Loading a Storage Unit or Container


Storage Vault

In our last blog we posted about how to pack for storage. Today we’ll discuss how to load a storage unit or container. If you are thinking you are going to do it yourself you should check out these basic tips. There are different types of storage options and you must first decide which option is best for you.

Self storage facility: shop around and decide which facility looks the cleanest safest and what size unit you need. Rent the unit and you bring your items to that location.
Vault or container storage: there are a few different companies to choose from. Door to Door and PODS are the two most popular these days. Decide which one and they will deliver the unit to your home for you to load.
Moving Company: the other option if you are using a moving company for your move is to have the moving company bring everything to their facility. If choosing this option make sure the company is legal licensed and insured, visit the storage facility. How the warehouse is kept will tell you a lot about how they are going to treat your belongings. Choosing a California ProMover is the best way to ensure the company you are choosing is legal and operating within California Rules and Regulations.

There are pro’s and con’s to all options and for more information check out some of our other blogs Self Storage Security, The Importance of Climate Controlled Storage, Holiday Alert! Storage Containers Not Safe!

Make sure to pack and get everything ready – check out our last blog Packing for Storage for packing and preparation tips.

Loading a Vault or Container

  • Distribute the weight evenly throughout the container
  • Place heavy items on the bottom and stack lighter items on top
  • Pack the container as tightly as possible to prevent your belongings from shifting
  • Use ropes and straps to secure your goods
  • If you’ll need access to certain items, place them in the front of the container
  • Note: if you are going to need access a container may not be the best solution for you. You might want to consider a self storage facility where you have easier access.
  • Make an inventory of items placed in the container. This is especially helpful if loading more than one.

DO NOT LOAD MORE THAN 1400 LBS INTO A CONTAINER (weight limit is for units measuring 8x7x5, larger units can take more weight)

Loading a self storage unit

  • There are fewer things to have to worry about when loading a storage unit because it is not moving.
  • Place heavy items on the bottom and stack lighter items on top
  • Furniture pieces should be covered with blankets to prevent damage. If you place a box on top of your dresser it is going to scratch it.
  • Pack tightly to prevent your belongings from shifting
  • If you need access to certain items put them in the front.

NOTE: The more times you go in and out of a storage unit the more chances you take of something shifting and breaking. You are also letting in dust and the heat/cold from the outside and this is not good for the furniture.  Extreme heat and cold can warp your furniture.

Packing for Storage

ContainersWhen packing for storage the first rule of thumb is everything should be in a box. You want to make sure things can be stacked easily. Boxes should have lids and taped on both bottom and top of the box. Plastic tubs can also be used for packing they are uniform in size and stack nicely inside a storage unit.

Preparing your items for storage

  • Use the proper size boxes. Place heavier items in to smaller boxes to make them easier to lift and bulky lightweight items in larger boxes
  • Fill each box completely to prevent the contents from shifting. Use paper in any open spaces to minimize shifting.
  • Mark each box with the room it came from and number the box. For more packing tips check out our previous blog: Packing Moving Boxes
  • Pack mirrors, pictures, paintings and lamps. Everything should be in a box. A shoebox is not a packing box, smaller boxes should be packed into moving boxes.
  • Drain all water, clean and tape down any moving parts on appliances before storing. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors slightly ajar to prevent mildew
  • Disassemble furniture. (ie., mirrors need to be removed from dressers and packed separately. Beds need to be disassembled). All furniture should be covered with pads to prevent scratching.

Note: Do not put flammable or hazardous substances into storage this includes but is not limited to cleaning supplies, aerosol cans, alcoholic beverages, oil based paint, lacquers, lighter fluid, oil, propane, fire arms and or ammunition. Do not put ANY food in to storage even if it’s un-opened will attract pests.

Storage: There are two different types, Self Storage and vault/container storage. Both are “Do it Yourself”options. With self storage facilities you need to transport everything to the facility. With a container storage like PODS they bring the container to you (for a fee). In both cases you need to know how to load the unit properly to avoid anything getting damaged.

If you choose to hire a moving company the moving company can transport the items to a self storage facility and load the unit for you. PODS were designed for do it your selfers if you are planning on hiring a  moving company to load the container at your home you should talk to a Full-Service Moving Company first about options.  In most cases it’s cheaper to use a full-service mover for storage when you are using their services anyway. Always use a licensed legal mover and visit their facility ahead of time. You can get a good feel for how they will take care of your stuff by checking out their facility.

In our next blog we’ll talk about loading a storage unit or storage vault for those do it your selfers.

The Importance of Climate Controlled Storage

Climate Controlled Warehouse

Storage Vaults

The importance of climate controlled storage is well known for wine. Now we look at the detrimental effects of extreme environmental shifts on organic materials, like paper, books, photographs, leather, fabric, and wood. This pertains to musical instruments, too, as they are comprised of these materials.

It is always a good idea to use climate controlled storage for important documents, keepsakes and pictures. As with wine, chemical reactions exponentially accelerate at high temperatures. Paper contains natural and added chemicals, which break down over time causing pages to yellow, and pictures to fade.

Without proper climate controlled storage temperature fluctuations occur and are closely linked to humidity levels. Warm, moist environments are attractive to insects, molds and mildews, which feast on paper and other organic materials, and also cause physical breakdowns, like curling, swelling and shrinkage. Most of this is due to water being absorbed from the air. The thinner the material (i.e. paper) the quicker the damage occurs. Warping, peeling and cracking results when varying thicknesses, densities or grains of materials expand and contract at different rates. Glued items may fall apart, as glue becomes porous and wet, losing its ability to bind materials that are working against each other. Fabric threads contract in length and expand in width, becoming weak, susceptible to rotting, breakage and fading. Leather also absorbs water, resulting in cracking if the humidity drops rapidly, color fading, stretching or buckling if on furniture.

Paintings become ruined as their different layers (paint, canvas, frame) break down at different rates and in different ways (swelling, contracting, warping). Sadly, damage to pictures, paintings and other organic materials often cannot be undone, so the best way to ensure a long, beautiful life is proper storage in the first place. Control temperature and humidity levels at home as much as possible, and keep books stacked closely together. If you must store items, even for a little while, consider a climate-, humidity-, dust- and pollution-controlled environment.

Home Moving Security

Home SecurityWhile packing and getting ready for your home move you need to think about where to put all those boxes and how to keep things safe. In a perfect world, theft, burglary and taking things that don’t belong to us would never happen. Sadly, however, stealing does happen, and people use tough economic times as an excuse to cross the line.  More and more people are finding themselves victims of break ins. Especially at a vulnerable time such as during a move, it pays to be prepared and vigilant.

Prevention is your best defense. This article will focus on garage safety, since if you are moving your home you are likely to begin stacking boxes and valuables in your garage.

Did you know that there are videos on YouTube, which show how burglars can open an electric garage door in less than 10 seconds without breaking anything? There are inexpensive deterrent devices you can buy online to prevent this. Check out The Garage Shield for more information.

Think about it: if you were a thief, wouldn’t you rather simply walk away with a couple of packed boxes, rather than juggle a bunch of separate bulky items?

It is difficult, but up until the actual moving day, try to never let it look like you are moving. If your garage is attached to your home, keep the garage door closed. As you are packing move packed boxes into the garage for storage. If your garage is detached, it is not always practical to keep the door lowered as you move boxes back and forth. If possible, use the side door, or obscure the activity in your garage by parking cars in front of the garage.

As a general rule, keep your garage door lowered whenever possible, even when you are home. If you have a garage side door, be sure it has a deadbolt, and keep it locked when not in use. If there are decorative glass panes at the top of your garage door, or a window on the side of the garage, cover them with paper from inside.

You won’t be able to completely hide the fact that you are packing to move your home and storing items in your garage, especially from someone who is intent on looking, but your vigilant behavior will be a deterrent. Try to change your routine, install motion sensor lights over the garage, a barking dog is always a good deterrent. You can install inexpensive motion detectors which can be purchased at your local Lowes.

With a few simple precautions, your garage can be a safe storage area until moving day.  If you are moving things to your new home ahead of time. Remember to secure that garage and house, no one is living there yet which makes it an easy target for someone to enter during the night and take everything you just moved over.

Self Storage Security

Storage Facility1 in every 10 households rents a storage.

How safe are the Self Storage Facilities? There have been many reports on the news about break-in’s at these facilities. There are self storage facilities that are safe and have adequate security but they are not all the same. Be smart! don’t just base your decision on price or because of a special they may be running. Protect yourself by doing some research ahead of time. It can be helpful to check on-line reviews to see what others are saying about the facility you are considering.

Some of the tactics being used to gain access into units are:

  • The Thief rents a unit and actually breaks through the sheet rock wall into the units on either side allowing them easy access undetected by anyone
  • Facilities that do not have adequate security camera’s make it easy for a thief to break the locking mechanism and just open the roll up door. It only takes a few minutes to break a lock. They then remove the items and put them inside their own unit located in the same row. Close the roll-up door, put the lock back and everything appears normal until coming to remove your things and see it has been broken into.

If you do need to rent a self storage facility there are things to watch out for to help protect yourself.

  • Be careful of facilities offering first month for $1.00. These facilities are more likely to be targeted since the Thief doesn’t have to put much out of pocket.
  • Visit the facility,
  • Walk the grounds.
  • Inspect the unit they have available for you to rent
  • Is the facility clean? If it’s run down and not well taken care of then chances are their security system isn’t well maintained and probably out of date as well.
  • Is the facility gated? does the gate work? There is usually a man-door next to the gate does that door have a working locking system?
  • Are the units Individually Alarmed? Look for a facility where each unit is individually alarmed.Security
  • Do they have working camera’s. Camera’s should be located throughout the facility NOT just at the entrance. If it’s an inside storage facility camera’s should be on each floor. Outside facilities should have camera’s throughout the grounds.

Don’t forget to insure your items while they are in storage. In case of a loss you want to make sure you are covered. It can be a good idea to take pictures of the items and have an inventory for the insurance company.

Moving Company Moves to San Jose

Local Moving Company, All Reasons Moving & Storage is now completely moved into our new location at 600 E. Trimble Road in San Jose.  The move itself went very smooth thanks to everyone involved and our very own team of well trained professionals. We moved from 19,000 square feet over to a newer 26,500 square food building on the corner of Montague and Trimble Road. Our packaging store is located in the front lobby for anyone wanting to purchase boxes and/or packing materials.

As a business we would be dead without our phones and computers. My advice is to make sure you hire reputable companies to install and test everything ahead of time. The people we used were absolutely great and it was plug in play on the day of the move. The vendors we used to help us are the very same vendors we often refer our clients to and we can say first hand that they are all top in their fields. I am including the name of some of the vendors involved in our move but we have many more and are always willing to share our list with any of our clients needing assistance with alarms, phones, computers, office furnishing, flooring, painting and many others.

All Reasons would very much like to thank some of those that were directly involved in assisting with our move: Paul Fales at PSS Communications, Jeff Jonah at Absolute Electrical and Ken Easterby at SysteMacs.

We’d also like to thank Kathy Sturr of Inside-Out Designs for her help with paint selections and floor plan.


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(408) 240-0244

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