How To Organise Your Storage Unit | Self Storage Packing Tips

Packing things away into long-term storage doesn’t need to be a mind-bending challenge! If you’re getting ready to box up your belongings and send them to a storage unit, take a look at our top self storage packing tips to get you started.

Map it out

Creating a plan for your storage unit is a great place to start. It doesn’t have to be a work of art – just a simple sketch showing where everything goes. For non-visual learners, a list will do just fine too!

Planning ahead means you can figure out how to best maximise your space and decide where to place specific items. This is especially important if there’s items you might need access to on a regular basis. You could also create pathways through the items, to make reaching them safely that much easier.

Not only will having a plan ensure that you and anyone helping can put things away quickly and efficiently, but you can also keep a copy handy to make finding things in the unit that much easier. Tape a copy to the wall of the unit, or keep one with you for when you return, and you’ll have no trouble locating specific boxes or items.

While you’re planning, you might want to check out our guide to what you CAN’T store in a storage unit, and see if there’s anything you need to eliminate early on.

Test run

If you have the space, try setting up a comparable space at home. Use tape to create the size of the storage unit and your larger items and boxes and experiment a little with placement. Not only will this give you an idea what to do on the day, but you might find you need a smaller space than originally anticipated, which can save you money!

Store largest items first

When loading a self-storage unit, large or bulky items should be top of the packing list. It’s a lot easier to pack smaller boxes and items in and around them, rather than trying to fit them into an already half-full storage unit.

Generally speaking, these larger items are also likely to be needed less immediately, so having them tucked away at the back of the unit keeps them out of the way and maintains access to everything else.

You may want to take apart some larger items for storage – this is a great idea to help save space.

Ease of access

Think carefully about what you’ll need access to for the duration of your storage rental. These items should be stored in places you can reach easily with short notice, so you don’t have to go digging through the entire unit. Consider storing them at the front of the unit, so you can grab and go.


Your label maker is about to become your new best friend!

Add descriptive labels to all your boxes – and we don’t just mean the names of the rooms. Be specific about what’s in each box and who they belong to. This won’t just help you with finding items, but can help actively organise the space, as you’ll be more aware of exactly what’s inside each box and can group, stack, and pack like items with like.

Don’t forget to place those labels in a place you can see them. We recommend the side of the box, rather than the top, and turning the label to face the entrance of the unit. This means that the moment you open the door, you’ll be able to see everything you have.

If you’re breaking down larger furniture pieces, pop all the hardware and instructions into labelled zip lock bags, and considering numbering the individual pieces before bundling it all together. This will make putting the furniture back together that much easier and will ensure no little pieces go missing.

Maximise your space

Making the most of the space means you can store more while taking up less space. If you’re working within a tight budget and have to stick with a smaller storage unit, this is going to be key for you.

Simple things like rolling clothes in a certain way or placing items inside hollow items, such as drawers, wardrobes, or even washing machines can go a long way here.

If you have shelving units you need to store, consider leaving them intact and using them to stack boxes safely. Stacking boxes is a great idea to help maximise the space, but it’s important that the higher you go, the more support you have for the boxes. This is why shelving units are such a good idea – they’re designed exactly for this purpose and don’t take up a huge amount of space. Just be wary of the weight limits of the individual shelves, and keep heavy items on the lower levels.

Taking apart larger furniture will also save space, as the cumulative pieces will take up much less space than the complete item – just be sure to label everything so you know how to put it back together.

Heavy items

Heavy items should be kept a lower level, reducing the risk of them falling on more delicate objects. This also makes lifting and moving them much safer for you and can allow easier access for things like trollies which can help with all that physical stuff. Just remember to lift with your knees, not your back!

Fragile items

Heavy items go low, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the more delicate ones need to go sky high.

Keep fragile items in an accessible and safe location. You don’t want to be pulling a box of expensive crockery from a high shelf, or risk having an expensive TV come crashing down on Nan’s fine china.

Pack these items carefully and take the surrounding items into account when storing them. Check out our guides to packing and moving fragile items, and storing glass long-term for some helpful tips.

Start organising!

Now you’re armed with all our self storage packing tips, you’re ready to organise your storage unit! Take your time, prepare accordingly, and don’t be afraid to reach out to the professionals for more advice!