Storage Tips When Using Portable Storage Containers

August 29, 2019

4 min

Portable storage units are an innovative alternative to the traditional box truck or semi-truck trailer moving method.

Not only can you take your time packing, but you can also stow your possessions the way you want to, without having to worry about someone else dropping your beloved collectibles or damaging expensive furniture.

However, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you pack your portable storage unit.

We’ve broken the process down into the three stages of moving: preparation, transition, and destination.

Keep reading to find out how you can maximize a portable storage container before, during, and after the moving process. Because for the smart mover, moving is all about execution, not a frantic day full of anxiety and confusion.



Purchase moisture absorbers.

Though you might not recognize the name, you’ve probably seen many moisture absorber packets in your lifetime in a variety of places.

Remember those silica gel packets that scream warnings about eating them? Yup, grab yourself a few of those next time you’re out. They’ll prevent any moisture from damaging whatever items you’ve put in the storage container.


Out with the old.

Spring cleaning is, of course, a great time to go through any cataloged belongings, but why not do it while packing? As you pack, consider the last time you used each item then set it aside if you cannot even remember a time or think of a use for an item.

Create a box to be donated and toss anything you don’t need inside.


Bigger is better.

Having extra space is a much better problem to have than not having enough. If you’re unsure about which size portable storage unit to rent, choose the bigger of the two you’re considering.

Suddenly realizing you can carefully pack your unit due to extra space is a plus. Spending a whole day organizing a container only to fill it up entirely with plenty more boxes to go halts progress and could be days to get another container if you were too conservative picking a container size.


Invest in uniform boxes.

Whether you choose to buy clear plastic totes or traditional cardboard boxes, try to stay with the same shapes and sizes. This uniformity will make stacking much easier.

This consistency will also allow for clear organization of boxes inside the portable container.


Just one more item.

Pack your boxes to the very top. Wedging items against each other is better for traveling across any distance. Otherwise, boxes with room to jostle and slide around can potentially break.

Even if you’re only packing one or two rooms to move, start a few weeks before your moving date. Life doesn’t stop to allow you to move, so having a jumpstart on the process can make a huge difference when it’s crunch time.



Leave fragile and perishable items at home.

Whenever possible, transport fragile and personally-valuable items yourself. Buckle them in the car. Whatever you need to do in order to make sure they get to your destination in one piece, do it.


Organize an inventory system.

You packed all those boxes but can you remember what was in each one? Help your future self by labeling which room each box belongs to or creating a color-coded system that you can reference.

This detail is especially important if you decided to get uniform box or storage tub sizes.


Group belongings by category.

Similar to the point above, you’ll want to pack and store like items together. Baking accessories should go in the kitchen, but sports equipment may end up in the garage.

This organization helps when looking for a specific item after the move.


Pack in ascending order of importance.

As you fill up your portable storage unit, make sure to stow items you’re worried about most as close to the doors as possible. That way, you can open the unit container and check on them once you’ve reached your destination.


Weight matters.

Your portable storage unit should be as balanced as possible, from both end-to-end and top-to-bottom. Strategically placed furniture, so to distribute weight evenly. Stack heavy boxes on the bottom and decrease weight as you go.


Use the brick and mortar method.

Rather than piling up boxes in a random fashion, practice those Tetris moves.

Start a row of boxes and complete it before creating another row in front of it. Fill small spaces between boxes with odds and ends or oddly shaped fixtures.

Moving day is here! Is everything ready?



After hours of packing and perhaps even driving or flying, only half of the moving process is complete.

The convenient benefit of portable being you can take some time to leisurely unpack so to make the process as enjoyable as possible.

Once you’ve reached your new place, you’ll want to make sure to unpack your portable storage container just as smartly as you filled it.

If you color-coded the boxes, mark the appropriate rooms for easy distribution. Place boxes against the wall, so there is always a clear path.

Though it’s tempting to grab boxes at random, work through each row, moving from top to bottom. That way you’ll get a rest between the super heavy boxes and those that won’t stress your back muscles as much.

This process is a marathon and not a sprint. Moving took time to prepare and plan and finishing the move will realistically not be for weeks after you’ve resided in your new home and finally decorated it to your preference.

The key to a smooth moving experience is preparation and thoughtful execution, so we hope this article has helped mentally ready you for any upcoming move.



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