If you are planning to put items into storage, take the time to learn the right way to store without damage or issues.
Before loading up the storage unit with your stuff, take the time to decide on a packing system. For short-term storage, cardboard boxes will likely work fine. If you plan to store for more than a couple of months, though, cardboard can break down or absorb moisture, thus making it a subpar long-term solution. For longer storage, consider storage tubs made of plastic instead. These stack nicely and keep out moisture, pests, and dust.
Furniture should also be covered in storage. There are bag systems designed to fit certain types of furniture, such as a mattress or sofa. These bags have ventilation built in so moisture doesn't become trapped inside. If a bag is possible or available in the shape you need, then furniture should be covered with a plain white cloth sheet. The sheet will breathe so moisture isn't trapped, and it will also keep off dust and dirt.
Prepping your items for storage will also help prevent damage in the unit. Clothing should be fully washed and dried, and upholstery should be vacuumed and shampooed, if possible. Any stains or soil left in fabrics can develop into impossible-to-remove discoloration, so cleaning is important. Soil can also attract pests, which can eat through fabric.
Wood and plastic items require cleaning, and wood should be polished or conditioned prior to storage. Batteries and battery packs must be removed from electronic items. Any items with removal fluids, such as water jugs, must be emptied and dried before you store them. Generally, the goal is to only store clean and dry items.
Disallowed Item List
Not everything is suitable for a storage unit. In fact, there are certain items that are typically not allowed or shouldn't be stored even if they are. Food and beverages, including dry goods, must never be put into storage for example, as they can attract pests.
Anything explosive, including fuels, batteries, and ammo, can't be kept in a storage unit. Fertilizer and similar chemicals for yard and home, including paint, paint thinners, and cleaners, are usually on the not-allowed list. Always check with your storage unit manager for the most up-to-date list of items that cannot be stored onsite for any reason.
Contact a storage facility in your area to learn more about properly loading items into a unit.