When it is time to pack up and move some of your stuff into storage, you may be asking yourself, "What is the best way to store stuff?" Well, you already know you want to relocate many of your belongings to self storage units until you can figure out if you want to keep it or let it go. The problem is how to pack it up so that it remains undamaged for months, or possibly years, in self storage. Here are some helpful hints on keeping everything tidy, dry, organized and salvageable, if the need ever arises.

The Really Important Stuff 

If it is stacks of important papers and files, you could file them in office folder boxes or copy paper boxes like most doctors and lawyers do. However, the papers that are tied to your home ownership, your bank accounts, your passports, your vehicles and all of your insurance policies (including life and disability), should not be in a storage unit if you can help it. If you do put these documents in storage, lock them up inside a fireproof, waterproof safe so that nothing can damage them in your absence.

The Really Dangerous Stuff

The really dangerous stuff needs a safe, too. Guns, knives, swords and the like should all be locked up inside a gun safe, for everyone else's protection and not just yours. You will have to check with your self storage landlord or landlady to make sure they do not have a problem with the storage of a few hunting rifles or fileting knives in your unit. If they do, it will be in the lease contract, which you should read and get a copy of before you sign.

The Really Valuable Stuff

It is not advisable to store valuables in a self storage unit, but if you have no other option, make sure your valuables are:

  • Wrapped in bubblewrap or other protective packaging, just as though you planned to ship them to another location
  • Placed in a secure container, e.g, a safe, a lockable footlocker, etc.
  • Labeled as something other than "Valuables" or "Extremely valuable"--you do not want to tip off a thief that you have something worth stealing

Additionally, do not wrap valuables in such a way that heat, humidity or freezing cold could damage them. You want your valuables to resist everything that could be a problem, and wrapping and storing them according to the tips above will definitely help keep them safe.