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Your Timeline for Affordable Self Storage

February 7, 2023 | Storage Tips

Sometimes you may look around your home and feel like your items are taking up too much space. It’s tempting to throw them away or donate them, but often there are items you want to keep or those you plan to use in the future. Moving items into an affordable storage unit is a perfect way to hang onto items you’ll want in the future while opening up space in your home. Today, the experts at Metro Self Storage are here to help you determine whether you need a storage unit and how to prepare your items for the move to your new home.

Determining Whether You Need a Storage Unit

There are several reasons moving some of your belongings into a storage space can be beneficial for you. Moving items into storage can be a fantastic way to clear up clutter and open up space in your home or office. Or perhaps you’ve acquired a lot of baby items your kids have grown out of but want to save for future children. Maybe you’re selling your home and downsizing but have some valuables you want to hang on to and pass on to your kids or grandkids.

Still another reason might be that you’re traveling for an extended time and want to store your valuables in a secure off-site location while you rent out your primary residence as a short-term rental. No matter what situation you find yourself in, there might be some items you simply don’t want to part with. In those situations, a storage unit is your best bet, but deciding whether you need a storage unit isn’t the end of the journey. In fact, it’s just the beginning.

Deciding on Your Budget

Having additional space comes with an additional cost, but when compared with the alternatives of replacing all of your items because you gave them away, self storage can save you a lot of money in the long run. Regardless of the economic benefits storage can bring, you still need to start budgeting for this new monthly expense. You’ll also want to determine how much you can comfortably spend on a storage unit. This will determine whether you can spring for added features like climate control, which typically come with a higher price tag.

Packing Items for a Storage Unit

young woman packing books in a box.

Now that you’ve landed on a budget that has guided you to a storage unit with all the features you need, it’s time to prepare your items for storage. Here are a few tips for some of the most common items people store. 


Be sure to wash everything before packing so the items are clean before sitting in storage for an extended period of time. Fold the items and place them in storage or vacuum-sealed bags and then place them in an airtight container. Add some moisture absorbers and scented sachets to keep clothes dry and smelling good. These are inexpensive ways to ensure that your clothes remain in good condition while in storage. 

Appliances and Household Items

Wash, clean, and vacuum items per the item’s instructions. For fragile items, wrap them in newspaper or bubble wrap to protect them from breaking as you move them from your home to the storage unit. Nonperishable items like books, toys, and office supplies can be packed into cardboard boxes, but airtight containers are always the best choice—and they’re easy to stack! For large items and appliances, like refrigerators, wrap them in covers, boxes, or blankets to avoid scratches or dents as you relocate them to the storage unit. Ensure doors stay closed by keeping the appliances wrapped up or securing a bungee cord around them.

Cars, RVs, and Boats

Did you know you can prep your vehicle on your own rather than hiring a professional? While the usual maintenance is required—do a thorough cleaning of the vehicle before putting it in storage, fill the tanks with gas and add in some fuel stabilizer, and get the oil changed—there are several other tips you’ll want to follow to make sure your vehicle is in tiptop shape when you need it again.

Moving Items to a Self Storage Unit

Once you have everything packed, it’s time for the most daunting step in the moving process—moving your items to their new home. This step in the process takes longer if you don’t plan ahead. Hopefully, with the help of these tips, you can avoid making the same moving mistakes and save yourself some time and money in the process.

Gradual Relocation

One of the benefits of renting a storage unit is the ability to access your unit whenever it’s convenient for you. You could choose to pack up and move items at your leisure by throwing items in your car and dropping them off when you want rather than renting a vehicle to move all of your belongings over. Bring a box or two on your way home from work or after your kid’s sports practice and fill up the unit in a few small trips.

One Trip

Open moving truck with items packed inside

If you have a strict timetable (moving date, traveling, etc.), you may want to spend one day moving items from your home to the unit. To make this moving trip go smoothly, be sure to pack up and label your items prior to the moving day. Doing so will allow you to use your time efficiently on moving day. Measure your items ahead of time to ensure that they’ll fit into your vehicle, a friend’s vehicle, or a truck and trailer that you rent for the day. If renting a vehicle, be sure to ask if there are any local deals available.

Organizing Your Storage Unit

Once you have everything in storage, it’s time to start organizing. To utilize the space well, use storage boxes that can be easily stacked on top of each other. Consider adding shelving if you have items that cannot be stacked or shouldn’t have weight put on top of them. You can build your own or purchase used shelving for some affordable options.

Be sure to label everything clearly and use labels that are easy to read. Store similar items with one another so they’re easy to locate when you need to retrieve something. For example, pack all winter clothing together, all Christmas décor together, and so on. A color-coding system is a great way to help you easily find the items you need.

Keep your clothing organized by folding it rather than throwing it into a box. Wrap things like cords and Christmas lights and secure them with a twisty tie, or wind them around a rectangular piece of cardboard to keep them from tangling. Taking the time to organize your items when packing will make it easier when unpacking them later.

Get Affordable Storage at Metro Self Storage

Perhaps the most important step in every self storage process is choosing the right facility. Since 1973, Metro Self Storage has made room for residents and business owners across 12 states. With state-of-the-art facility features and a friendly, knowledgeable staff, you’ll have no problem finding a storage unit that fits your needs and your budget. Start planning your self storage move and give us a call or rent a unit at a Metro Self Storage location near you!