These tips were originally published by Atlantic Self Storage, a provider of clean, affordable, high-quality self-storage solutions to more than 50,000 customers in Virginia.

  1. Smallest

Rent the smallest amount of space you will need and pack the unit full.

  1. Gather Materials

Start by gathering as many boxes as you think you will need, plus tape, markers and packing material (e.g., foam shipping noodles, bubble wrap, packing paper or towels).

  1. Uniform Sizes

If possible, try to use uniformly sized boxes for easy stacking.

  1. Inventory

Make an inventory of your items and keep it in a safe place at home or in a safe deposit box away from the unit.

  1. Keep Dry

Place your storage items on 2x4 boards or on pallets to guard against dampness. Any concrete floor may become cold and damp.

  1. Plan Ahead

Plan your storage space. Place items that you may need to access often in the front.


Do not store anything COMBUSTIBLE (e.g., paint thinner, gasoline, solvents, paint).

  1. Easier Access

Try to leave an aisle down the center of the storage unit for easier access. Leave a small space between the walls and boxes to allow for air circulation.

  1. Stack It Up

Stack heavier boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on top.

  1. Strong Boxes

Be sure your boxes are strong enough to hold 25-30 pounds. It is best not to put too much in each box.

  1. Label Contents

List contents of boxes on all four sides; number the boxes and seal with tape.

  1. Wrap It Up

Dishes and glasses should be wrapped in paper and packed in sturdy boxes and stack them on top.

  1. Fragile

Pictures and mirrors should be wrapped in cardboard, marked “FRAGILE” and stacked on end. These items are sold at our office for your convenience.

  1. Extra Space

Furniture with drawers can be utilized as storage places for pictures, knick-knacks, china, silverware, small items, etc. Wrap them in tablecloths, towels or blankets to prevent breakage.

  1. Appliances

Larger appliances make excellent “packaging cases” for blankets, towels, tablecloths and clothes.

  1. Electronics

Put TV's and other electronics in the rear of your unit.

  1. Store Together

Shovels, hoes, rakes and hoses can be stored together in empty trash cans. Stack extra cans inside each other.

  1. Removable legs

Tables that have removable legs should be broken down to save space.

  1. Sofas and Love Seats

Sofas and love seats can be stored on end to save floor space. Wrap cushions in plastic and place on top of sofas.

  1. Sharp or Heavy Objects

Avoid placing sharp or heavy objects on top of upholstered furniture.

  1. Stuffed Furniture

Cover stuffed furniture with cardboard or blankets to protect against dust.

  1. Mattresses

If you stand mattresses on their side, prop them up so they stand straight. Otherwise they tend to bend out of shape and become lumpy.

  1. Metal Items

Wipe any items made of metal (bikes, metal tables, tools, etc.) with machine oil to prevent rusting.