Unless you are in a situation where a company or the military is causing you to have a temporary move, you will probably need to get to the items in your storage unit from time to time. To keep from harming your possessions when this happens, you need to think ahead.
1. Use uniform boxes that will stack easily and are easily labeled. Boxes from liquor stores are great, but some are covered in printing, making labels difficult to see from a distance. Plastic bags do not work for self-storage since they can trap humidity and do not stack or label well.
2. Labels matter. Buy a big sharpie and mark boxes clearly so the label can be seen from a distance. Mark each side of the box so the label is visible. Consider adding a priority number to boxes. For example, items you may need later are labeled with a number one. Now you can prioritize as you load the unit.
3. Bigger is better. A slightly larger unit than necessary will help you maneuver without compromising your possessions; just make sure to leave a center aisle. Priority-one boxes should be located near the aisle.
4. Accidents happen, especially when things are moved around. Put some blankets or cardboard the floor of the unit to cushion any falls. Also make sure that each corner of your furniture is protected.
5. Put heavy items in the back of the unit. You probably will not retrieve these items, and they make a good base to build upon. For security, put valuable items, such as televisions, in the back too.
6. All business items, including file boxes, should be kept near the front - even if you do not expect to need them. People retrieve business items most frequently.
7. Lawn and garden tools, such as rakes and shovels, can stand in a trash can. Now, they are less likely to fall, and you can easily reach them.
With upfront attention to detail, your organized storage unit will bring serenity, not frustration, each time you need something that you previously stored.