Packing tips for Self Storage Units

Packing tips for Self Storage Units

One of the most common reasons people use self storage units is when they are moving home.  Often our Self storage insurance policy holders are between houses, having taken the opportunity to sell without having another house to buy immediately.  Sometimes people are taking the opportunity to de-clutter their house for marketing, sometimes, simply using self storage to manage the transition to a new property and storing goods away from home whilst they get organised.  

Insuring your possessions whilst they are in self storage is essential and mitigates against the major risks to those goods whilst they are stored such as, fire, flood, theft, vandalism, sprinkler damage and damage from moth and vermin (for full details of our comprehensive storage insurance and what is covered, see the full policy wording).  However, there are a number of steps you can take yourself when packing to ensure that you minimise the risks to your possessions whilst in storage.

Choose the right packaging 

Ensuring that you use the right kind of packaging will help keep your belongings safe whilst they are in storage.  Think about the appropriate size of box, the weight of the contents how you can arrange them for the maximum effectiveness.  For example, a large boxes filled with books, records or magazines is likely to be very heavy and difficult to handle and stack.  Even the most comprehensive storage insurance policy is unlikely to cover you against the risks associated with your cardboard box giving up under the weight of too many LP’s or books!   A too large box, under-filled loses its strength in terms of being able to stack, generally speaking, smaller boxes are better for heavier items. Similarly, if you are looking to store clothing, use a proper wardrobe storage box so that you can keeps you garments hanging.  Don’t store clothing and textiles in non breathable plastic bags to help avoid mould and mildew problems occurring, especially if you are storing items in external storage units or containers. 

Labels, labels, labels 

Make sure that you label your boxes well so that you can find things whilst they are in storage.  Writing on the tops of boxes as well as the sides means that you will be able to see at a glance what is stored in which box.  It will also help when you are moving you stuff out of storage to know where to put it at the other end.   If you are storing fragile items, make sure you indicate ‘this way up’ or ‘do not stack’ prominently on your boxes to avoid possible damage or breakages. 

Quality AND Quantity 

Using good quality packaging materials will pay dividends and help to keeps your possessions well protected whilst they are in storage.  Good strong boxes mean that they are less likely to be damaged whilst in transit and offer better protection for the contents inside.  Good quality packing tape which sticks means that your boxes will not come unstuck at the base when you are carrying them.  In terms of quantity, it is better to over-estimate the amount of boxes you need than under.  Overfilled, bulging boxes are more difficult to store and are weakened.  It is also a good idea to have boxes in a variety of sizes.  Paperback books for example can be very heavy so more smaller boxes are better, whereas, items like duvets and pillows take up a lot of space, but are relatively light so bigger boxes are better here.  

Keep it together… 

Dismantling items like bed bases and bulky furniture can be a more efficient way of moving and storing them but do make sure that you keep all the bits together.  Using a polythene wrap or tape can help to keep odd shaped or awkward items together, similarly, any fixings and specialist tools can be attached in a sealed bag to ensure you can put it up again when needed without a frustrating look through countless boxes! 

Making sure that you have market leading self storage insurance cover such as that offered by Store Insure is vital when storing goods and will cover your possessions against those major risks, packing like a pro will help to take care of everything else!

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Patrick Pellens

Author: Patrick Pellens

I started in the insurance industry in 2003 specialising in Personal Insurances such as Motor Bike, Car and Home Insurance.