Self Storage Checklist – Self Storage Planning

Moving Checklist

If you’re downsizing your home or if you just want to declutter you may be in need of a self-storage unit. Follow our checklist to learn more about your options such as full-service storage vs. self-storage, figuring out how much space you need, considering insurance, and how to optimize the storage space.


  • Consider Purchasing Insurance

    Insure items before putting them in storage. Even if belongings are covered under an existing homeowners or renters insurance policy, you should call your provider to double-check that items will still be covered when they are “off-premise.” If items aren’t covered under your current policy, consider purchasing additional coverage. Be aware that many storage facilities provide affordable self-storage insurance options. This added protection may be free of charge as well.


  • Budget Accordingly

    When figuring out your overall moving budget, be sure to factor in your storage expenses. The cost of renting a storage unit is typically based on how much and how long you store. Self-storage facilities usually offer contracts on a month-to-month basis. Contracts offered by full-service storage facilities vary from company to company. Some insist on a three month minimum, while others offer month-to-month services.


  • Choose Full-Service Storage or Self-Storage

    If you live in a high-rise building or an urban area where parking is an issue, consider hiring a full-service storage company. Using this type of storage means that storage facility representatives will deliver your storage unit to you and retrieve items when you need them. While convenient, this type of storage service tends to be more expensive than self-storage. Most customers opt for self-storage facilities because of their affordability and flexible rental terms.


  • Research Storage Locations

    From Public Storage to U-Haul Storage, there are numerous self-storage facilities available to you. Before booking a unit, make sure that the storage facility of choice is located near your home. This way, you won’t have any trouble visiting the storage unit when you need to drop-off or pick-up an item.


  • Compare Prices

    To compare storage facility prices, use’s ‘Find Storage Now’ tool. We’ll pull quotes from the closest storage unit facilities near your new home to compare. You can even sort them by star ratings from other people, their price and distance from your home. When using’s storage tool, you can also filter by features such as climate control, drive-up access and 24-hour access.


  • Figure Out How Much Space You Need

    Storage units come in a number of sizes. In fact, the majority of self-storage facilities offer multiple size units for rent. The most common sizes include 5’x5′, 5’x10′, 10’x10′, 10’x15′ and 10’x20′ storage units. In addition, many facilities offer smaller and larger sizes for customers.


  • Make Checklist of Storage Needs

    Do you need a climate controlled unit? How about 24-hour access? Before booking a storage unit, determine your wants and needs when it comes to storage unit amenities. A few amenities and features to consider include accessibility, video monitoring, number of locks, hours of operation, sizes offered, security, indoor vs. outdoor, climate control and lighting.



  • Book Storage Unit

    Six to seven weeks prior to needing storage, go ahead and book your storage unit of choice. You can book your storage unit through’s free Storage Center. All you have to do is type in your zip code and click the “find storage” button. will pull quotes from the closest storage unit facilities near your new home.



  • Look Up Storage Unit Restrictions

    Before placing your things in storage, be sure to look up all storage facility rules and restrictions. Your storage facility should be able to provide you with a list of what you can and cannot put in storage. Items that are generally not allowed in storage include gasoline, fertilizers, paint, chemicals, fireworks, explosives, narcotics, perishable food, medicine, plants and any flammable objects.


  • Create Inventory List of All Items

    As you begin to sift through your things, start writing down all items that you intend to store. Creating an inventory list will help keep your belongings organized during a move. This list can also be used for insurance purposes, if something (god forbid) is damaged or stolen while in storage. Leave a copy of the inventory list inside the storage unit. This way when you go to retrieve belongings, you’ll have your inventory list to remind you what is and what is not inside the storage unit.



  • Safeguard Items

    Renting a storage unit without climate control? You’ll need to prevent general wear and tear by safeguarding items from outside forces (think: dust, moisture, mildew, pests and mold). To protect items: apply protective spray on furniture and leather goods; seal boxes tightly to keep moisture out; store electronics and cords in plastic baggies; pack sweaters and clothing in wardrobe boxes; place mattresses inside special mattress storage bags; and cover furniture in cotton sheets.


  • Label Boxes

    After you decide what’s going in storage, begin packing items in clearly labeled boxes. This will make it easier to find belongings when you need them.


  • Take Photos of All Items

    As you pack up items, take photos of all valuables and important items to match your inventory list. This way you can simply scroll through photos to remember what’s inside your storage unit. In addition, these photos can be useful for insurance purposes.



  • Disassemble Large Items

    When placing belongings inside of a storage unit, be sure to take them apart first. Large items such as beds and tables should be properly disassembled. This will help conserve space in your storage unit. It will also help protect items from damage. Read more tips on preparing items for storage.



  • Strategically Place Items Inside Storage Unit

    When putting items in storage, be strategic about how and where you decide to place them inside the unit. Box springs and mattresses should be stored flat to prevent damage. Large and heavy items should line the bottom of the storage unit. Lighter items should go on top. To save space, try storing items in a vertical position. For instance, headboards and table legs should be stored standing up. Also, decide which items you plan to take out of storage more often (e.g. seasonal clothing). These items should be placed in a readily accessible spot inside the storage unit.


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Self Storage Checklist – Self Storage Planning
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