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Packing a Portable Storage Unit

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College dorm rooms are small and it's likely that you won't be able to bring all your possessions along with you. In most cases, this is fine because people just leave their stuff at their year-round home. However, you might not have a year-round home to return to. For example, maybe you've gone to school far from home and you plan to live there all year, but you don't want to search for a home until after school gets out. Where, then, do you put all your stuff? A great solution is to rent a portable storage unit. The following guide will teach you how to pack one.

Pick a Size

Usually, portable storage units come in three sizes: 8x7x7, 8x8x12, or 8x8x16. Obviously, the size you'll need will depend on how much stuff you have. The company you rent from should be able to help you figure out which size to go with. You'll also want to figure out if the rental company will deliver your unit to where you're moving.

Packing a Portable Storage Unit

Packing a portable storage unit isn't quite the same as packing a truck. Since it's a particularly small space, the focus will be on packing everything tightly. The first thing to do is to pack your stuff into boxes that are all the same size (or at least close). That way, they'll be easier to stack and you'll leave fewer gaps between boxes.

Now, line the walls of the unit with properly packed pictures, mirrors, and other flat objects. You can give them a little more protection by wrapping them up in moving blankets. Next, you can start moving in your furniture, followed by boxes. The packing order, though, isn't as important here as it is with a truck. Just remember to put heavier boxes on the bottom, with lighter boxes, or those containing fragile items, stacked on top of them.

Most portable storage units have eyelets spaced evenly along the sides and top of the unit. Attaching ratchet tie-downs or other straps to these eyelets creates sections within the storage unit, allowing you to stack items in one section and then strap them securely into place. You should pack each section as tightly as possible (without damaging your belongings) and from floor to ceiling before moving on to the next section. To secure one section, pack a flat object, like a tabletop, at the forefront of the section and then crisscross straps across it, holding it and everything behind it in place.

Continue the process until all your stuff is packed. Things like bikes and grills can go in last and be bungeed into place. That's about all there is to it! Now you just have to wait for the rental company to come pick up your storage unit.

Sean McClain  Posted by Sean McClain on June 29, 2010

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