Taking full advantage of your self-storage unit requires preparation and planning. You should prioritize strategic placement and packing of your valuables to make the most out of the space. While efficiently packing all your belongings for storage, remember that retrieving them should be easy.

The first thing you’re going to need is packing materials to contain and protect your possessions.  Here are some low-cost ways to pack your things before placing them in a self-storage unit.

Acquiring Boxes for Free

There are different ways to obtain boxes without spending a dime. Ask around your neighborhood for spare boxes. More often than not, the neighbors might have some folded boxes ready for use.

It can also be worthwhile to reach out to business establishments around your area. They likely have boxes that they are looking to discard after unpacking their supplies. You can also check if they have other packing materials that they no longer need. You can make use of bubble wraps and packing papers to secure fragile items.

Cardboard boxes make a perfect storage bin for they are both reusable and durable. Make sure to accept only boxes that are completely dry and free of mold or mildew.

Strategic Placement of Your Belongings Through Shelving

One effective way to make the most out of your self-storage unit space is through shelving. Adding shelves in your storage unit can help you stack boxes without crumpling them under the weight of the ones on top. This option is ideal for units that have plenty of space vertically.

You can still apply this method even if you cannot invest in heavy-duty metal racks. Less expensive plastic shelving is available at many retail outlets, and you can sometimes find used low-cost shelving for sale on Craigslist and similar websites. If you plan to put a cupboard into storage, this is the perfect storage space for your fine chinaware and other small, fragile materials.

Take Advantage of Your Old Suitcases

If you have luggage that you don’t expect to use, take advantage of it to store linens, ornaments, seasonal clothing, and other memorabilia. It saves you from having to buy storage bins while keeping your valuables free from dust, moisture, and mildew. On top of that, suitcases with wheels on them are more comfortable to transport and carry around. You can quickly transfer heavy items with ease and retrieve them when necessary.

Low-Cost Packing Through Garbage Bags

Although garbage bags do not precisely serve this purpose, they are reliable for heavy-duty storage. Hauling your valuable non-breakable possessions in garbage bags provides robust support to your things without breaking your budget.

Inexpensive Materials for Layering your Dishes, Devices, and Important Valuables

Stacking your possessions is a good way to more fully utilize the space in your self-storage unit but it’s important to provide a barrier for fragile items to prevent scraping while in storage. The following materials are almost always available, and you won’t need to purchase bubble wrap for cushioning.

1.   Coffee Filters

If you have spare basket-style coffee filters at home, take advantage of them for layering fragile items like dinnerware. Lay a filter between each item to avoid nicks and scrapes. After you’ve unpacked, the coffee filters have multiple purposes. For instance, they are excellent polishing materials perfect for cleaning residue from any stainless steel.

2.   Plastic Bags

Another cost-effective material for cushioning breakables is plastic bags. Fill the empty spaces in your storage bins with balled-up plastic bags. This process keeps any substances from infiltrating your valuables. You can also layer these bags between fragile items to keep them from pressing against each other.

3.   Old Newspaper, Magazines, and Office Papers

Paper materials are ideal for packing your possessions for storage. Recycle your old newspapers, junk mail, magazines, and office waste by either turning them into strips or balls.  You can also crumple up these papers to separate dinnerware pieces from one another. It is important to note that documents containing private, confidential information are not ideal for cushioning valuables even though they are shredded. It’s better safe than sorry!

4.   Unopened Bags of Popcorn

Cushioning breakables with unopened bags of popped popcorn is one of the most cost-effective, sustainable ways to pack your valuables. A couple of popcorn bags are very inexpensive and are also much lighter than other fillers like papers and plastic.

Packing your valuables for storage is an important task and properly wrapping your belongings will help you to maximize your storage space.