28 Self-Storage Tips

Dreading dealing with storage?

Use these tips to make your experiences as enjoyable as possible.

  • Tip #1
    The first row is the best. Store items you’ll need most often at the front of the unit.
  • Tip #2
    Request an aisle seat. When you pack your storage unit, create a center aisle for easy access to all your valuables.
  • Tip #3
    Do not place boxes directly on concrete floors, but use pallets (they’re FREE with us … just ask!  or skids to allow air flow around and under items.
  • Tip #4
    If you’re storing tables and other furniture, remove legs and store tabletops and sofas on end to save space.
  • Tip #5
    Here’s some straight talk. Old photographs tend to curl over time. To keep them flat, place them between two pieces of cardboard and tape them together.
  • Tip #6
    Drain gasoline and oil from lawn mowers and other items with small engines.
  • Tip #7
    Never store firearms, illicit drugs or drug paraphernalia, live animals, perishables, liquids, explosives, flammable liquids and fuels, toxic materials, or other items that need a controlled environment.
  • Tip #8
    Can it. The best place to store shovels, hoes and rakes is in the garbage can.
  • Tip #9
    Sleep tight. Mattresses should be covered and stored flat on level surfaces.
  • Tip #10
    When storing metal items wipe all metal surfaces with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil. This will help prevent rust.
  • Tip #11
    Pack blankets, draperies and dress clothes on the hanger in a wardrobe box.  We have wardrobe boxes, if you need them.
  • Tip #12
    Remember to lock up. Always use high quality locks on your unit. Locks are available from us FREE for new rentals.
  • Tip #14
    Stay high and dry. Always use the climate control for humidity- and heat-sensitive items.
  • Tip #15
    Whenever possible, place dressers and tables top-to-top to save space.
  • Tip #16
    Smartly seal your boxes with packing tape and cover furniture and fabrics to prevent dust from getting into your belongings. No one likes a dusty belonging.
  • Tip #17
    Wrap furniture legs with protective wrap, furniture covers or pads to prevent scratching.
  • Tip #18
    Label your boxes on all sides. Mark your delicate belongings “fragile” and store them on top of heavier unbreakable boxes.
  • Tip #19
    It’s all about the negative space. Use the empty spaces in stored furniture and appliances such as dresser drawers to store smaller items such as towels and linens.
  • Tip #20
    Don’t overpack or underpack. Bulging cartons tip when stacked, while half full boxes tend to collapse.
  • Tip #21
    Books might make you smart, but large boxes of Shakespeare can be backbreaking. Instead of filling giant boxes with heavy books, mix in some lighter stuff. Like Danielle Steele. Or use the books we have available sized especially for books.
  • Tip #22
    Clean and dry appliances before storing. Secure all movable parts with paper, or wrap a paper pad around each item for protection. During transport, tape all doors shut, but remember to wedge them open for storage.
  • Tip #23
    Avoid taking your book collection to the chiropractor. Pack books flat to protect their spines.
  • Tip #24
    Dreams aren’t the only things that are fragile. Use a generous amount of paper to pack dishes and glassware.
  • Tip #25
    Know when to fold ’em. If you don’t want to wrinkle your clothes, linens and draperies, don’t fold ’em. Use wardrobe boxes, which allow for hanging. We sell wardrobe boxes for your convenience.
  • Tip #26
    See the light. Pack lamps and lampshades in individual boxes. Use plenty of clean paper or cloth for padding.
  • Tip #27
    Pad mirrors and paintings with paper. Place them in special mirror packs or large boxes; mark boxes as fragile and store with other fragile items.
  • Tip #28
    Print this page of Storage Tips and bring it with you when you start packing.

Adapted from:  http://www.smartstopselfstorage.com


Ask Dave: “How Can I Use Your FREE Truck?”

Question:  “Hi Dave, I see you have a free truck … how can I arrange to use it?”

–Jane Taylor, Tucson

Dave’s Answer:  “Hi Jane, and thanks for asking a question that’s been very popular lately!

Using our new, beautiful truck is easy.

Just call us at 744.1400 x 3 to reserve it!

It’s available on a first come, first served basis and we’ll even bring it to you!

That’s it … easy enough?”

To your enjoyable storage experience,


Have a question for Dave?

Send him your question about storage and success now via this form.

Compliments From Donna … Thanks, Donna!

“What Can We Do For You?”

We love to make storing with us as easy and enjoyable as possible for you!

Here’s the story of someone we helped recently and we can do the same for you.

Sue had a storage unit with us, ended up getting divorced and moved out-of-state.

She was very busy with her new life and work and called us for help with moving out of her unit.

We worked with her, her family and the moving company to make the experience as easy as possible.  For example, the moving company told her and her family they couldn’t pick up her belongings because of access.  So we called the company and explained that full-size semi-trucks can fit on our property.

She was so happy that we worked with her to make her move so easy.

Do you need help with your storage?  Call us today at 744.1400 to find our what we can do for you to make storage easy and enjoyable for you … and it would be our  pleasure to work with you to arrange the pick up or drop off of your belongings.

Ask Dave: “What Size is Best?”

Question:  “Hi Dave, I need another storage unit … what size is best?

–Tiffany Bold, Tucson

Dave’s Answer:  “Hi Tiffany, and thanks for asking a great question!

The size that will fit best for what you have to store depends on several factors.

The easiest way to decide is to come talk with us and look at your unit.

It could make sense to get 1 bigger unit versus 2 smaller units, depending on your situation.

Whatever you do … MAKE SURE YOU MAKE AN AISLE so you can get your things when you need them!

Also keep everything delicate (like fabric) covered so the dust stays off it.  We’ll be improving our doors soon to help with that, so stay tuned!”

To your enjoyable storage experience,


Have a question for Dave?

Send him your question about storage and success now via this form.

“Is Your Stuff Weighing You Down?”

I have a lot of stuff. I bet you do, too. Sofas, beds, bureaus, bookshelves. Dishes, bowls, candlesticks, serving trays. Easy chairs, folding chairs, wicker chairs. Lots and lots of chairs.

I didn’t have all this stuff when I was young and single. None of us did. It was a big deal to have blinds and coffee mugs. Many of the guys I knew didn’t; they’d tack a sheet over the bedroom window, drink from Styrofoam. My first apartment was pretty typical; I had a small uncomfortable sleeper sofa, a bentwood rocker, a coffee table that was actually a trunk—didn’t everyone in 1976?—and a set of bookshelves.

In the bedroom I had a chest of drawers and a desk that was too low for an adult, at which I would hunch over my old manual Smith Corona typewriter, my knees contorted beneath. I had swapped the twin bed of my girlhood for a double bed, which some children nowadays, raised on queen-size beds, can scarcely imagine. I was proud of that double bed. Many of my friends had futons. But then we got married and we got carafes, chafing dishes, and china. We bought matching love seats for the living room. The acquisition of stuff began. One day I peered inside my closet and realized it looked like it belonged to a woman with multiple personality disorder. The bohemian look, the sharp suits, the frilly dresses. Those days are behind me, and I finally know whom I’m dressing: a person who has 18 pairs of black pants.

Read the whole story: http://www.parade.com

Ask Dave: “What’s the Easiest Way to Get My Belongings Into Storage?

Question:  “Hi Dave, I have a room of things I want to put in storage.  What’s the easiest way to get them there?”

–Jane Anderson, Marana, AZ

Dave’s Answer:  “Hi Jane, and thanks for writing and asking a great question.

The easiest way for you to move a room of items is to choose a self storage company that offers packing and moving supplies as well as a truck to use for your move-in … and if it’s free … all the better!

For example, we now have a truck that’s free to you to use when you rent a storage space from us.  And of course all the moving and packing supplies you need to safely store your cherished memories.

To use our truck, just call us at 744.1400 x3 to reserve it so it’s available when you need it.”

To your enjoyable storage experience,


Have a question for Dave?

Send him your question about storage and success now via this form.