Portable Storage – Essential Tips

Portable storage is the new darling of the storage world, and with good reason. With a portable storage pod or container, the days of hiring an expensive truck or removal men are gone. Instead of hauling all of your stuff out to a storage unit, the storage unit comes to you!

When using a storage pod instead of traditional storage, though, there are a few differences in the way you should pack. With the right adjustments, you can fit more into your portable storage container and still keep everything safe.

storage boxes

What to Expect

When you book your portable storage unit, you’ll nominate a day and time to receive the pod. When that time comes, the storage company will deliver the container and lay it out on a piece of level ground. Make sure you have room and permission to put it there and be aware of any local regulations which may restrict the amount of time you can keep it on or near your property.

Preparing for Loading

You may think you can pack up your boxes much like any other move—in assorted shapes and sizes. You can do this, but you’ll be able to fit much more in your pod if you use the same size and shape boxes for all of your belongings. Get the exact inner dimensions of the pod before you start so you can figure out the best way to fit everything snugly.

As well as this, you’ll need enough reinforcement on the boxes themselves to withstand the weight of several layers. Tape up as many sides as you can, then do it again for good luck. The last thing you want is for the bottom layer of boxes to be crushed under the others.

Laying Out the Container

You need to prepare for the fact that the container will be transported from your location to storage, and then from storage to your new location. No matter how careful the driver is, the contents of the container can shift and topple during transit if they’re not packed properly.

To help prevent this, you’ll need to:

  • Pack your boxes tightly so there is little room to move.
  • Make floor-to-ceiling “walls” of boxes along the sides and end of the container to prevent items shifting.
  • Distribute the weight evenly throughout the pod, putting heavier items at the bottom.
  • Use loading straps to tie down objects if the container comes with internal strap anchor points.

woman is opening storage box

Delicate, Fragile and Valuable Items

The number-one rule of irreplaceable items like documents and jewelry is to not pack them at all. Unlike secure, off-site storage units, you won’t be in control of your portable storage pod once it leaves your property. It’s best to keep these with you as you move.

Securing Fragile Items

Fragile items such as glass and delicate furniture can be packed into portable storage, but you’ll need to be careful. Use as much padding as you can and make sure they’re securely in a box or strapped to the floor of the pod. Some things you can use as padding include:

  • Clothes
  • Cushions
  • Bedding
  • Bubble wrap
  • Old Styrofoam packaging

Climate Control

Most portable containers don’t feature any kind of climate control, unlike traditional dedicated storage facilities. You’ll need to compensate for this, first by protecting all exposed furniture and fittings from the light and, second, by using moisture absorbers in the container to protect against damp and mold.

Don’t Rush

The most important advice we can give is to not rush the job. The great thing about portable storage is that, once the container is on your property, you usually have all the time in the world to pack it. So, relax, plan how you’re going to do it, and take a few days to avoid damaging your stuff—or yourself.

In the same way, you should plan your move before it’s too late. You don’t want to be running around trying to organize your student self-storage in the dying days of the semester. Start a couple of weeks ahead and call Box-n-Go Moving and Storage at (877) 269-6461. As the experts on cheap and easy campus storage around USC and UCLA,  we can take the headache out of any move, no matter how big or small.