Self-storage tips for business owners
A cramped workspace can make it difficult to find what you need, distracting you from business at hand. Excess inventory, samples, supplies and paperwork tend to pile up quickly in small spaces, requiring extra effort to keep things organized. You may have considered renting additional commercial space or trying to squeeze more room in your home-based office, but were put off by the cost and loss of valuable time to planning and construction. That’s why, for today’s businessperson, self-storage is a cost effective and efficient solution.
Many business owners that store with us make use of self-storage not just for long-term, but also short-term solutions.
- During remodeling, redecorating, or downsizing your business
- When relocating your business
- Storing seasonal furnishing such as patio furniture, grills, outdoor kiosks, etc.
- Storing excess inventory before the start of the holiday season.
Essentially, a storage unit can function much like an extra office. Take advantage of these tips to get the most of our investment:
Tip #1: Make a list of all of the items you’ll be storing in your unit, and keep an ongoing inventory.
Based on this list, you can then determine the amount of space you will need. With proper packing and organization you can fit a lot more in a self-storage unit than may appear. The self-storage site manager is an expert at this, and will work with you to ensure that you’re choosing the size you need.
It’s easy to forget over time what you’ve taken out or added to your storage space, especially if several employees frequently access the unit. Consider keeping a running inventory on a PDA, laptop or website in order to keep tabs on stored items whether you’re at the unit or your office.
This is valuable information not only for staying organized, but also for insuring the items you’re storing.
Tip #2: Proper packing is key.
Although self-storage units are intended to protect your belongings from the elements, additional steps should be taken to protect the items you are storing, especially if they are of high value.
- Computers should ideally be put in a box and then packed securely with packing peanuts or some other type of foam insulation.
- Archival documents, photos, or other paperwork should be packed in boxes that are roughly the same size so they can be easily stacked in the storage unit.
- Office furniture can be turned on end vertically. For more information and advice on how to pack and organize a self-storage unit.
Tip #3 Tips for Loading Your Space
- Rent the smallest amount of space you need and pack the space until full.
- A box for everything and everything in a box is the best protection of your goods. Use uniform sizes of boxes and stack them shoulder high to maximize your total storage space.
- Prepare your unit by placing plastic on the floor under your goods. Be sure the plastic laps up over the walls a few inches on every side.
- Leave a small air space between the goods stored and the storage unit walls.
- Store lightweight small items around the back of the storage unit. Move large, heavy items into storage last.
- Do not place heavy or sharp objects on top of upholstered furniture.
- Protect your mattresses, sofas, and chairs with tarps or sheets..
- Cover the entire load with a light tarps or sheets. Plastic on top tends to hold in moisture.
- Use a good quality lock on your storage unit door. Cheap locks rust and hasp locks are easily cut off.
- Insure your goods while in storage.
- Keep a list of all items in storage as well as pictures, and descriptions.
Tip #4 Space Saving Packing Tips
- Begin packing a couple of days before you move. Careful packing pays by preventing breakage and loss of small and fragile items. And moving time is a great time to weed out old, unwanted or unneeded possessions. They only take up storage space.
- You’ll want plenty of sturdy corrugated cartons, packing paper, sealing tape, and a magic marker-type pen. Then if you follow these simple packing tips, they will save you trouble, help avoid damage to your goods and make maximum use of the space in your storage unit.
- Appliances: Tape all appliance doors shut when moving. Wedge doors open while in storage. Secure all moveable parts with paper or wedge. Wrap a paper pad around each item for protection. Freezer, refrigerator, washer and dryer make excellent packing cartons for bedding, towels and clothing. Always clean your stove before moving and give utility companies a few days’ notice to disconnect appliances.
- Beds: Lash bed rails together with rope or plastic tape. As you take beds apart, mark all pieces so you know which goes with which headboard, etc. Place covers on mattresses to keep them clean during moving and storage.Put hardware in a plastic bag and attach to corresponding furniture.
- Books: Books get heavy in bunches. Pack them in small cartons under 30 pounds for easy lifting. Line all book cartons with plastic and fill empty spaces with packing paper. (Garbage bags work well as a liner).
- Bureaus: Make your bureau drawers earn their passage as extra packing boxes. Fill them with a few small and fragile items. Sweaters, blankets, and towels make excellent padding.
- Cartons: Go easy on your back. Hold weight of all packing cartons under 30 pounds. With a marking pen, list contents of each carton on the side. For load sizing, multiply length x width x height of each carton if that information is not already on the carton.
- Chairs: Protect all chair legs by wrapping them in packing paper. Leave slipcovers on upholstered chairs and cover them with plastic chair covers.
- Clothing: Clothing that ordinarily hangs in a closet should be packed in a wardrobe carton.
- Dishes: Take your time when packing dishes. Wrap each one with packing tissue and cushion them in the carton with crumpled packing paper. Keep dish pack cartons under 30 pounds for easy handling and safe riding.
- Glasses: Pack glasses carefully. Wrap with tissue and pad with crumpled packing paper just like dishes.
- Lamps: Pack lampshades in individual boxes with plenty of paper for padding. Lamp bases ride securely in bureau drawers, freezers and washing machines. For safety, pad them well with towels and blankets.
When you’re planning how you will pack your items, consider how frequently you plan to access them. Some packing methods are much easier to change as necessary, and less messy to work with.
By following these tips, and working with your self-storage manager, you will find this solution to be one that takes the least amount of valuable time away from your primary tasks.
WARNING: Do Not Store Combustibles or Perishables: such as old paint, cleaning fluids, gasoline, etc. Make certain all fuel is drained or burned out of the gasoline powered equipment. Throw away anything that could possibly cause fire. Do not store food in open containers or any item, which could attract rodents or pests. Why risk your possessions just to keep a few cents’ worth of leftovers?