Storage Tips

Storage Tips from City Storage Cambridge

Avoid Costly Mistakes – It’s Easy.

Just Follow These “Best Practice Storage Guidelines”.

Mold that kills artwork — Dust that destroyed clothing — Broken glassware — Crushed boxes — Rusted tools — Warped book covers — Crumpled mattresses — the list is long…
You don’t want to go there.
Print this checklist. It will help you avoid disappointments down the road – keeping your memories, preserving your possessions, and saving you money.

1.  Choose the Right Space For Your Needs
There’s no need to oversize. It’s a waste of money. Let us show you how to plan your boxing and packing strategy so you can efficiently and completely fill your space.

2.  Prepare the Materials You’ll Need

Here are the basics:  1) Sturdy new boxes. Second-hand boxes are weakened and seams can be sketchy.  2) Heavy-Duty packaging tape.  3) Indelible ink markers, like a heavy Sharpie.  4) Styrofoam packing noodles.  5) Bubble wrap. 6) Packing paper and/or clean towels for fragile glassware. 6) Ground cover.  7) Pallets. 2 x 4’s or 1 x 2’s to fit the interior floor dimensions.

3.  Think Rubik’s Cube

As much as possible, try your best to keep your boxes a uniform size. This is one of the key secrets to utilizing your space for maximum efficiency, super easy stacking, and easy access.

4.  Know Your Inventory – Make a List

When packing your boxes, make a list of everything you put in them. Mark all four sides of your boxes with a letter or number system that corresponds to your list for that box. EXAMPLE: Box 18: Johnny’s trophies, race ribbons, team uniforms, photographs, wall posters and assorted bedroom nic-nacs.
Keep this list in a safe place away from your self storage unit. It will come in handy when you want to find things later. It’s a Godsend when you’re relocating and want to know where to put the box in your new location. You’ll save a lot of time and money this way. And should you need to make an insurance claim, your list becomes invaluable.

5.  Post-Loading Access
Sometimes you may need to retrieve items you’ve stored. Seasonal items or important documents come to mind. When you do, you don’t want to unload half of your storage unit to get to them. A little bit of planning and forethought will make these occasional visits really simple.


Do not store any COMBUSTIBLES — gasolines, paints, solvents or any other combustible liquids can wreak havoc by emitting odors, or far worse, combusting into flames that will destroy everything. Just don’t do it.

7.  The Benefit of Aisles

If you rent a larger storage unit leave a passageway down the center. This permits easy access and also provides for important air circulation.

8.  How to Stack Properly
When planning your storage, be sure to place the heavier boxes on the bottom and stack lighter boxes on top of them. If you want to place 1 x 2’s between them, that’s even better to provide air-flow and prevent sagging.

9.  What’s the Best Box?

Using old boxes can lead to disappointment. They’re already weak simply because they’ve been used. We recommend new strong and sturdy boxes. We sell them in our fully equipped supply shop. Maximum — also, try not to overstuff them so the sides bulge.

10.  List and Inventory Your Contents

When you’re packing, be sure to write what you’re placing into each box on your inventory list that you’ll keep separately. Mark the box with a letter or number on all for sides of the box with an indelible Sharpie, and firmly tape all seems so they remain airtight.

11.  Saving Your Glass

The last thing you want is broken glasses and dishware. To safeguard against having to replace these items, take care when you pack. The best way is to individually wrap each item with packing paper and place them in a sturdy box. Another good tip is place these fragile boxes on top of your stacks.

12.  Fragile Mirrors and Pictures

Wrap your mirrors and and larger wall art in cardboard, mark them as “FRAGILE” and stack them on end – never flat with items on top of them.

13.  The Secret Drawers

You can use dresser and cabinet drawers to store your nic-nacs, china, silverware, and other small items. This is valuable space you can use to maximize efficiency. Items you place in drawers can be wrapped in towels, blankets or tablecloths that you plan to store anyway.

14.  Appliances are Your Friend

Ovens, refrigerators, microwaves, and other appliances all have roomy interiors you can use for storage. Use this space to store kitchen items or other items that are less easily boxed up – and be sure to wrap each item separately before you place it in your appliance.

15.  Electronics to the Back

Unless you’ll be needing them during the duration of your storage, we highly recommend you place your TV’s, computers, and other electronics in the rear of your storage unit. This means they go in first.

16.  Keeping it Together

When it comes time to unpack, you’ll be happy if you store things together that belong together. Example: Gardening equipment like shovels, hoes, rakes, hoses can be stored in your trash cans. Later, you’ll be glad you organized this way.

17.  Take Off the Legs

A lot of space can be saved if you disassemble the removable legs from tables and chairs. This will yield much better utilization of the space inside your storage unit.

18.  Sofas and Loveseats

These should be securely wrapped in plastic and stood on end. The cushions should also be wrapped and placed on top.

19.  Sharp and Heavy Objects

Avoid placing your sharp and heavy objects on top of upholstered furniture. Where applicable, sharp edges should be bound with a piece of cardboard and heavy packing tape to prevent damaging other items nearby – or poking an eye as your moving.

20. Protecting Stuffed Furniture

Stuffed furniture is susceptible to collecting dust. Prevent this by by covering them with cardboard, blankets, or plastic wrap as tightly as possible.

21.  Mattresses

The best way to store your mattresses to keep them from bending or lumping: Stand them on their sides and prop them up with 2 x 4’s between a wall and a stack of sturdy boxes.

22.  Preserving Your Metal Items from Rust

Bikes, metal tables, tools, and other equipment made from metal need a bit of special care to prevent rusting. Wiping them with some machine oil at the time of storing will give you the extra protection they’ll need.

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