No matter why you need to store your belongings, being able to both protect them and access them during this time is key to a successful storage experience. But, this calls for more than just filling some boxes and stacking them inside a storage unit. Here's a five step guide to organized and safe storage.
When selecting a storage location, look for one that's a little larger than you expect you'll actually need. This gives you space to move around, create walkways or paths inside, and access storage containers comfortably. Stacking on pallets is a good way to keep things in place and avoid pests, but it requires a little more room to maneuver.
Uniformity of size will make stacking and organizing much easier. Look for storage containers that are sturdy and easy to grip, then use no more than about three sizes of container. Place most unusually shaped items inside these storage containers rather than storing them on their own. Bubble wrap, newspaper, or fabric household items can help fill in gaps in containers.
Make a Plan
Before you begin filling a single box, sit down with your family and come up with a written plan for how you will organize things. This should probably include a hand-drawn map to outline the large items. Use a tape measure to get the dimensions of bulky items so you can formulate a plan with them as a skeleton.
Plan for Access
Some items--usually things like big pieces of furniture or mattresses--are unlikely to be used during storage, so plan to put them at the back. Determine if vertical storage could be detrimental to the item (such as a kayak) or if it must be stored in a certain manner. And try to store goods you think you may need to get to in a grouping near the door or along an easily accessed path or wall.
Labeling boxes is a fundamental part of whatever organization plan you have. Decide on a labeling system before starting and use it consistently for all storage containers and individual bulky items. You could use colors or a numbering system to denote certain rooms or categories of items. But, whatever method you use, be sure to include it on your map and written plan for consultation later. And label all storage containers on at least two or three sides. Check out different systems and containers, such as at Portland Packaging Co Inc, for inspiration.
By following these few steps, you can create a well-organized storage space that will keep your stuff safe and make getting around easier. And that will undoubtedly reduce your stress during this transitional time.