Frequently Asked Questions & Tips

1. Finding the Appropriate Size

  • Make sure you realize that the storage unit sizes are not always as large as they seem.

  • Don’t underestimate the size of the unit you will need.

  • The best way to figure out what size you need is by experimenting with how your things fit together using an empty corner in your home, then measuring the best fit.

  • Be organized and know exactly what’s going into the unit in order to make sure you book the right size.

 

One of the best pieces of advice was a reminder that while storage unit sizes are listed in two dimensions, taking advantage of that third dimension is an important part of fitting everything in:

Realize that even though the size of the room is small, your items can always be stacked. You aren’t reserving a space that is 5 (most storage units being between 8 and 10 ft) feet tall.

2. Choosing a Facility

While a resounding number of customers recommended using the Internet to find and compare facilities, many also advocated checking out the facility in person before signing a lease:

  • Go to the unit in person to check on the security and appearance of the unit you require.

  • The Internet is easiest way to find storage. But after looking at facilities online, you need to physically check out the ones you have selected.

The perks a facility offers–and potential downsides, like limited opening hours or additional fees–often can be more important than price itself:

  • Check out at least 3 facilities.

  • Ask about time access to your unit as far as entrance goes. Ask about any rate increases and additional fees and insurance. For example, do they rent month to month or do they require a longer commitment? Do they require a 30 day notice to vacate or a 3 month notice?  

 

Cheaper is not always better. The extra $25 or $50 you may pay each month is well worth the peace of mind knowing that your items are secure, free from pests and ever-changing weather.

  • Shop around, don't just look close to home, look at other cities nearby. Sometimes you'll find the city nearby might be a little higher in price but have the 24-hour gate access, video surveillance and size of storage unit you want. 

3. Moving In

  • If you have furniture, remember to bring a blanket, sheet or canvas to lay out to protect it from the concrete floor.  1* Medina MIni Storage does have wooden pallets available on a first come first serve basis.  2** At Highway 55 Rental you will have access to purchase whatever you need for your storage unit, even if you need to rent a moving truck. 

  • Leave some extra empty space inside the unit if you think you’ll ever need to get to anything while it’s in storage. You can’t find anything unless you move it all out of the storage unit, and after that you’ll have to put it back. Lots of wasted time.

Packing for self-storage

  • Invest in good quality sturdy boxes and packing materials – box strength degrades with use. If you buy boxes of similar sizes it’ll be easier to stack them securely in the self-storage facility and will save you space.

  • Box everything that you can – everything that is left unboxed in a self-storage facility will get dusty and potentially dirty.

  • Fill boxes to capacity wherever possible to avoid breakages but avoid making them too heavy – remember you’ll have to be able to lift them. You can use materials such as paper or towels or can buy special packing to fill spaces if necessary. Depending on the space you opt to rent from your self-storage facility, you might be stacking boxes on top of each other and the lower levels need to be sturdy enough to take the strain. Boxes that are only partly filled may tip over or collapse.

  • Label all boxes clearly so you can identify the contents and keep an inventory.

  • Label them on more than one side so you can see what’s what quickly. Mark ‘Fragile’ on any boxes containing breakable items.

  • Don’t pack items into sealed plastic bags, as humidity can cause mildew.

  • Don’t store wet items in a self-storage facility as they can cause water damage, mold and mildew.

  • Large appliances need care before placing in a self-storage facility – make sure you defrost fridges and freezers thoroughly before storing them otherwise you’ll be leaving yourself open to water damage. Tie doors up for the move, although you should leave them slightly ajar once in storage to stop condensation forming and help ward off bad odors. Drain washing machines before storing them and tie down hoses etc. Appliances should be clean and dry and it’ll be worthwhile wiping the insides over with bicarbonate of soda before you store them.

  • Wrap all fragile items and breakables such as dishes, glasses, ornaments etc separately. Paper will do but bubble wrap is a good investment. Pack them tightly into strong boxes, filling any gaps with paper or filler. Try to avoid putting heavy items on top of fragile ones in a self-storage facility.

  • If you’re going to be storing clothes think about buying wardrobe or clothes boxes – you’ll then be able to simply hang the clothes in them and they’ll keep their shape. It’s not wise to simply put your clothes in bin liners in a self-storage facility as moisture can get trapped inside when they’re sealed and your clothes could be ruined.

  • For the best protection for mirrors and pictures in a self-storage facility, wrap them in a protective covering such as bubble wrap and stack them on their ends. Mirrors and pictures should never be stored flat. Mark them as ‘Fragile’.

  • Separate lamp bases and lampshades and wrap them for protection.

  • If you’re storing upholstered products such as mattresses and sofas in a self-storage facility it might be a good idea to invest in covers, bags or sheeting to give them some additional protection. Stand sofas and mattresses on end wherever possible to save space and don’t stack too much on top of soft furnishings. Mattresses are best stored on the long end and should be ideally raised above floor level or laid on protective sheeting.

  • If you’re storing a few items of furniture on top of each other a simple dust sheet or cover placed between items will minimize scratching and damage in a self-storage facility.

  • You’ll save space if you can dismantle furniture such as beds and tables before you store it in a self-storage facility – make sure you keep hold of all the bits so you can get it all back together again! Wrap and cover furniture sections and keep them together, clearly marked, for quick retrieval. You can put components such as screws and bolts together in a plastic bag, mark them clearly and tape to the relevant piece of furniture. Store large pieces of furniture vertically to save space in the facility.

  • Chairs can be stacked seat to seat to save space. Cover chair legs with protective wrapping for extra protection.

  • Spray your wood furniture with a good quality furniture spray before storing it in the facility to give it some added protection.

  • Electrical equipment such as TVs, stereos and computers should be packed in their original boxes wherever possible. If this isn’t possible, pack them into boxes that are about the right size making sure that you pack gaps with paper etc. Make sure you tie down the player arm of a record player and secure your turntable.

  • If you’re storing items with fuel tanks such as lawn mowers and cars etc in a facility, expect to be asked to drain the tanks before you put them in storage. Fuel is one of the few things that you CANNOT store in a self-storage facility.

  • Wipe down metal objects and tools with a little oil before storing to avoid rust formation.

  • You can tie tools and long-handled items in bundles.

  • Think creatively and you’ll make more space. Plan to use furniture drawers as an extra box (they are especially good for fragile items) and you can use the inside of wardrobes to store boxes. Kitchen appliances such as stoves and fridges can also be used in this way.

  • Seal all your boxes with packing tape before you put them in a self-storage facility – this will help keep dust out of the contents.

Mini Storage Unit

Organizing your self-storage unit

 

There are two key things to remember when organizing your self-storage unit. Firstly, you need to make sure that you can easily access the items you’ve stored in the facility when you want them. Secondly, you must take care when storing – these are your belongings and there are measures you can take, apart from careful packing, that will help protect them during their time in the facility.

  • If you’re worried that the floor space in the facility is not clean enough and might cause damage in itself put down protective sheeting or boards.

  • If you’re storing heavy items or boxes check with the facility to see if they have trolleys or other machinery you can rent. 

  • In all but the smallest units, try to create an aisle and leave enough room to be able to get round the back.

  • Store your largest items first.

  • If you’re stacking your unit high with boxes, always make sure to put the heaviest boxes at the bottom to avoid damage.

  • Stack boxes and similarly sized items together to save space.

  • Try not to lean furniture against outside walls.

  • If you’re storing metal objects avoid resting them against items susceptible to damage.

  • Try to assess what you’ll need to access frequently and keep it at the front of your unit.

  • Fill anything that’s hollow – i.e. wardrobes, drawers, washing machines and fridges with small boxes and other items to maximize your available space.

  • Make sure to stack boxes and containers so that you can see the labels you put on them.

  • Wedge the doors of all kitchen appliances whilst in the facility open to avoid bad odours and mildew etc., building up.

  • Don’t store anything in the facility that you’re not sure is sturdy vertically – if it seems wobbly store it horizontally.

  • If you’re worried about the atmosphere/environment in the unit put down moisture absorbers and deodorizers. 

Moving into a Mini Storage Unit
Security Camera