Tips for choosing and using self storage

If you are planning to de-clutter an apartment, travel abroad, accept a new job away from home or sell a property before buying elsewhere, self-storage comes into its own. Not only does a storage service keep your possessions safe, secure and insured, but also it means there is no need to ask favours, occupy space and risk possible out-of-pocket damage or losses. Additionally, if you decide to move home later, a removals service can collect the stored items with ease – without any need to go back, arrange everything from scratch and pack boxes anew.

The ability to organise, pack and store property oneself can work very well with just a little planning and the right organization. Here are some practical ideas to help choose the right storage service, get everything ready and obtain the best results.

Firstly, it may be more convenient to consider selling some belongings or giving them to charity. However, apart from monetary worth, some possessions will be firmly on the packing list – for example, those with sentimental value or that are difficult to replace. 

Once you have earmarked things for storage, it is time to obtain all the necessary materials and containers. Look for sturdy, reliable cardboard boxes, such as those from specialist home movers. Beware of second-hand supplies that might fall open and scatter or break belongings.

In Australia, the Self Storage Association (SSAA) represents over 1,500 self-storage facilities. Their website includes a useful tool to estimate required storage space. When selecting a storage company, do remember to look for a modern, clean and dry humidity-controlled environment, preferably with security measures such as CCTV monitoring. Good storage companies should also be able to offer advice with packing and logistics. Do remember to ask for a quotation for storage charges, access fees (if applicable) and notice periods.

During packing, it is best to label the boxes, with a summary of the contents. In the case of home moves, consider organising boxes by rooms. Here, if you have time, it is worth labelling twice (on opposite sides), so that the content listing is visible at a glance. Think – no need to turn heavy boxes. Here, for example, giant markers and colour-coded stickers are a great idea too.

Finally, little-used objects can be packed first (and unpacked last), while things you are likely to use more often are better packed last. That way, it will be quicker and easier to find them towards the top of the box. 

Good luck – and happy, productive packing!