Main Office: 900 E Omaha St, Suite #2
Rapid City, SD 57701

(605) 394-9442

How To Properly Store Your Items in a Storage Unit

How To Properly Store Your Items in a Storage Unit

Securing a storage unit to house your belongings for a short or long term time period can be a great way to free up some space in your home or prepare for an easier move. Once you’ve decided on the size of the unit and have packed the items for storage, it’s time to make sure you are storing your belongings properly in your storage unit.

Under Cover

If you are renting a unit for a short-term storage solution, it may not be necessary to cover every item when storing them. However, if your storage rental is for a longer term, placing your items under the proper cover is important! Not only will this help with keeping items clean, but it will also help items avoid damages.

Cars, motorcycles, UTV/ATVs, and boats

For storing vehicles, investing in a heavy-duty cover is well worth the extra money. Not only does this protect the vehicle from any dings and scratches, but can help protect it from dust particles that can wreak havoc on your paint, glass, and mirrors over time.

Artwork, frames, and mirrors

Storing artwork, frames, and mirrors can be a tedious task, but we can assure you it is well worth the time. Placing the flat artwork between cardboard rather than rolling it or placing it in a drawer will not only help prevent curling and tears, but will also wick away any moisture that enters the unit. For frames and mirrors, use cardboard to protect the corners or purchase the appropriate cardboard boxes for housing these items.

Clothes, bedding, and pillows

While short-term storage for cloth materials can sustain being packed in luggage, loosely packed in boxes, or kept in a dresser – long-term storage requires a bit more methodical solutions. Storing these items in vacuum sealed plastic bags or placing them in lidded plastic totes will ensure they keep for future use.


If furniture is not stored properly, it can quickly take up a lot of unnecessary space in your storage unit. Disassemble the pieces as best as possible, and be sure to keep the sections together or marked for when you need to reassemble; then, drape the furniture with old sheets or blankets. Avoid using plastic as it can trap any moisture that may enter the unit creating mildew. Wrap wooden pieces of furniture with blankets or padded material to keep from denting or adding unwanted scratches.

Off the Floor

Although you’ve selected a covered storage facility, or even a climate controlled unit, it’s best to not place items directly on the floor. Concrete holds moisture and over a long period of time, the moisture can do damage to your items being stored. We suggest laying tarp on the ground, adding pallets, or getting shelving for cardboard boxes, furniture, or valued items.

Make a Path

Oftentimes, making a path in a storage unit amongst your items is something people avoid. Understandably, they want to get as much in the unit as possible. This means overstacking and overcrowding. But let us explain why this is not the best solution, especially over time.

Properly stacking your totes and boxes is important for two main reasons. First, it helps with unpacking as you don’t need to worry about climbing on things to get to the box in the back. Second, stacking boxes with the heaviest items on the bottom working your way to the lightest items helps keep the shape of the box, therefore protecting the items the tote holds as it is intended to do.

When you’re stacking and placing items in the storage unit, make a plan to keep a path. Doing so will allow you to access all of your items in storage at any point in time. It also allows for airflow amongst your belongings. This is important so moisture doesn’t accumulate forming mildew or that musty smell.

We understand that moving can be a stressful time, and packing is a lot of work. When you get to the stage of storing your items, it can be tempting to just toss items in without a plan to get the job done as quickly as possible. But trust us when we say properly storing your items is well worth the time. With these tips, you’ll have lasting value in the belongings you store.



Storage City Self Storage is a locally-owned and operated facility offering clean, secure self-storage units

in Rapid City, Box Elder, and Belle Fourche. We offer climate-controlled and cold storage units that are

fenced in and secured by a gate with code-entry access. Call us at 605-394-9442 today to rent your unit!