When you are preparing to move your belongings into a Maple Leaf Self Storage unit, we want to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible. We can assist by helping you choose the locker size that is just right for your items and giving you self storage tips on how to prepare and pack your things effectively. Here are a few things for you to consider. If you have any questions, please ask our knowledgeable staff or check out this article on movingwaldo.com.
Choosing the right space
- Be as specific as you can when describing the type and number of items that you wish to store so that we can help you determine the correct locker size.
- Consider the following:
- Do your belongings need to be stored in a heated environment?
- Are you planning to store for a short term or a long term?
- Will you be accessing your unit frequently or only once in a while?
- Would you prefer a locker with interior access or exterior access?
- Are any of your items very long (i.e. a kayak) or particularly large (i.e. a wall unit)?
- Are you planning to use freestanding shelving in your unit? If so, you may need to allow for access corridors.
- Drop by one of our Maple Leaf Self Storage locations and have a tour of the storage center. Take note of the additional benefits provided such as Resident Managers, free usage of moving carts and dollies and complimentary refreshments.
- Take a moment to look at the various unit options available and choose the unit that makes the best sense for you. It always helps to see the space and to visualize your belongings within it.
- Get several quotes from moving companies well in advance of your move and select the best option. You can save a lot of money by packing the light items yourself and letting the movers handle your appliances, bulky furniture and heavier items.
- TIP: If you need help finding a mover, check out Moving Companies in our Referral Partners section, or ask us for the names of some reputable movers in your area.
- Pack non-essential items such as books, financial records, off-seasonal clothing, ornaments, sports equipment and toys first to reduce stress as you near moving day.
- Purchase quality boxes designed for the items you are packing. Small boxes (1.5 cu. ft.) are ideal for books, CDs, magazines and other items that tend to be heavy. Mid-sized boxes (3.0 cu. ft.) work well for kitchenware, dishes, clothing and everyday items. Larger boxes (4.5 and 6.0 cu. ft.) are best suited for bedding, towels and other lighter items.
- Label boxes on every side for easy reference. Do not write the exact content details on each box. Instead, keep a list of each box’s contents with you. This permits you to quickly retrieve specific items when you need them.
- TIP: You can purchase all your packing supplies at our stores. Save even more when buying Multipacks.
- TIP: The heavier the item, the smaller the box. Avoid packing heavy items in a large box as it will be too heavy to lift and move.
- TIP: Fill boxes correctly. Over-filling may cause the box to rip or bulge, making stacking difficult. Under-filled boxes are likely to collapse when stacked. Use lightweight material, such as bubble wrap, to fill the empty space. Avoid using newspaper as the ink will rub off and stain your items. Instead, use wrapping paper.
- Arrange to have mail forwarded to your new address.
- Contact the electricity, gas, telephone and cable companies to inform them of your move and to establish services at your new home.
- Notify your bank, doctor and dentist of your change of address.
- Cancel delivery of bottled water, milk, magazines and newspapers and settle any bills you may have overlooked.
- Arrange to have someone look after your children and pets on moving day.
- Calculate the value of your stored items and arrange insurance coverage.
- TIP: If you don’t have an insurance provider, ask us for a referral to a reputable company that provides storage insurance.
Preparing your belongings for storage
Furniture and appliances
- Empty your appliances and clean them thoroughly. Defrost the freezer and fridge, de-grease the stove and remove any baked-on food which may attract pests.
- TIP: Keep appliance doors slightly ajar and add a box of baking soda to keep them smelling fresh.
- Drain fuel from lawn mowers and other machinery and remove batteries from battery-operated devices.
- TIP: Wipe chrome and other metal surfaces with a little machine oil to help prevent rusting.
- Disassemble bed frames, tables and shelves. Keep nuts and bolts from each item inside a well-marked plastic bag for easy re-assembly.
- Wipe and vacuum upholstered furniture to remove any dirt or crumbs.
- Protect mattresses and sofas with furniture covers. Toss a couple of fabric softener sheets inside covers to keep items smelling fresh even after months of storage.
- Pack stereos, computers and televisions in their original boxes, if possible, or in strong boxes after individually wrapping pieces in bubble wrap. Remember to label all cords and pieces and back-up your important computer files before sealing the box.
- Clean your gardening tools (e.g. shovels, brooms, rakes and hoses) and keep them together in a clean and dry trash can. Hand-tools and smaller inventory items can be packed in sturdy plastic storage containers.
- Wrap breakables individually in either bubble wrap or cloth. Nest cups and bowls together and stack plates vertically on their edges. Plates can also be packed in dish boxes for extra protection.
- TIP: Make sure to mark these boxes “Fragile”. Never place heavier boxes on top of them.
- TIP: Furniture with drawers can be used as storage spaces for small items such as office tools (staplers, telephones) and delicate china or silverware. Remember to wrap them in bubble wrap or towels first, for added protection.
- Wrap mirrors, pictures and paintings in ink-free paper. Never store these items flat; instead, store them vertically, just like they hang on the wall.
Linens, clothing and carpets
- Cloth items should be clean and free from soil and starch to avoid attracting pests.
- Store clothes on their hangers in wardrobe boxes. Do not enclose clothing within plastic bags.
- TIP: Our stores sell packing materials such as upright wardrobe boxes, jumbo utility bags and drop cloths.
- Wool carpets should be professionally and thoroughly cleaned before being stored to ensure that moth eggs are not present.
- Carpets should be rolled right-side out (never folded) to preserve the pile.
The day before you move
- Pack all your valuables (such as jewelry and cameras) in a carry-on bag and keep it with you at all times.
- Keep all your moving documents, including important phone numbers, handy.
- Pack a few snacks and drinks to keep your energy levels up. If you have a moment, stop by our office for a complimentary beverage.
- Purchase a lock to secure your unit. We have a good assortment of high quality self storage locks at our stores.
Loading your storage space
- Ideally, use pallets, plastic sheeting or heavy drop cloths to keep furniture and boxes off the concrete floor.
- Consider using freestanding shelving units to maximize your space.
- Stack similar-sized boxes on top of one another or place them on furniture and appliances. Don’t forget to use the space under tables.
- Save space by storing sofas on end.
- Place items you need most often at the front of the locker (in other words, load them in last).
- Leave a small aisle for accessing items at the back.
- Leave air space around the unit’s perimeter to ensure adequate ventilation.
- Use a high quality lock for added security. These are available at our stores.
- TIP: When lifting, always use your knees; never your back.
The day after you move
- Organize a BBQ to thank friends for helping you move. Relax, knowing your stored items are in good hands.
Common sense and government laws determine what may be stored in self storage facilities. Please read the following to ensure that you, your belongings and your fellow customers are safe at all times. If you have any questions, our storage specialists will be happy to help. As a rule, never store any of the following:
- Firearms, explosives, weapons or ammunition.
- Hazardous, toxic or radioactive goods, biological agents and flammable materials and liquids. These present a serious danger to the facility, its personnel, other customers and your goods.
- Gas canisters (e.g. for barbeques or recreational vehicle use) and aerosol cans.
- Pollutants, contaminated goods, asbestos or other materials of a potentially dangerous nature.
- Cash or securities, coins, precious stones, jewelry, antiques or fine art unless specifically agreed with us in writing, in advance of storing such goods in the unit.
- Illegal substances, illegal items or goods illegally obtained.
- Birds, fish, animals or any other living creature.
- Food or perishable goods. Dry foods (like rice, flour, pet food etc.).
- Scented candles or ornaments made of edible ingredients (e.g. popcorn strings, cookie or play-dough ornaments).
- Waste or other items which do or could emit any fumes, smell or odour.
The items you place in self storage units are the sole responsibility of you, their owner. Goods are not insured by the storage facility. If your insurance does not cover stored possessions, check with your local insurance agent about acquiring “all risk” insurance coverage for your possessions. Ensure that the coverage states the address of the self storage center where your goods are being stored.
We hope that these self storage tips help you with your planning. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.