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August 8, 2019

Loading Your Storage Unit

Planning, organizing, and packing to store your household goods into a storage unit in San Diego can be more complicated than it looks. You need to consider the dimensions of the unit, how many boxes you will need, and what can go in the boxes. You will need to calculate the items and space required to store your household goods. Added to that, storage, delivery, and pickup must also be organized. Here is a helpful list of things you need to do when packing and loading your storage unit in San Diego.

How Much Storage Space Do You Need?

There are some storage space calculators you can access online (including the one found at the bottom of this page), so don’t crack out the mathematical equations just yet. If this is your first time renting a storage unit in San Diego, you need to make sure the one you get is not too small or too large. Please refer to our guidelines below to make sure you get the Goldilocks amount of storage unit space.

A Brief Overview of Storage Unit Size Guidelines

Storage facilities in San Diego typically offer a variety of storage unit types in different sizes. They are also available in indoor and outdoor options. You should consider indoor temperature controlled storage for certain household goods. This overview will give you a rough estimate of how much you can fit into every unit.

5×5 Units: This 25 square foot unit is approximately the size of a home closet. They are ideal for storing compact items like boxes, kids’ mattresses, vinyl records, books, files, and any miscellaneous stuff you want to hang onto. They are very reasonably priced if you are looking for a long term storage solution for precious mementos. They are great for items such as baseball cards, school yearbooks, and Beanie Babies.

5×8 Units: 40 square foot units are often perfect for storing kitchen appliances, chairs, bicycles, boxes, and bedroom set. Imagine extra stuff you would find in a campus dorm room or studio apartment; that’s what you can fit in one of these units.

5×15 Units: These 75 square foot units are great for storing the household contents of a one-bedroom apartment. It can handle a couch, chairs, one table, bicycles, and boxes. It is the best size to store seasonal sporting equipment and business merchandise.

10×10 Units: You don’t have to be a genius to know that this unit provides you with a comfortable 100 square foot of storage space. It’s ideal for storing audiovisual equipment, a king-size mattress, and other size mattresses. You can store washer and dryer appliances, a dining room set, and sitting room furniture. The unit fits anything you would find in a two bedroom apartment.

10×15 Units: This 150 square foot unit can easily hold the contents of a three bedroom house or apartment. You can fit widescreen TVs, sporting equipment, bikes, a variety of furniture, and even musical equipment for a band.

10×20 Units: If you are in between boathouses or need extra space for your car or motorbike collection, this 200 square foot unit is the ideal size for you. If you need to store the household contents of a four-bedroom house, this unit is a sufficient size.

10×25 Units: This 250 square foot unit can safely store a boat and trailer with room to spare.

10×30 Units: You can store Winnebagos, caravans, trucks, and any other large items in this 300 square foot space. A storage unit of this size can comfortably store the entire contents of a large home.

Storage companies also often provide vehicle parking spaces. With such companies, there is a selection of outdoor, covered, and indoor parking for car collections, boats, and recreational vehicles. Even the parking spaces can come in a variety of sizes. If you want to maintain your vehicle in pristine condition in a temperature controlled environment, indoor storage is the best option. If you need to protect a vehicle from dust and grit, a covered parking space with a tarp over the car is an excellent choice. If you have a trailer, car, motorcycle, or truck that needs storing, then outdoor parking is the best short and mid-term storage solution.

Make a Plan

The best way to plan for putting your stuff into storage is to make a list of packing, self-storage, safety, and longevity tips. Both long- and short-term self-storage is the perfect way to clear out an attic or basement. You can convert such spaces into a living space. You can convert a garage or basement to make way for a more spacious environment. Any period of transition or extra roominess in the home fits in with a convenient long- or short- term storage solution.

Make sure you choose a reliable storage company when you store items. You are placing your belongings in the care of a third party, so do your due diligence and read online reviews or ask friends and family for recommendations. Even if what you plan on storing has no significant resale value, you should still not use a sketchy storage company just because they are cheap. Remember, while stored items may be replaceable, you can never replace the sentimental value of photo albums, yearbooks, and childhood toys.

Don’t leave selecting a storage unit facility to the very last moment. The facility should have a unit size suitable for your requirements. The price should match your budget. And the facility should be close by so you can access the contents if you want to use something. The proximity of the facility is especially crucial if you are using storage for seasonal sporting equipment.

Make a List of Contents

You must be sure to take an inventory in detail of what you plan to store. So many people fail to do this, and when they get home, they find a misplaced bicycle or forgotten lawnmower they accidentally left behind. When you make a list of the contents to be packed and stored, it helps you to determine what unit size you are going to need. A list also helps you to stay organized.

The list doesn’t have to be super-detailed or mention the number of spoons or tennis balls. It only needs to be a general overview of the stuff you want to place in the unit. For example, write “2 x mattresses, 1 x baby’s cot, 7 x boxes, and 3 x tricycles.” When you have that written down, none of the items will be forgotten. You will know what size unit you need.

Bottom to Top, Back to Front

How to set about packing a storage unit is relatively straightforward. Label every box with what it contains. If your storage company is offering storage, delivery, and pickup, you will still need to know the contents of boxes. Labeling the boxes is critical if you plan on visiting your unit or will be unpacking it at some other point.

You will be surprised how easy it is to forget which box contains what after a few months in storage. If you are packing your unit, either on-site or at your home, before the unit is transported to the facility, then it must be done strategically. Don’t allow anything to shift while in transit. Store items and household goods you are most likely to need toward the front of your unit. The things you know you will be happy to live without for a very long time (old photo albums, toys, and appliances you have in double) should go at the back. Remember to think vertically. Instead of crowding items across the bottom so you can bend down to pick them up, stack them high. Take advantage of your unit’s height. Most units are around 8 feet tall. Always keep the heavy items and boxes on the ground for stability. This way, you can prevent them from crushing the boxes underneath.

The most crucial stacking, packing, and storing tip when it comes to storage units is to leave a pathway so that you can move from the front of the unit to the back unimpeded. When you do this, no packed item will be out of reach.

Items to Exclude

What things should I leave out when I am packing for a storage unit? This question is frequently asked if you are using a portable storage facility or self-storage. Even portable storage facilities need to know when they come and transport your unit to the facility, whether it contains undesirable items.

It’s enough to say that living in a storage unit is forbidden and usually only seen in movies anyway. However, the moderate weather we experience in San Diego wouldn’t be an issue for those looking to call a storage unit home. Storage facilities are not being unreasonable when they enforce item exclusion rules; they are set for them by federal, state, and local restrictions.

Chemicals, hazardous materials, and waste storage: Nothing flammable, radioactive, or explosive is allowed in a storage facility. Corrosive chemicals, toxic and harmful substances, and odoriferous liquids cannot be stored either. Lead paints, urea formaldehyde, petroleum or petroleum-based products, polychlorinated biphenyl, methane, and medical waste are defined by federal legislation as unsuitable for storage.

Plants: Living plants need water and light to grow. Seeds are alright to be stored, but planters and pot plants are not allowed to be stored.

Animals: Under no condition is it okay for anyone to place a live animal in a storage unit. Stuffed animals are permitted.

Firearms, gunpowder, ammunition, and explosives: You cannot store your firearm/s in a unit. Nor can you store fireworks, explosives, or munitions. If your storage unit explodes unexpectedly, it’s a safe bet that you will be spending your next Independence Day in prison somewhere.

Hot stuff: If you think your friend might be asking you to hide assets, stolen goods, or drugs in your storage units, then say no.

Cash shouldn’t be stored in a storage unit, no matter what you may have seen in Breaking Bad. If something happens to cash stored in this way, your insurance will not cover it.

Storage companies, including Big Box Storage, specify the exact excluded items in the rental agreements.

If you need any help or advice on loading, packing, or selecting a storage unit in San Diego, Big Box Storage can help you. Big Box Storage is the number one portable storage company in the San Diego area.