Putting some of your belongings into storage sounds like a straightforward thing to do. You rent a space, box up your things, and stack them into the unit. Then you lock the door and walk away.
Mostly. Our storage units are dry and ventilated. They’re level and secure. And we have room for small and large loads alike. But there are a few storage tips you might like to follow to make sure all your belongings survive in tip-top shape however long you’re storing them with us.
Choose the right size storage unit
You don’t need to rent enough space to fit a mansion if you only want to store the contents of your spare bedroom while you redecorate. Equally, you don’t want to cram your unit so full that you cannot get to items stored at the back without unloading the whole unit. If you don’t know how much space you might need, don’t be afraid to ask us. Better still, pop in for a viewing which is one of the best ways to gauge the space you’re likely to need. We’ve seen loads in all shapes and sizes and are happy to help you make the right choice.
Choose your transport
At Fort Locks, our units have drive-up access. That means you don’t have to carry your items too far to get them safely stowed. We’re also situated in the centre of Banbury, so making several trips with small car loads, or hiring a van for a few hours won’t take too much of your time or money. If you’re moving to a new home, or moving long distance, then we recommend you pick a larger vehicle that can bring all your items in one trip.
Packing your items
We recommend that you take large items apart – beds use up much less space in your storage unit if they are disassembled – but don’t forget to collect all screws, nuts, and bolts and bag them safely. Label the bag, too, or you may struggle to put your furniture back together when you bring it out of storage.
It is best to box items, to make transport and storage easier. Use good quality boxes with double corrugated cardboard, and use smaller boxes for heavy items (e.g. books) or they will be too heavy to carry easily. You should also distribute all your heavy items between the boxes. Pad all spaces between items with old newspapers, bubble wrap, socks or towels. We can help out, if you are struggling to find enough boxes and packaging material.
Carefully wrap all fragile items. Box them and pad around them to avoid movement. Make sure to label all boxes to remind yourself that the content is fragile.
Storing your items
Place the biggest items at the back of your unit. If you’re storing furniture, maximise your storage space by storing boxes in your wardrobes, and fill the drawers of chests of drawers. Don’t place heavy boxes on top of lighter or fragile items and make sure everything is clearly labelled. Lidded, plastic storage boxes, the see-through kind, make great storage containers for clothes and other items you may need. If you are storing clothes and soft furnishings for a very long time, you might want to consider vacuum packing to avoid dampness and mildew getting into material. (Our storage units are dry, insulated and ventilated, but most clothes, soft furnishings and all air contains some moisture, especially in the UK, so be aware of this, as you bring it into the storage unit. Although not strictly necessary, you could occasionally open your storage unit to give it a proper airing.)
Stack all your items along the walls of your storage unit and leave a walkway down the middle, so you can reach everything you’ve stored.
As always, if you’re not sure please ask. We are here to help, whether it’s before or while you store your items at Fort Locks.