Self Storage Tips

Make the Most of Your New Storage Unit Space

City Storage Group’s team of experts will help you make the most of your new storage unit space, whether it’s over the phone or with our list of essential storage tips. 

  • Pack effectively leading up to move-in day
  • Protect your items from damage or long-term wear and tear
  • Load your unit in an organized fashion


Keep these storage unit tips to in mind as you pack for a safe and effective move into storage!

How do you keep your boxes intact and organized?

  • Use the right type of box or packing crate

For instance, use a heavy-duty box for your books as this is less likely to break than a standard box. You still need to be careful not to overfill it, though. 

Cell kits may work best for stemware or knick-knacks. Wardrobe boxes allow you to hang up clothing and fabrics while in storage.

Use the same sized boxes when possible to help prevent your stack of boxes from falling.

  • Ensure the boxes aren’t too heavy to move.

Use larger boxes for things that don’t weigh much and smaller ones for heavy items.

  • Fill each box completely to prevent the top or sides from crushing.

If your box is filled with odd-shaped or loose items like glassware or toys, fill the open spaces with crumpled paper, bubble wrap or other packing material. However, be careful not to overfill the boxes – they could burst!

  • Label Boxes clearly and on more than one side.

Consider providing a general description like ‘kitchen goods’ and listing a short inventory such as ‘potholders, towels, aprons, silverware’ so that no one opens this kitchen box when they need the pots and pans. Be sure to mark boxes full of breakables as ‘fragile.’


How do you stack and wrap specific items correctly?

  • Stack Books

Don’t stand them on end as this could damage the spines.

  • Pack dishes properly

Wrap dishes individually and place like-sized items together. Nest individually wrapped cups together and stack plates vertically. 

  • Wrap framed art in bubble wrap

You may want to double-wrap the corners for extra protection.

  • Store framed mirrors and art vertically

You risk damaging framed items if you lay them flat. Criss-cross masking tape across mirrors and glass-covered art for added stability. 

  • Avoid storing items in plastic bags

These are less sturdy and can trap moisture.


How do you clean and protect your belongings before packing?

  • Launder items like clothing, blankets, and drapery

Wash fabric items and treat leather items with a special conditioner before packing them to prevent germs and dirt from being transported to a new location. Odours from soiled fabrics will only get worse if they are stored instead of unpacked right away.

  • Cover furniture with sheets or tarps

This protects them from scratches and tears.

  • Polish items made of wood

This adds protection from elements during transport.

  • Wipe metal objects with machine oil

This can prevent rust and corrosion.

  • Take apart items like bed frames and tables

This helps protect them from breaking, makes them easier to move, and saves space in storage. Don’t forget to remove lampshades from lamps.


How do you organize your storage unit?

  • Plan and organize as you pack

Planning while packing makes it easier to find things in the future and less likely that anything will get damaged during a move or while in storage.

  • Choose the right-sized unit

When choosing a storage unit, factor in a little more room than your belongings take up to allow you to walk between stacks of items. This will help you find what you need after you store it. Leave a little space between the walls and your stored items to improve ventilation.

Check out our Size Guide for help determining the right unit.

  • Load least-used items at the back of the unit

When loading the moving truck, place the least used items in last. When you unload to your storage unit, then can be placed at the back of the unit with more frequently used items at the front for easier access.

  • Place heavy items on the bottom of your storage unit

  • Place boxes of fragile items on top of other boxes.


How do you know your items are safe and who accesses your unit?

Once you input your code, it opens the door of your unit’s power strike doors – just like an apartment building! – then disarms your individual alarm, while making a record of your visit within our computer system.

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