Now that you have decided to purchase or rent a storage container, you’re ready to pack your items. It is important to make optimal use of your new space by making a plan first and keeping your items organized. You may need to access some items more frequently than others, and therefore will not want to place them somewhere that’s hard to reach and surrounded by other heavy objects. You may also have fragile items that should not be placed precariously amid other objects that can damage them. There are lots of factors to consider before you start packing your storage container. Read on for our tips on how to pack a storage container.
Make a Plan
Before you start, try to have at least a general idea of number and size of the items you will be storing. It might be helpful to make a list and record everything, especially if you are packing a large quantity of items. You can create a numbering system or chart to help you remember where things are. This way, if you need to find something, you won’t need to dismantle your packed items to find it.
Make Use of the Space
It is important to use all of your storage space efficiently. You will be able to store more items safely and maintain their condition if they are stacked appropriately. Make a plan before starting to pack your unit that prioritizes using the space well. For example, placing a number of smaller items on the floor of the unit is not ideal. Other items cannot be stacked on top of smaller objects, and you may have to remove them and start again. Take furniture apart if possible. Removing table and chair legs can save space and reduce the chance of damage. Fill in empty spaces with smaller items once you have loaded all of the large- and medium-sized ones. Placing any soft items, like clothing bags or linens, on top of and between items can also help prevent damage.
Carefully consider which items you will need to be able to access most frequently before you pack your storage container. You don’t want to pack away objects that you need to be able to reach and then have to unpack or rearrange your items to access them. This can cause your storage container to become disorganized quickly. It can also lead to objects becoming damaged if they are moved out of place in haste. Take inventory of all of your items that you need to be able to access regularly. Make sure to pack them last or close to last and in boxes and/or areas that can easily be reached. You will also want to plan your walkways through the unit around accessing certain items. If these objects are on the larger side, you will also want to plan accordingly.
Distribute Weight Evenly
As you pack your unit, consider the weight of each object, especially heavy ones. You’ll want to make sure you are distributing weight evenly from back to front, as well as from side to side. Do not load all of your heavy items first, as this will cause the weight distribution to become uneven in the front of the storage container. Place items such as machinery, appliances, and furniture throughout the unit, rather than all together. This will ensure a more balanced weight distribution.
Pack and Seal Boxes Appropriately
Using boxes is a great way to keep your storage container organized and prevent damage to your objects. You can use cardboard boxes or more solid ones made from plastic. Make sure to reinforce the bottoms of cardboard boxes with strong tape, and try to fill all of them to capacity, using plenty of packing paper and other fillers as needed. Do not overpack your boxes, as this could cause them to fall apart when they are picked up. Some items may be susceptible to damage caused by light exposure, so anything stored near the top of the storage container should be covered with a layer of cardboard or another material. This is especially important for units that are kept outdoors.
Collect Necessary Materials
Prior to loading your unit, small to mid-size objects should be packed into boxes. Be sure to have the following items to assist in securely packing your objects:
- Packing tape
- Pens/label makers
- Moving blankets
- Cardboard boxes of all sizes
- Airtight or plastic/metal boxes if needed
- X-acto knife
Cushion and Wrap Fragile Items
If any items seem fragile or like they could become damaged, make sure to wrap them. While storage containers are durable and strong, an improperly packed box could always fall over, or someone might bump into an object and break it. It’s best not to take that chance and to cushion any fragile objects to protect them from damage.
Place Larger Items Strategically
As mentioned, it is important to place larger items underneath smaller ones. Stacking items is an important part of ensuring optimal use of your space. The largest and strongest items should go on the bottom or closer to the bottom of your unit so that other items and boxes can be stacked on top. Make sure that the large items you place on the bottom are strong and can support other objects before stacking anything on top of them. Try to create wall-like layers on each side of the storage container until they reach the ceiling. Pack boxes as tightly as possible to prevent boxes from slipping.
Protect Items Susceptible to Damage
When you pack a storage container, you should prioritize wrapping and/or packing fragile items with the following items:
- Bubble wrap
- Packing peanuts
- Foam sheets
- Furniture pads and covers
Contact Storage On-Site to Buy or Rent a Storage Container
To buy or rent a storage container in Indianapolis and the surrounding area, fill out our form or call 317-358-0380 to get started. We offer a range of units at the most competitive rates in the area and can offer advice on how to pack your storage container.