If you are spending the money for a self storage unit, you want to make the most of the space you have. This article will give you some ideas on keeping your items safe and accessible; in short, some of the tips I'll give you will make your life easier! You can find the supplies that I refer to at Beaver Storage in Avoca, Arkansas or at Beaver Lake Storage just outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Boxes and stacking - Use the heaviest duty boxes you can find. Plastic bins would be better than cardboard because they won't wilt in humidity. Stack the boxes neatly with the largest and heaviest on top. Also, label those boxes and make sure the label is facing out. This may seem obvious, but be sure that everyone helping you fill up the unit knows what you expect.
Pest Control - Even if the storage facility you use has good rodent and bug control, you'll want to take care of this in your own unit. Whether you are storing boxes of household stuff, files or a vehicle, place some rodent bait and some bug traps in your unit.
Lighting - If you plan to use your unit later in the evening or early in the mornings or if your unit is particularly long, you may want to consider some supplemental lighting. A nice option is a battery operated light that has a magnetic back so it can be attached almost anywhere in a unit. The ones we like are turned on and off by tapping the actual light fixture.
Locks and Keys - You'll want to make sure that your unit has a lock on it. In our experience a medium quality lock is adequate. You want something that acts as a good deterant and won't rust or fall apart after it's been in the weather for a few months. The most heavey duty, expensive model probably isn't necessary at most facilities.
Keeping track of the key to your lock could be a challenge. It makes sense if you are going to visit the unit regularly to keep it on your car key ring. Consider attaching a mini flashlight onto the key ring so you won't have to fumble in the dark for your lock. Our facilities have very good night lighting but it's not the same as daylight and a small beam could save you time and hassle.
You might consider a magnetic hide a key box to keep somewhere in your vehicle. Label the storage key with the unit number and you'll always have it handy and available.
Paperwork - Put your contract and other storage paperwork in a folder and keep it with your household or business files. If you forget your gate code or the date your rent is due, you want to have easy access to it. This is also handy if the time ever comes that you want to move out of the unit. You can review the move-out policies to insure that you receive your deposit on the unit back.
Cleanliness - Somehow over time all units tend to collect dust and a little debris. It would be nice if you had a broom handy to give the unit a quick sweep when you are in it occassionally. At our facilities a broom and dust pan are available for customer use during regular office hours: Mon -Fri. 9am - 5pm and Saturday 9am - 1pm.
Be sure to place a drip pan or absorbant pad under vehicle engines or any piece of equipment that could leak oil or other fluids. An ounce of prevention is really worth a pound of cure in this circumstance. (Just trust me on this one.)
That should totally trick out your storage unit. Good luck and happy storing!