If you’re thinking about renting some self storage space, the biggest question you have to ask yourself is just how much do you need.
You want a space that is big enough for all you need to store, without being so cluttered that it is dangerous to go into the unit, or bigger than you actually need – which means you are paying rent on dead air.
Clever packing is the answer to getting the best use out of your space, but before you even get to that point, take a long hard look at just what you want to store.
Be honest with yourself. Is it past its use-by date? If you’re a hoarder and keeping it all tucked away safely in your own home, it’s not costing you a cent. However, if you’re about to pay to store it somewhere else, it makes no sense to pay fees to store junk, so be ruthless.
Once you’ve done the big clean-up, either by throwing things out or recycling them to people or organisations that can use them, it’s time to look at exactly what you do need to store and how much of it there is.
This means time for another big question: how can you store it for maximum efficiency, so you are not paying for space you don’t need, yet able to get easy access to your things when you need them.
Start with the big items first, and consider the ways they can be stored. If it’s a chest of drawers or a cupboard that you won’t need in a hurry, it can go at the back of the unit – and don’t store it empty.
Utilise the space inside to store other items, making sure you have a list of where things are. Obviously, though, if the cupboard or drawers are going to be at the back of the unit, you don’t want smaller things inside that you need on a regular basis, so plan carefully.
A fridge or other whitegoods can be utilised in much the same way. You will need to prop open the doors so the interiors do not go mouldy, but you will have a lot of shelf space for small items.
If you’re storing a bed, couch or sofa bed, it may seem logical to stand it on its legs and stack stuff on top, but that could be a big mistake. For starters, you could damage the springs, the mattress or cushions, or the mechanics of the sofa bed.
It makes a lot more sense to stand it on one end so the space it is taking up is near the ceiling, leaving more room to stack those other items on the floor. Remember, you are paying for space near the ceiling, just as much as the space on the floor!
As far as the best way to store those other items, the most efficient way is to group them in good quality boxes or other types of stackable containers – labelled, of course – so they can be put one on top of another. Talk to us about the type of boxes you need.
For soft furnishings, manchester, clothing or even the soft toys your kids are not quite ready to do without, invest in some vacuum-sealed bags. Your possessions will squeeze flat into a package that is much easier to store than the individual items, or yet another box. Save the light vacuum-packed items for the top of the pile.
As far as the actual ‘stacking’ process is concerned, only you know which items you might need to access on a regular basis and which can be left untouched. It makes sense to pack, and then stack, with that in mind.
Consider how you will access them when you need them, and then build your ‘towers’ of boxes and containers to suit, with an access ‘aisle’, remembering not to stack heavy items too high unless they are on a very solid foundation.
Renting a self storage space is a great way to simplify your life, but a smart self storage space is all about packing your goods efficiently and paying for just the space you need.