Getting the most out of your storage space

Whether you're moving home or just need somewhere to house your extra belongings, a self-storage unit can give you a secure place to keep everything from books and clothes to furniture and appliances. Since you're paying for your storage space, you'll naturally want to get as much into as little space as you can. Here are a few tips for packing items efficiently for storage

Be selective 

Before you start to move your items in, be honest with yourself about what you're going to keep and what you can sell, donate or otherwise get rid of. Be creative in cutting down on space. For instance, many people store old magazines because they intend to read one article in them. If you have magazines like this, just cut the relevant articles out with a craft knife and discard the rest. Instead of a pile of old magazines, you'll have a single slim folder of reading material. 

Stack creatively

Piles of storage boxes hold a lot of items while taking up relatively little floor space. By contrast, furniture often takes up a lot of floor space. To minimise the wasted space, get creative with furniture. Take tables and bed frames apart, wrap them in padding and stand them on end. Place chairs on top of each other, seat to seat, and wrap them in stretchy plastic film to hold them together. If you do take furniture apart, put any screws, bolts or pegs into plastic bags and tape them to the largest pieces of furniture.

Replace empty space with padding

Boxes containing heavy items like books or dishes often end up mostly empty, simply because a box full of nothing but books is too heavy to move easily. To make maximum use of this space, fill the rest of these boxes with clothing, bedding or other soft materials. The box will be less likely to collapse, fragile contents will be padded and you'll make more efficient use of your space. 

Bin it

If you've got an empty rubbish bin going into storage, use it as a container for loose items like garden tools, rolled posters, musical instruments or other awkwardly-shaped objects. You'll save storage space and won't have to worry about finding a place to store tall, thin objects. 

Efficiently packing the items you're taking into storage means less money spent on storage space, less time spent putting things into the locker and less time spent retrieving them when the time comes. By investing a little effort at the beginning, you're saving yourself a lot of time down the road.