Renting a self storage unit can be a game-changer when it comes to decluttering your home, managing a move, or simply making extra space. However, without a strategic approach to packing your storage unit, you might not be making the most of the space you’re paying for.

Here are some of our expert packing tips to help you maximise every square inch of your self storage unit.

Declutter First

The golden rule before packing? Declutter. Sort through your belongings and decide what truly needs to go into storage. This process not only frees up more space in your unit but also can save you money by possibly downsizing to a smaller unit.

Label Everything

Every box and bin should be labelled clearly on multiple sides. Be specific about the contents (“Winter Coats” instead of “Clothes”) to avoid frustration later. Consider using a numbering system and keeping a master list of box contents for easy reference.

Choose Your Containers Wisely

Selecting the right containers is crucial for keeping your items organised and secure in your storage unit. Both plastic bins and cardboard boxes have their place in a well-organised space, each offering unique benefits.

Plastic bins are durable and ideal for storing items that need protection from moisture and pests. Their ability to stack neatly makes them a great choice for maximising vertical space, and clear plastic bins allow you to see the contents at a glance, simplifying the task of locating items when you need them.

Cardboard boxes, on the other hand, are a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. They’re readily available and can be easily recycled or disposed of once you’re done using them. Cardboard is also surprisingly sturdy and can be just as effective for organising and protecting items that aren’t sensitive to moisture.

organised boxes

Disassemble to Save Space

Furniture takes up a significant amount of space. Where possible, disassemble pieces to save room. Store screws, bolts, and other hardware in labelled bags taped to the furniture they belong to, ensuring easy reassembly.

Use Vertical Space

Your storage unit’s rent includes the vertical space, so make sure you use it! Stack boxes and bins, place shelving units for additional organisation, and consider storing longer items like sofas on their end. Remember to keep heavier items on the bottom to prevent toppling.

Protect Your Belongings

Wrapping furniture in blankets or moving pads is the first line of defence against scratches, dents, and the accumulation of dust. For wooden furniture or items with a finish that could be easily damaged, consider using specialised furniture covers that are designed to fit snugly and provide better protection.

Delicate items require special attention to keep them protected. Bubble wrap, packing paper, and foam sheets are essential supplies for wrapping glassware, ceramics, electronics, and other fragile items. When packing these items into boxes, ensure there is enough cushioning material between each piece and the sides of the box to absorb any impacts.

For clothing, textiles, and soft goods, vacuum-sealed bags are an excellent storage solution. These bags compress items, significantly reducing the amount of space they occupy, which is especially useful for bulky items like winter coats, quilts, and pillows. Additionally, vacuum sealing provides an airtight barrier against moisture, mould, mildew, and pests, keeping your fabrics in pristine condition until you’re ready to use them again.

Create an Accessible Layout

Think about what items you’ll need access to more frequently and place them near the front of the unit or along an aisle. This strategic placement prevents the need to unpack multiple boxes just to reach one item.

Items that you won’t need access to can go in the back or bottom of the unit. Seasonal items, or those you plan to move or donate, should be more accessible. Think about your future needs and pack accordingly.

Keep a Clear Path

For those with larger units, try to ensure there’s a walkway from the front to the back of your unit. This pathway makes it easier to retrieve items without having to move everything around. If space allows, consider leaving enough room for you to navigate easily between rows of stacked boxes or furniture.

Regularly Reassess Your Storage Needs

Over time, your storage needs may change. Periodically reassess what’s in your unit, removing items you no longer need or adding new ones. This regular maintenance keeps your storage unit efficient and effective.


A well-packed self storage unit is more than just a place to store your excess belongings; it’s an extension of your home or business, providing valuable space for keeping your items safe and organised.

By following these packing tips, you’ll maximise the utility and accessibility of your self storage unit, ensuring that you get the most out of this resource. Remember, the key to effective use of your storage unit is not just in how you pack it but in how you approach the entire process, from decluttering to planning to regular reassessment.

With these strategies in hand, you’re well-equipped to make the most of your self storage space, keeping your belongings secure, accessible, and in pristine condition.