Packing is one of those things that seems easier than it actually is. After all, packing is just putting things in boxes or suitcases or into a self-storage unit, right? And while that isn’t exactly wrong, it’s also a lot like saying that cooking is just making food hot. Effective packing entails a lot more than just putting items in boxes. So when it comes to packing your self-storage space, we’ve got a few packing tips for self-storage that you need to know!

Fill ‘Er Up. When it comes to packing boxes, make sure they’re packed evenly and packed full. Boxes with a lot of empty space in them can shift around or become crushed. If you’re packing something breakable or fragile, put filler material around it to keep the box full and prevent shifting.

Keep it Light. At the same time, though, you don’t want to make your boxes too heavy to lift—which also creates the danger of their bottoms falling out. So make sure you distribute the weight in your boxes as evenly as possible, and pack your boxes so that they’re full, but still light enough to lift.

Put a Label on it. It pays to stay organized, so try to pack like items together—many people pack boxes according to which room the items came out of, so that everything from the kitchen is together, and so on. Moreover, make sure that every box has a label. A permanent marker is a good tool for labeling boxes, but if you want to get more involved there are apps that can help you make spreadsheets of your boxes, and even print out labels with barcodes you can scan.

Use the Right Tools. Using the right tools for the job makes things dramatically easier, and the same goes for packing. Sturdy boxes and other packing supplies are your best bet, especially if you’re going to be storing items long-term. It’s also a good idea to use boxes that are of uniform size if you’re going to be stacking them. Fortunately, Storage ‘R’ Us sells all the packing materials you might need right on site!

Make it Easy. When it comes to packing your self-storage space, think about ease of use. Don’t stack items that you’ll need to access frequently on the bottom, and make sure that these stay near the front of the unit. Leave some space between the boxes and the unit’s walls, and leave yourself aisles between stacks so that your items are easy to access. Consider placing cardboard or other protection on the floor—some people use short pallets to keep their boxes off of the ground and allow them to “breathe”—and if you have high shelves or stacks of boxes, keep a stepladder in your unit to help you access them.

That should get you started, and if you need more packing tips for self-storage, feel free to call the pros at Storage ‘R’ Us or follow us on Twitter for more self-storage tips!