Packing and storage tips

For when you want that little more protection for the items you store.

Our self storage units protect your belongings from the elements. To get the most out of your storage, consider these additional steps and advice:

1. Get Organised

  • Plan your space: Make a map of how you will arrange your items. This will save you time in the long run. Pin a copy on the wall of your unit.
  • Leave space: Leave walking space in the centre of your unit. You may need to get at items at the back, or store frequently used or seasonal items at the front.
  • Use every inch: To maximise your space fill wardrobes and drawers with small items, or use freestanding shelves. Ask us if we can help you fit some. Got an empty bin? Use it to store shovels, spades and other gardening tools.
  • Stack: Make the best use of your space. All our units are 8ft (2.5m) high so you can stack to the ceiling. If you do stack your items, make sure you have a stool or stepladder handy.

Tip: It’s always a good idea to check your unit monthly. If you can’t, then get a friend or member of staff to do it for you. Just ask us why a split shampoo bottle causes such a mess!

2. Boxes

  • Use plenty: Make maximum use of the space, leaving no odd gaps.
  • Use the right size: Pack boxes so that they are not too heavy to lift. Use small ones for heavy items like books and large ones for lighter items like bedding. If you can’t lift them then neither can we.
  • Use labels: Label boxes on all sides and make a plan of where they are in your unit. Use a permanent black marker pen.
  • Which side is up? Another use for your marker pen is to label boxes “THIS SIDE UP”.
  • Don’t over pack: Do you want your box to remain square? Then don’t pack it until it bulges and splits.
  • Clever stacking: Put heavier boxes at the bottom – you don’t want the lighter ones crushed.
  • Books: Pack them flat to protect the spines, and don’t put too many in a box as the box will get heavy.
  • Clothes: if you have hanging items use wardrobe boxes to keep them in shape. If using mothballs, make sure they are kept away from children (but lavender is a good natural alternative for deterring moths).
  • Plastic boxes: Great for stacking, particularly if you are storing paperwork.
  • Packing tape: You can never have enough and when wrapping boxes go around the box, not just the bottom and then the top. A tape gun makes light work of lots of taping.

Tip: Boxes are great at regulating humidity within a storage unit because they reduce the effect of climate variations. You can never have too many.

3. Unboxed items

  • Protect: Cover items with sheets or blankets, it helps to keep them dust free.
  • Let the air circulate: Where possible don’t wrap items in plastic, it can retain moisture and make them sweat.
  • Stacking: Can items like your dining room chairs be stacked? If so, then put protective padding in between.
  • Delicates: Paintings, mirrors and photographs should be wrapped well and labelled as "FRAGILE". Then store them on their ends, not flat.

Tip: Gardening tools or household brushes and mops can be stored upright in an empty bin.

4. Large items

  • Flat pack: Disassemble items such as tables and beds to save space. Cover and label all pieces and put all fixings in a securely labelled bag – we constantly see these left behind.
  • Store sideways: Sofas are very space hungry – will they stand on their end?
  • Use draw space: Store small items inside wardrobes and chests of drawers to maximise your space.
  • Store flat where flat’s due: If you can, store mattresses flat and in their natural position. These are expensive to replace so help retain their shape and use a mattress protector or some old sheets to keep them clean.

Tip: To avoid sticky residue on valuable furniture, first wrap an inverted piece of tape around the item (sticky-side out). Then, to keep secure, tape and wrap on top as normal.

5. Electronic items

  • Use the original packaging: Original electronic component boxes are designed for transport, if you have them use them, or if you don’t, use cardboard boxes not plastic – they trap moisture which can cause damage.
  • Use bubble wrap: TVs, computer screens or other fragile items should be bubble wrapped and taped. Clearly mark as “FRAGILE”, with a marker pen.
  • Cords and cables: When disassembled, there are lots of cords and other bits and pieces. If you can, colour code all cords with the sockets they belong in.
  • Media: DVDs, CDs or electronic storage media should be protected using anti-static packaging to retain data, and consider retaining a backup in another location.

Tip: Remove all batteries and store separately, they can leak and damage your goods.

6. White Goods

  • Dampness: Our units aren’t damp unless you introduce water into them. If storing washing machines, fridges and freezers make sure they are free of water and dry before storing (including all hoses and other attachments).
  • Keep upright: Transport and store fridges and freezers upright to avoid damage to the cooler unit.
  • Don’t forget the inside space: Utilise the space. Fill them with kitchen equipment or other items.
  • Let the air at it: Once stored leave doors of white goods ajar to allow airflow. This will help prevent mildew forming (also good advice for at home).

Tip: Check or download a copy of the manufacturer's user manual. They will all have individual advice on how to drain or transport your equipment.

7. Fragile Items

  • Packing materials: Use plenty of bubble wrap, newspaper or packing paper. Don't over pack. Keep boxes light and easy to lift.
  • Padding: Fill the gaps inside or between them with paper, or “void filler”.
  • Delicates: Divide glasses or other fragile belongings with cut pieces of cardboard before adding fill or padding. Mark clearly on all sides with “FRAGILE”.

Tip: You can buy packing tape labelled 'FRAGILE" online or from our shop. Get a few rolls for packing irregular shaped items.

8. General Household Items

  • Books: Pack them flat to protect the spines, and don’t put too many in a box as the box will get heavy.
  • Clothes: If you have hanging items use wardrobe boxes to keep them in shape. If using mothballs, make sure they are kept away from children (or lavender is a good natural alternative to deter moths).
  • Photos: Provide added protection by wrapping in packing paper and arrange safely in good quality cardboard or airtight plastic boxes.
  • Pictures: Paintings or large framed photos need specialised boxes, which we can provide, or you can find online. Alternatively, cut cardboard to the right size and tape.
  • Antiques: Wooden antique and leather furniture need “feeding” with polish or conditioner before wrapping with paper or cloth.
  • Upholstery: Sofa, armchairs and other upholstered belongings need loosely covering with dust sheets or blankets, which will help them breath, keep dust off and prevent ripping or tearing when moving.
  • Mattresses: These are expensive to replace so if you can, store them flat and in their natural position to help retain their shape. Use a mattress protector or some old sheets to keep them clean.
  • Pianos: Consider having them moved by professionals, and cover well with sheets or blankets whilst storing.

Tip: When collecting together your household items for storage, it's a great opportunity to declutter (dispose of) the things you may no longer use as you go.

9. Mechanical items

  • Fuel: Make sure all mechanical goods are fully drained of fuel or flammable liquids, and left dry and clean of any residue. It’s dangerous and therefore prohibited by most storage providers to store these types of liquids. 
  • Keep rust at bay: To prevent rust use a light machine oil or wax on exposed parts.

Tip: Use this opportunity to give the lawnmower, strimmer or vintage motorbike a bit of TLC. Maybe change the fuel and air filter, and spark plugs and give it a general once over. See what we consider a flammable or and dangerous substance by reading our policy here.

10. Insurance

  • Get covered: If it’s worth storing, it’s worth insuring. At RedSpot you can use your own insurance or ours. See our policy here.
  • Make a list: Most storage providers require you to have an inventory of goods in storage. Click here to download a handy form that will help list and value your items to be stored.

Tip: Don’t assume that your home contents insurance covers you. Ask your insurers before you move or store.

11. Things to avoid

  • Plastic wrapping: Avoid wrapping everything in plastic. Moisture condenses, so allow it to release into the atmosphere by avoiding plastic packing materials.
  • Newspapers: Using printed newspaper? Make sure the ink won’t damage your belongings.
  • Food: Eat or dispose of all food. Storing it is not permitted as it may attract unwanted visitors! 
  • Toxins: Don’t store toxins or flammables like paint, oil or fuel or a host of other non permitted items. Our terms here state what you can and can’t store.
  • Bin liners: These are called “refuse sacks” for a reason. Black plastic bags get squashed, rip and get mouldy from lack of ventilation. Get proper boxes and packing materials.

Tip: Click here to see what we allow and don't allow to be stored.

12. Documents

  • Keep track: Map out your space and keep a copy in the unit – you don’t want a summer intern coming back to the office empty handed.
  • Latest first: Arrange your space so the oldest archiving is at the bottom or back of the unit. Labels boxes clearly and on all sides.
  • Don’t over-pack: Pack archive boxes so they are safe to lift, and loose items don’t more about. Fill boxes, even its with extra padding or 'filler' paper.
  • Stack them high: Stack your boxes. All our units are 8ft (2.5m) high and ask about our shelving or racking options.
  • Media: DVDs, CDs or electronic storage media should be protected using anti-static packaging to retain data.
  • Backup: It’s always worth considering retaining a backup of all documents in another location.

Tip: Keep a note of access hours. Ensure you or your colleagues will be able to retrieve documents at a time that suits you.

13. Stock and Equipment

  • Make a plan: Map out your space and keep a copy in the unit. It also helps with your stock control.
  • Leave space: Leave walking space in the centre of your unit. You may need to get at items in the back, or store frequently used equipment or best sellers at the front.
  • Prohibited items: Do not store dangerous or perishable items. Most storage providers provide a list of wheat is permitted and what is not. Click here to read ours.
  • Stack them high: Stack your items. All our units are 8ft (2.5m) high so you can stack to the ceiling. Also, ask about our shelving or racking options.
  • Right size. Right location: We have a variety of sized units located throughout the facility. If you receive regular deliveries, then ask for a suitably located unit.

Tip: Keep a note of access hours. Ensure you or your colleagues will be able to retrieve documents at a time that suits you.

You might also like our handy downloads, all of which will help you with your move. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

RedSpot Self Storage Bristol Central

Old Goods Yard, Kingsland Road

Bristol, Avon BS2 0QW

Telephone: 0117 325 8830

 

RedSpot Self Storage Membury M4

Membury Airfield, Lambourn Woodlands, Hungerford

Berkshire RT17 7TJ

Telephone: 01488 760 883

 

RedSpot Self Storage Newbury North

High Street, East Ilsley, Newbury

Berkshire RG20 7LU

Telephone: 01488 760 883

 

RedSpot Self Storage West Berkshire

Maddle Farm, Lambourn, Hungerford

Berkshire RG17 8RA

Telephone: 01488 760 883

 

General Enquiries: 0333 344 8830
(Charged at a national rate and generally included within any free minutes as part of your mobile contract).

 

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