Packing up your household belongings is always a chore. You may be moving to new home, city or country, or you may be storing clothing, sports equipment or garden tools as protection over the coming wet season.


To help you get your packing done in the most efficient and cost-effective way, we’ve compiled a quick reference packing guide featuring plenty of user-friendly tips and tricks:


Packing prepping tips

packing supplies


Before you even start the process of packing, ensure you have all the supplies readily available. Opt for new, uniformly sized cardboard boxes, as they stack efficiently, and are not infested with dust, grime and pests.


Buy several rolls of extra strength masking tape, or even duct tape, a red or black marker pen, colour-coded stickers, a bag of small ziplock bags and bubble-wrap to protect fragile items.


Be sure to take photos or draw diagrams of how all your electronic devices are wired and set up. You can also label the electrical cords, and place a corresponding sticker at the input or output points on the device.


Last but not least, double check that your homeowner’s insurance covers damages and breakages in transit, and in self-storage units. If not, shop around for a short-term insurer specialising in all risk self-storage cover. 


Household packing guide

labelled boxes


When you dismantle bed-heads or remove table legs for easy packing and stacking, store the screws, nails and washers in zip lock bags. Pop a brief note of which item belongs to what into each bag. When the time comes to put the furniture back together again, you’ll have a reference point.


Wrap any breakable items in clothing, rather than bubble wrap. It’s effective and saves space and money. Pack light items in your laundry basket, backpacks, suitcases and desk and cupboard drawers, or any other container heading for the self-storage unit.


Drop a black refuse bag over the clothes in your cupboard and, from the outside, lift the hangers simultaneously off the rail. Fold the clothes into the bag for a quick and easy packing solution.


Use small boxes for heavy items, and big boxes for light bits and bobs, but be sure to fill each box to capacity to prevent it from collapsing. Seal each box with masking tape, and label clearly, identifying both the contents and which room it belongs to. Use a marker or colour-coded stickers for the best results.


Pack books flat to protect their spines, pack plates vertically for better protection, and ensure only clean, dry clothing is packed into containers, or you’ll have problems with mildew and mould.


Before storing metal tools or sports equipment for any length of time, rub down the surfaces with a splash of machine oil to prevent rust, then wrap in plastic.


Storage unit packing tricks 

woman carrying box


The best way to pack a self-storage unit is to start with large items. Once they’re in place, you’ll have plenty of flat surfaces to stack rows and rows of boxes, right up to the full height of the unit.


Be sure to use up all the free space inside. Fill the gaps with soft, malleable items. Store chairs, seat-to-seat, on top of each other, and plug the spaces with small items wrapped in towels and blankets.


Place one couch, in an inverted position, on top of the other and fill the space between the two with books, tool boxes, shoes, sports gear, and other indestructible items. You’ll be amazed at how much stuff you can fit into a standard self-storage unit.


Before we sign off, there’s one more tip we’d like to share: select a self-storage provider based on cleanliness and on-site security, and not solely rates. There’s no point in saving a few rands here and there if your household goods are soiled or damaged, or likely to disappear!


XtraSpace Self Storage

At XtraSpace, we offer spotlessly clean self-storage units at competitive rates, and on flexible terms. Our facilities are protected by state-of-the-art security, and we offer packing materials onsite. Contact us for more information or to discuss your self-storage requirements, and we’ll be happy to help.


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