Rent the smallest amount of space you will need, and pack the unit full.
Start by gathering as many boxes that you think you will need, tape, markers and packing material (i.e. foam shipping noodles, bubble wrap, clean packing paper or towels).
If possible, try to use uniform size boxes for easy and more stable stacking.
Make up an inventory of your items and keep it in a safe place at home or in a safe deposit box away from the unit. Some people choose to photograph and/or video record their belongings as well.
Prepare your space by placing a protective cover or pallet on the floor under your goods to guard against dampness. Any concrete floor may become cold and damp.
Plan your storage space. Place those items that you may need to access often in the front of your unit, and items you know you will not need to access at the back.
CAUTION! Do not store anything COMBUSTIBLE (i.e., Paint thinner, gasoline, solvents, paint, etc.).
Try to leave an aisle down the center of the storage unit for easier access. Leave a small space between the walls and boxes to allow for air circulation.
Stack heavier boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on top.
Be sure your boxes are strong enough to hold 25-30 pounds. (It is best not to put too much in each box.).
List contents of boxes on all four sides; number the boxes for inventory and seal with tape.
Wrap It Up
Dishes and glasses should be wrapped in paper and packed in sturdy boxes or in a specialized dish-pack system. Stack them on top to avoid crushing.
Pictures and mirrors should be wrapped in cardboard or packed in picture/mirror boxes and marked “FRAGILE” and stacked on end.
Furniture with drawers can be utilized as storage places for pictures, knick-knacks, china, silverware, small items, etc. Wrap them in tablecloths, towels or blankets to prevent breakage.
Larger appliances such as refrigerators and stoves should be thoroughly cleaned and the door(s) left slightly ajar.
Put TV's and other electronics in the rear of your unit.
Shovels, hoes, rakes and hoses can be stored together in empty trash cans. Stack extra cans inside each other.
Tables that have removable legs should be broken down to save space.
Sofas and Loveseats
Sofas and love seats with flat sides can be stored on end to save floor space. Wrap cushions in plastic and place on top of sofas.
Sharp or Heavy Objects
Avoid placing sharp or heavy objects on top of upholstered furniture.
Cover stuffed furniture with blankets or use plastic furniture covers to protect against dust.
If you stand mattresses on their side, prop them up so they stand straight. They may tend to bend out of shape and become lumpy.
Wipe any items made of metal; bikes, metal tables, tools, etc., with machine oil to prevent rusting.