Things to do before storing:
Make a list of all the packing supplies you will need. Such as boxes, tape, bubble wrap, marking pens, damp rid, rope, and pallets. These are usually available at your mini-warehouse (self-storage facility).
Visit the facility that you want to store your items. Take a list of what you are going to be storing so that the manager can help you determine the correct size for your needs.
Be sure to read the lease before signing it. Make sure you are aware of company policies on moving out, paying the rent and other important information like late charges, credit cards, etc.
Schedule your mover 30-45 days in advance.
If you are using a moving company, find out what size truck they will be using. This is valuable in determining if your unit will be accessible to that truck. Most moving companies charge more the farther they have to carry your things.
Use pallets, 2 x 4's, plywood, plastic - anything that will keep your items off the floor of the unit.
Utilize all the space in your unit. Make a plan as to how you are going to arrange your items. A good plan will save you the time of having to rearrange your unit. Leave an aisle in the center of your unit so that you have a walk way to the back of the unit.
If you lose your key, remember only the named tenant can have locks cut. List your spouse or anyone else you want to have this authority on your lease.
Use freestanding shelves to help organize your unit.
Label the boxes on all six sides and keep a list for easy reference. This will save you time if you have to look for something in particular. When packing boxes, fill them without making them too heavy to lift. Always put the heavier boxes on the bottom and the lighter ones on top of the heavier ones. This will prevent boxes from being crushed. Keep boxes off the floor.
Be sure to store frequently used items at the front of the unit to avoid having to search for them.
To protect your items cover them with moving pads, sheets, plastic covers, or light blankets. Storage is subject to dust.
Use climate control storage for valuable furniture, storage of records, etc. Climate control units are dust and temperature controlled.
Be sure to check your unit once a month.
Cover all fabric items with a sheet or plastic cover. These are sold by most storage facilities.
Disassemble items such as tables, bed frames, etc. (This will save space.) Wrap and label all pieces for an easier time when you have to reassemble them. Put all hardware in bags and mark the bags accordingly.
When you disassemble electronics, such as computers, stereos, or anything that has numerous cords, place small colored stickers on the cord and the same color sticker where the cord goes. This will save you the hassle of trying to figure out what goes where when it comes time to reassemble your electronics. If possible, use the original boxes to store your electronics and other items.
Make sure that all appliances are clean and dry before storing them. Leave appliances slightly ajar to prevent mildew.
If it is possible, store couches on end. Stack chairs seat to seat. Use the inside of appliances and drawers to store smaller items. When stacking furniture use paper pads in between the items to avoid scratching. Be sure to cover all fabrics to protect from dust.
Store mirrors and paintings on end, not flat.
To prevent rusting, rub a small amount of machine oil on metal tools, bicycles, and equipment. Drain and clean all debris from all equipment before you store them. Empty/drain gasoline from lawnmowers, etc.
When wrapping collectibles or anything breakable, tape it after you wrap it. This should avoid mistaking them for excess paper to fill boxes. Use bubble wrap or unprinted paper to wrap breakables. Group similar items together and mark the boxes accordingly.
Clothing and draperies should be stored in wardrobe boxes, on hangers, to retain their original shapes.
Purchase the insurance. If your belongings are worth storing, they are worth insuring. Most storage facilities offer insurance.
Rubbermaid containers are great to store your items. They have tight fitting lids and stack easily. Keep the more valuable items in the rear of the unit. This will prevent others from seeing them when you are in your unit.
Keep out of season clothes accessible, you may have your belongings in storage longer than anticipated.
Be aware of your surroundings when you are in your unit. If you see a potential problem or anything suspicious alert the manager.
Do not store any food items. This will prevent any unwanted guests. Food is not allowed, per your lease. Rats and roaches will ruin your clothes and fabric items.
Do not pack your boxes so that they are too heavy to carry them. Especially when you are packing books.
Do not assume that your homeowners or renters insurance will cover your belongings while in storage. Insurance is offered by most storage facilities - or check your homeowners policy.
Do not give out your key, password, gate code or any information to any one that is not listed as having "Access" to your unit.
Do not use printed newspaper. The ink may smudge and get on your items.
Do not forget to clean appliances before you store them.
Do not store any toxins or flammables. Such as paint, oil, or gasoline. This is not allowed per lease and Georgia State Self Storage laws.