Since you alone control access to your storage space, there are some items which should never be placed in a storage unit. They include: live animals, perishables, liquids, explosives, and all flammable liquids and fuels.
A refrigerator or freezer should be thoroughly dry and stored with its door slightly ajar. Some items can be stored inside large appliances. Cartons can be stacked on top of stoves, refrigerators and freezers. Make sure that stove and cooking equipment are cleaned before they are stored.
To retard rust, wipe all metal surfaces with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil.
Pack books flat to protect their spines. Do not place boxes directly on floor. Use pallets or skids to prevent moisture. Use packing to fill out empty pockets in the cartons. Do not pack fragile items in the same carton with books. Do not overload the boxes.
Clothing, curtains and drapes should be stored on hangers. If hanging facilities are not available, such items should be carefully folded and stored in dresser drawers or cedar chests along with bedding and linen. Wardrobe style cardboard cartons help protect your clothes. Food crumbs or stains should be removed before storage. Avoid storing anything that will attract rodents.
Place a layer of packing inside the bottom and top of cartons containing glassware. Label all cartons containing glass. All glass items should be individually wrapped. Nest cups and bowls and stand plates, saucers and platters on edge. Wrapped glasses should be placed toward the top of the carton with padding above them. Fill all pockets with newspaper. Do not place heavy items on top of boxes containing glassware.
Place a pallet, cardboard mat or plastic sheet on the floor and stand sofas and mattresses on end. Disassemble beds and tables and wrap table legs in paper. If a table will not disassemble, place padding on the floor and place the table on its top with the legs pointing up. Use dresser tops for stacking cartons and dresser drawers for linens or small, delicate items. Keep upholstery off the floor. Most lightweight chairs should be stacked "seat to seat" or placed upside down on tables which cannot be disassembled. Place a light dust cover over your furniture.
Save the original cartons which contained delicate ornaments and pad the ornaments with packing paper or newsprint. Wrap strings of lights around a piece of cardboard before placing in a carton lined with packing paper.
Wrap large lamp bases in padding. Wrap smaller lamps and place them in cartons. Pack delicate lamp shades separately. Do not use newsprint to wrap lamp shades or any other goods which may be damaged by ink stains. Do not store heavy items on top of cartons containing lamps or lamp shades.
These items should be stored on edge, not flat.
Records should be stored on edge to prevent warping. When moving a record player, the tone arm and turntable should be secured to prevent bouncing.
Metal tools should be cleaned and wiped with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil to retard rust. Long handled tools such as rakes, shovels, and hoes should be clean, lightly oiled and tied in bundles.
Do Not Store food of any sort; all food is prohibited! (ie. Grass seed, animal food, decorations made of perishables, like wheat, corn, gourds,etc.) Canned goods may explode when temperatures rise.
Inspect your storage unit and make a list of the packing accessories which you will need. Commonly used packing aids include such items as newsprint or wrapping paper, bubble-pack, tape, rope, drop cloths, polyurethane sheeting, mattress and furniture covers, pallets, skids, dehumidifiers and cartons.
The manager may have some or all of these items for sale on the premises.
Place a pallet on the floor. Do not lean items against walls. Leaving air space inside the unit’s perimeter will aid ventilation. Leave a walkway to the rear of the unit. Use all the space available, including its height. Disassemble items such as bed frames.
Place frequently used items near the door. Fill containers to capacity. Partially full or bulky cartons may tip or collapse. Heavy items, such as books or tools, should be packed in small boxes. If a carton is too heavy, it will be hard to lift and should be divided between two or more cartons.
Fragile items should be cushioned by packing and placed toward the top of unit.
Label cartons and take home a list of the labeled cartons for easy reference when you need to locate your property.