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December 22, 2014

Storage Do’s and Dont’s!

Throughout your life, you may find yourself in a position of ‘not having enough space’ for all the things you’ve accumulated. Particularly if you live in a smaller urban dwelling such as an apartment or condo, the need for extra storage space is great. Not everyone can live in a spacious home that has abasement! That’s where Big Box Storaage comes in.

This article will provide you with everything you need to know about how to use a self-storage facility effectively and efficiently.

Research Local Facilities

Before you even begin to think about organizing and packing up your belongings, you should spend some time researching local storage facilities. Your belongings are obviously important to you, otherwise you probably would have gotten rid of them right? So treat them with the care they deserve, by storing them in a reputable and safe storage facility. We’re confident that our San Diego storage facility will have everything you need in a self storage location and more!

Things to Look For in a Facility


Location is important as you’ll want your belongings within fairly close proximity of your home. This will enable you quick and easy access should you realize that you packed away something you actually need. It happens to all of us Ð the minute we decide something can go, we immediately need it again! So choose a facility that is close by for when this inevitability occurs. Keep in mind that Big Box Storage can deliver your storage unit right to you should you require access to any of the items you’ve placed in storage! Of course, accessing your belongins at our facility is an option as well. Check out our San Diego storage service areas.

Size and Price

Sometimes size really does matter…for a self-storage locker of course. Most storage facilities offer a wide variety of locker sizes and prices. It’s a good idea to actually visit potential facilities in person so you’ll have a visual of each locker size. You’ll be able to assess which size you’ll need for all your belongings, and you can get a price list while you’re there.Of course, with Big Box Storage, our portable storage containers can fit a room and half worth of items. Need more storage space? Just fill up another container. It’s that simple!


Security is probably the most important factor you should consider when choosing a storage facility. Your belongings are obviously important to you otherwise you probably wouldn’t be looking for a way to store them in the first place. Let’s look at the ‘must haves’ when it comes to security:

Fire and Smoke Alarms and Detectors

Fire and smoke detectors and alarms are an important tool in protecting your belongings. If a facility does not have these, it should be a major cause for alarm!

Video Surveillance

Choose a facility that offers both on-site and off-site 24/7 video surveillance. Cameras should be aplenty and highly visible. This will give you a sense of safety and security, and will act as a deterrent to would be thieves and vandals.

Motions Sensors and Wireless Door Alarms

These ‘hidden’ protectors will work to protect your belongings 24/7. Working in tandem with other security measures, they will ensure that should someone attempt to breach the security of the facility or your personal unit, the proper authorities will be silently notified.

Digital Keypad Access

Digital keypad access is much safer than old fashioned locks. These keypads can be utilized both at the facility entrance, and to your personal unit. Locks can be cut, but most intruders won’t have the skills necessary to figure out a digital passcode.

Assess Your Belongings

Once you’ve decided on a facility, the next step is to assess your belongings. Decide what to keep, what to donate or recycle, and what to place in the storage unit. A helpful tip for this part of the process is to buy color coded stickers (found in most dollar stores). Assign a color code to each category, then apply the stickers. This will make it easy when it comes time to actually begin moving everything to its new location, be it the trash, recycle bin etc.

Purchase Packing Materials

Don’t make the mistake of using old boxes that have been broken down several times. Your items will potentially be in the storage unit for a long period of time, so the packing materials you choose will be integral in determining how well your belongings will hold up over time. Most storage facilities will offer high quality packing materials at a discount to customers who rent a unit. Ensure you purchase adequate amounts of boxes, packing paper, foam peanuts for fragile items, packing take, and a couple of permanent markers to label the boxes once they’re packed.

At Big Box, we offer a variety of packing supplies to meet your packing and storage needs! Here’s another great article devoted to storage security.

Get Packing!

Once you have all of your items categorized, and your packing materials assembled, it’s time to get packing!

Here are some quick Do’s and Don’ts:


  • Do pack heavier items one item per box, and place the heaviest items on the floor of the storage unit with lighter boxes stacked on top
  • Do over-wrap delicate and fragile items Ð there’s no such thing as too much cushion for breakables
  • Do label each box descriptively Ð you’ll appreciate this step if you need to go to the unit to find an item
  • Do ensure items such as photo albums, important papers etc. are sealed to prevent damage from moisture Ð zip top bags can help with this
  • Do check in on your belongings from time to time even if you do not need to retrieve an item. This will enable you to report anything suspicious in or around your unit.

Here’s another article about packing storage containers.


  • Don’t over-pack boxes Ð you’ll probably be stacking them so be sure they’re not too heavy
  • Don’t pack boxes higher than six feet or the stack could tumble, damaging your belongings and possibly causing injury
  • Don’t load lightest boxes into the unit first Ð always load the heavy items first, then place the lighter items on top
  • Don’t pack any perishable items such as food Ð even the best pest control can fail if you provide an open invitation to mice and rats to come and dine on your belongings!
  • Don’t pack flammable or hazardous materials
  • Don’t store things like fireworks, car batteries, old cans of paint or anything else that can leak and damage the other items in the unit


Using a self-storage facility doesn’t have to be a difficult experience. Simply plan ahead, be organized, and your belongings will be safe and secure until the next time you need them!