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  • Inspect your storage space. Your storage space should be clean, have a good working door, and it should be secure.

  • Know what packing accessories you will need. Things like newsprint, bubble wrap, tape, rope, old blankets, rags, polyurethane sheeting, furniture or mattress covers, pallets, skids, dehumidifiers, file boxes, storage cartons, or wardrobe boxes are all possibilities.

  • Fill your containers to capacity, but don't overfill them. Half full, or too full cartons might tip over or collapse. Make sure you protect your fragile belongings with packing (newsprint or bubble wrap) and store them near the top of your storage space.

  • Label your boxes in a way that you'll remember, or keep a list of labeled boxes at your home or office for easy reference when you need to find something.

  • Pack your storage space carefully. Remember to leave air space around the perimeter to help with ventilation. Put a pallet (2 x 4, plywood, anything that will keep things off the floor) on concrete floors and don't lean things against walls. Always leave a walkway to the back of your space for easy access. Use all the available space, including the height of your unit. Put frequently used items at the front and near the door.

  • Use freestanding shelves to help organize your unit.

  • Always check your unit at least once a month to be sure nothing has shifted, collapsed, and to make sure everything is still as you left it.

  • Dissemble items like bed frames, tables, etc… (this saves space). Wrap and label each item to make assembly later on easier. Put all hardware in bags and mark the bags as well.

  • Make sure that your items are clean and dry before storing them. Leave appliances slightly ajar to prevent mildew.

  • Store mirrors and paintings on end, not flat.

  • To prevent rusting, rub a small amount of machine oil on metal tools, bicycles, and equipment.

  • Purchase the insurance, if offered. If your belongings are worth storing, they're worth insuring. Don't assume that homeowner's or renter's insurance will cover your belongings while in storage; most don't cover it at all, and many of the rest will only cover a very small dollar amount.

  • Drain and clean all equipment before storing.

  • Keep the more valuable items near the rear of your storage unit. This will prevent others from seeing them when you are in your unit.

  • Don't use plastic to cover your belongings. It retains moisture.

  • Don't store any food items. This will prevent you from having any unwanted 'visitors'.

  • Don't use printed newspapers. The ink may smudge onto your belongings.

  • Don't store any toxins or flammables, such as paint, oil or gasoline.