The Best Way to Use a Storage Unit During a Move

April 27, 2020 by: Lisa Roberts

Using secure storage units during a move can ease the moving process in many ways. It gives you more time to move, reduces the clutter, and protects your belongings from theft and damage. In other words, in addition to saving your time and money, storing your belongings during relocation makes the entire process less stressful. Read on and find out how to use a storage unit during a move in the most efficient way.

How to choose a storage unit

  • The first step is choosing a reputable storage provider in your area. Hiring a moving company that also provides storage services would be ideal. Visit popular review sites and ask your friends for recommendations. If possible, tour the facilities you are interested in. A company that seems shady should never be your choice, no matter how affordable their rates are, even if you’re not storing anything valuable.
  • A hurried decision is a decision you will probably regret. The key to finding a trustworthy company is starting your search on time. The earlier you start, the wider your choice. Plus, you will have more time to clean and declutter your home and pack your belongings.
  • Take the location into consideration. Look for units that are close to your home to save time.
  • Bear in mind that some units can be accessed 24/7, while others aren’t always available to customers.
  • Now that you have chosen a company you can trust and a convenient location, you should determine the unit’s size. The unit should be large enough to fit all of your items but not too large. To estimate how much space you need, use an online calculator or consult storage company employees – they will be happy to help you select the best fit.
  • Some materials are prone to fading, discoloring, cracking or rotting due to humidity and temperature changes. Consider renting a climate-controlled unit if you are moving fine art, photographs, documents, electronics, furniture, etc. Paying for storage during a move only makes sense if your belongings are protected from damage.
  • Consider different lease options. If you are using a storage unit during a move, a shorter lease is probably a better option.

Purchase storage insurance

Getting the right insurance for your upcoming move will bring you peace of mind. In case your renters/homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover property in storage, add it on or purchase separate storage insurance. You can purchase insurance through your storage company.  

What to use a storage unit during a move for

First, decide what to keep and what to throw away. Say goodbye to everything you haven’t used in years. If you didn’t use those items in your old home, you won’t use them in the new home either, which means there is no point in storing them.

The best way to use a storage unit during a move is to store items you won’t be needing until your new home is ready. For example, you can store clothes that are out of season, holiday decorations, artwork or sports equipment.

Avoid using a storage unit for valuables and perishables. If you choose a reliable storage company, the chances of something happening to your possessions are low. However, items like jewelry and family heirlooms should be stored elsewhere. Food and plants are also a bad idea because they attract rodents and bugs, besides, you’d have to deal with terrible odors.

Create an inventory of your belongings

Prevent your items from getting lost by making an inventory. An inventory will also help you figure out how large your unit should be. Moreover, it will help you organize and stay organized. How detailed you want the inventory to be is up to you. A general overview of your belongings should do the job, but you can include more details if you want.

How to pack your belongings for storage

  • Smaller items should be boxed up. Many moving companies can provide you with boxes of different sizes. Choose your boxes wisely. Since cardboard boxes tend to bend and break, secure their bottom with tape and use plastic bins for heavier items.
  • Carefully wrap each item and use plenty of cushioning material. Use blankets or moving pads (not plastic) to wrap furniture items.
  • Don’t leave any empty space inside a container. Fill the gaps with packing paper so that nothing can move.
  • The items you are more likely to need should be placed near the front of the unit. All the other stuff can be stored in the back. Most storage units are at least 8 feet tall. Take advantage of their height and stack your belongings vertically. Heavier items should be closer to the floor and never on top of fragile items.
  • Leave a pathway from the entrance to the back of the unit. This way, you can reach every item with ease.

Don’t forget to label the boxes

One can easily forget where everything is once the boxes are all packed and sealed. But if you label each box as you pack, you won’t have to rely on your memory. You can even hang a checklist on the door inside the unit. If you need to grab something while your stuff is still in storage, you’ll know exactly where to find it. Opening random boxes could take ages and create a lot of mess. Another good reason to label your boxes is the safety of your possessions – a box labeled ’’fragile’’ will be handled with care. Also, the unpacking process will be much more efficient.

Additional security measures

Sometimes, not even cameras and security guards can stop thieves. If your storage company asks you to supply your own lock, invest in a sturdy lock even if it costs a little more. Be careful who you share your key or access code with. Never hand your key to someone you don’t know and trust.


Following these self-storage tips will help you use a storage unit during a move in the most efficient way. With professional help, good organization, and a few extra precautions, your stored belongings will stay safe and in good condition until your new home is ready for them.