Packing Tips

Man in storage unit moving mattress into storage.

Whether you’ve decided on a climate-controlled or non-climate-controlled unit, it’s time to start packing your items to go into storage. Packing for a move is a daunting task that most people want to rush through or do haphazardly. But when you plan to store your belongings—whether temporary or for the long term—packing your items any old way can lead to them being broken or lost among your boxes. To ensure you know exactly what you have stored where, an organized packing system will save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

How Do I Pack a Storage Unit?

Part of the packing process is moving your belongings into self-storage. Like packing your items, there should be a method to moving items into a storage unit. Following these three tips will help keep your unit is as organized as possible: 

Most importantly, make sure not to overpack your space to the point that you can barely get your storage unit door open or closed. If you are someone who plans to make frequent visits to your unit, it’s best to create paths in your unit so you can easily access your belongings. Creating paths are great for business owners who are accessing their unit on a frequent basis. However, if you don’t plan to visit your unit often, you can pack your unit pretty tightly.

Packing Tips for Specific Items

No matter if you need to create pathways in your storage unit or have the freedom to pack and stack everything inside as much as possible, what you plan to store will dictate how you pack your unit. Here are a few of the most common items that are housed in our storage units as well as the best ways we found to store them safely:

Books and documents

Pack books and documents flat to protect spines and edges, keeping the heaviest items at the bottom. Using smaller boxes for books is best to prevent them from becoming too heavy to carry.

Dishes and glassware

Individually wrap your glass items using blank wrapping paper for best results. Whenever possible, you should “nest” cups and bowls and stand plates and platters. Once you’re done, fill the empty spaces with wrapping paper or packing peanuts to ensure glassware doesn’t break when jostled during transport. When storing, be sure not to put breakables under other boxes.

Mirrors, windows, and screens

Be sure that all glass is well-wrapped. Adding a layer of bubble wrap can help provide an extra layer of protection. Store glass on its edge against the wall, never flat.


Lampshades should be packed separately from their lamp bases. Use blank paper to wrap lampshades to avoid ink transfers from regular newsprint. To prevent damaged cords, neatly fold lamp cords, then use a twist tie or tape to secure them. Wrap a piece of tape around the electrical prongs to keep them from getting bent.


Stand sofas and mattresses on end, and place light plastic dust covers over furniture and mattresses; this is especially important if your furniture is cloth. Disassemble beds and tables, and wrap legs in wrapping paper. Don’t forget to keep upholstery off the floor.

Appliances, electronics, and tools

Clean appliances and tools thoroughly. Appliances that are still dirty might have a higher probability of rusting or even attracting pests if you plan to store food appliances. Tools should be cleaned and a little bit of machine oil added to prevent premature rusting. Refrigerators and freezers must be defrosted, and dryers and washing machines need to be completely drained. Remove doors of appliances and store separately; desiccants (drying agents) should be used and containers checked and emptied regularly. Take apart lawn mowers and snow blowers, making sure all the fuel is completely drained. Any appliance that uses oil should be stored away from fabrics.


Wipe a few drops of oil on bicycles and tools to prevent rusting, then store these items away from furniture to avoid oil staining.


Utilizing wardrobe boxes allow you to store your clothing on hangers. Shoes can be stored in the bottom of the wardrobe boxes, while folded clothing can be stored in boxes or dresser drawers.

Packing supplies available for sale at a premium spaces location.

Where Can I Buy Packing Supplies or Moving Materials?

There’s no question that proper packing requires a lot of supplies like bubble wrap, packing peanuts, boxes, moving labels, and wrapping paper to protect your items from damage. Thankfully, if you happen to need more, our storage facilities are stocked with all the moving and packing essentials you need. We even have disk locks available for purchase!

In addition, we offer a few supplies that might come in handy for items already in storage, such as mattress and furniture covers and moving blankets. As an added bonus, our facilities are also equipped with dollies and carts for customers to use as they move in and out of their self-storage units. Select facilities provide a free moving truck with your first month’s rent, too, making them a one-stop shop for all your moving and storage needs.

No matter your unit size, packing is a big job that requires a little bit of planning to ensure your storage experience is smooth rather than frustrating. For the most convenient move, find a Premium Spaces facility near you to get started or rent your unit online today!