage and packing tips will help you save time and money, as well as make your storage experience easier. The up-front effort of properly packing and organizing your stored items will be well worth it when you are able to maximize the storage space and effortlessly retrieve your items.
30 Storage and Packing Tips from San Clemente Self Storage
- Create a master list of the stored items and leave the list in the storage unit to remind you where you put your items.
- Before putting items in boxes, group them by category.
- Use sturdy high-quality boxes, and not plastic bags. Boxes stack better and will last longer. Closed plastic bags can trap moisture which could induce harmful mildew. You might be tempted to obtain free used boxes from supermarkets and liquor stores; however, these boxes usually have mismatched sizes and shapes that will ultimately hinder your goal to organize your storage unit effectively. Please see the section of this website about "Used Boxes: The Perils" for a more in-depth explanation. Also, you might consider purchasing clear plastic boxes instead of cardboard boxes so that you can see what is inside each box.
- Choosing the right box is important. If possible, use boxes of a uniform size for easier stacking. Also, look for boxes appropriate to what you are packing: heavy duty crates for books, boxes with cell kits for silverware or trinkets, etc. You may find it helpful to store clothes in wardrobe boxes, which have a rod for hanging clothes. San Clemente Self Storage offers a wide variety of boxes and moving supplies for purchase. Buying boxes at the storage facility is a great convenience!
- When storing in boxes, bear in mind to pack them tightly to prevent the sides or top from collapsing. Be careful, though, not to fill the boxes too full and cause them to break or burst. Also, make sure the boxes do not get too heavy. It is best to put heavy items in small boxes and light items in larger boxes.
- Use bubble wrap for wrapping breakables. Old newspaper will certainly work, but bubble wrap is a better option because it gives better protection. Bubble wrap is also cleaner and makes identifying contents in your boxes less complicated. Also, make sure you purchase an ample amount of tape. Most folks under-estimate the amount of tape and other moving supplies that they will use.
- Avoid damage to the spines of books by stacking them, not standing them on end.
- When packing your dishes, cover each dish individually and place those of the same size with each other. Stack plates on end and place cups (separately covered) inside one another.
- Avoid shattering or cracking mirrors and glass-covered art by crisscrossing the face with masking tape. Keep them wrapped in bubble wrap and use plastic corners to preserve them further. Remember to stand up anything in a frame to avoid breakage. You may want to consider using a mirror box, which can be purchased at San Clemente Self Storage, as another way to help keep mirrors and glass-covered art safe.
- Avoid bringing along dirt and germs by cleaning blankets, clothing, curtains, or upholstery before moving or storing.
- Polish wood and condition leather goods before packing to protect them while in storage.
- Put a little engine oil on metal to avoid rust and corrosion.
- If items come apart—bed frames, tables, lampshades and lamps—disassemble them before storing to avoid breaking and to move them more easily. Remember to remove furniture and table legs. Store table tops face to face.
- Do not store any hazardous, flammable or combustible items such as paint, chemicals, propane or ammunition. Perishable food, plants, and anything illegal can also not be stored in your storage unit.
- Drain fluids from motorized gardening tools and mowers. Place these items over a drip pan or protective surface just in case there is a leak.
- Use trash cans to store gardening tools and sporting goods.
- Use protective covers as much as possible such as plastic mattress covers, blankets or tarps, and plastic wrap.
- Before moving items into the storage unit, place a sheet of durable plastic on the floor of the unit to protect your items from moisture that might penetrate the concrete floor. Another way to protect your belongings is to place wooden crates underneath your stored boxes and other items.
- Avoid stained, torn, and scratched furniture by covering with a drop cloth or old blanket. Better yet, wrap the furniture in shrink/plastic wrap.
- Large appliances and cabinets make for good storage areas too. Place smaller items inside of them.
- Stack chairs of similar size upward (e.g. kitchen and dining room chairs), with the seats face-to-face. This will not only conserve space, but will also keep the seats cleaner from dust.
- Store sofas on their end (upright) to conserve space.
- Store boxes in neat, tight rows. Try to organize your rows with boxes that are the same size and contain items of the same category. Place the biggest and heaviest boxes on the bottom row, and then place smaller boxes on top of them. Consider placing a piece of wood shelving on top of each row of boxes to create a more stable environment for your boxes as you stack them.
- Create an aisle way between your rows of boxes and other stored items so that you can easily find and get to your items (usually down the middle of the unit). This extra space will also provide ventilation in your storage unit and will optimize your storage space.
- If you are storing a lot of boxes, purchase storage racks. These are great for organization and easy access.
- When moving or storing items, be sure that the heaviest items are on the bottom of the truck or the storage unit. This reduces the possibility of lighter items being crushed.
- When loading the moving truck or van, load the items that you use most first. Therefore, these frequently used items will be the last removed and will placed at the front of the storage space.
- When transporting items, and especially when they are stored, place expensive things or anything of value behind larger things so that they are harder for thieves to find.
- Fragile items should be placed over just about everything else being moved or stored, after just about everything else has been loaded.
- Make sure all boxes have clear labels that appear in several places on the box. You might include a general summary (for example, “bathroom items”) and a brief list of what’s included (“cosmetics, toweling, washcloths, etc.”). Remember to always write "FRAGILE" on all boxes that contain breakable items.
Give extra attention to items that may require special care during the packing process. To help you, we have separate Store Tip articles dedicated to "Holiday Lights and Decorations Storage" as well as Wedding Dress Storage, Appliance Storage, and Car Storage.
If implemented, our San Clemente storage and packing tips should be very beneficial to your storage experience. Packing and storing your items with forethought will make it be easier to find items when you are looking for them and will decreases the chance of damage.
If you are interested in renting a storage unit is South Orange County, please come see us San Clemente Self Storage. Our storage facility is not only one of the safest and cleanest in Orange County, but is it is a beautiful property with ocean and golf course views. We also offer extensive security features, including exterior and interior cameras throughout our facility for surveillance and the recording of activity 24/7, an electronic personalized keypad entry gate system, fencing, security lighting, and even an on-site resident manager.
Please give San Clemente Self Storage a call today at 949-366-1133.
San Clemente Self Storage
170 Avenida La Pata, San Clemente, CA 92673