Avoid These Common Mistakes When Using a Self-Storage Unit

A self-storage unit is a good way to keep household items out from underfoot so that they don't become clutter and don't make your home cramped and crowded. It's also good to use a self-storage unit for sporting goods and other items you don't want to get damaged in your own garage or basement. Before using a self-storage unit, however, note some common mistakes that many people make in storing their items, so you can avoid them yourself, and ensure your belongings are always safe and secure.


Never use newspaper to wrap items for storage, as the ink on paper can easily transfer to those pieces. This is especially true if you plan on storing them long-term, or if the paper should get damp for any reason. While this ink might wash off glass items or dishware, it can cause permanent stains to many materials so that your stored items are then ruined. Use bubble wrap, foam peanuts, or acid-free tissue paper instead of newspaper to avoid this risk.

Not protecting furniture

You might assume that upholstered furniture will be fine in a self-storage unit, as it won't be exposed to rain, snow, and direct sunlight. However, that upholstery and the foam under it can absorb humidity and then begin to mildew and also become home to many different types of pests, including rodents and snakes. To reduce the risk of damage to such furniture, wrap it in stretch wrap before putting it in a self-storage unit.

Putting items on the ground

Your self-storage unit may look very dry and clean when you first rent it, but water can easily seep in under the door and collect around your stored items. This can mean letting cardboard boxes get wet and damaged, or having wood furniture legs absorb that water and then get weak and begin to split. Only put rubber or plastic totes on the ground and store other items on top of these to protect them from potential damage.

Storing food items uncovered

If you want to store pet food and other such items in your self-storage unit, you need to put them in a plastic or rubber tote; don't assume that the bags they come in will be sufficient. Any number of insects and rodents can chew through those bags, and once the food items spills out, your storage unit could easily attract a swarm of ants, mice, and the like. Invest in high-quality rubber or plastic totes for these types of items and keep that food out of reach of any potential pest.