Dos and don’ts for packing portable storage containers

Storage preparationAugust 31, 2023

Understanding the importance of meticulous packing is key to ensuring a smooth and worry-free moving experience. By properly arranging your belongings in portable storage units, you safeguard them from potential damage during transit. Furthermore, smart packing not only maximizes available space but also simplifies the entire moving process. In this article, Zippy Shell Moving and Storage DMV will guide you through the essential dos and don’ts for packing portable storage containers, equipping you with the insights you need to make well-informed choices.

Dos for packing portable storage containers: Organizing and planning

Efficiently packing your portable Sterling storage containers can make all the difference when it comes to a storage experience. By following these dos for organizing and planning, you’ll be on your way to a stress-free process.

Create an inventory list

Creating an inventory list is a fundamental step in the packing process. This not only helps you keep track of everything but also allows you to plan ahead and ensure that nothing important gets misplaced or left behind. Being specific in your descriptions will make it easier for you to identify items later. Additionally, taking photos of valuable or fragile items is an excellent idea. Visual references can be immensely helpful, especially if you need to make an insurance claim for any damaged items during transportation. Photos serve as evidence of the item’s condition before packing.

Once your inventory list is ready, it’s time to sort your belongings into categories. This step will save you both time and frustration when unpacking or accessing items later. Grouping similar items together, such as kitchenware, clothing, electronics, and more, will make it much easier to locate what you need without having to rummage through all your belongings.

a woman doing inventory and wondering about dos and don’ts for packing portable storage containers
Compile a list of belongings you intend to place in storage.

Pack heavy items first

After you’ve prepared your inventory list, the next step is to organize your items into distinct categories. This simple act can be a lifesaver when it comes to locating specific belongings during the unpacking phase or whenever you need quick access to something. Categorizing items, like grouping all kitchen utensils, clothes, or electronic devices together, will eliminate the need for a frustrating, time-consuming search through your packed possessions.

Begin the packing process by placing the heaviest and largest items at the container’s bottom. This technique establishes a solid foundation and minimizes the likelihood of items moving around while in transit. Once the heavier items are securely in place, proceed to stack lighter and more fragile items on top of them. Doing so not only maximizes the use of vertical space but also ensures the safety of your more delicate belongings by isolating them from heavier objects that could cause damage. Make sure to fill in gaps with softer items like linens or towels to provide additional cushioning and prevent shifting.

a woman packing
Packing heavy items first creates a solid foundation, making your move safer and more efficient.

Use the right packing materials

Securing the well-being of your items starts with choosing the right packing materials. Subpar boxes and packing supplies can put your valuables at risk and add unnecessary stress to your experience. Conversely, investing in robust boxes and packing materials gives you peace of mind, knowing your items are safely encased. Consistency in box sizes can further streamline the packing process, enabling efficient stacking and optimal use of your storage unit’s space.

Protection for fragile or sensitive items should not be taken lightly. This is where specialized packing materials like bubble wrap and packing paper become invaluable. These cushioning agents are ideal for protecting:

  • Breakable glassware
  • Fine porcelain and ceramics
  • Sensitive electronic devices

Bubble wrap is particularly adept at absorbing shocks and impacts, significantly reducing the chances of breakages or dents. But protection doesn’t stop at cushioning, the final seal on your boxes is equally important. Opt for heavy-duty packing tape with excellent adhesive qualities to secure your belongings before putting them in Fort Belvoir storage units. And don’t underestimate the power of labeling. Clearly mark each box with its contents and the room it’s destined for; this will make your unpacking process infinitely easier and more efficient.

packing peanuts and packing tape in a box
Gather all of the necessary materials for packing.

Disassemble bulky furniture

Transforming your bulky furniture into manageable pieces is a game-changer when it comes to space optimization and safe transportation. Before you start packing, take the time to disassemble items like beds, tables, and large furniture. Removing legs, shelves, or other detachable components makes handling and loading into the storage Alexandria VA has to offer much easier. To avoid a frustrating puzzle when it’s time to reassemble, organize all screws, bolts, and small parts in labeled ziplock bags. You can also tape them securely to the larger components they belong to.

Use furniture blankets or moving pads to wrap each disassembled piece thoroughly. These soft and cushioned layers act as a sturdy buffer, guarding your furniture against accidental impacts during transit. For additional protection, consider using shrink wrap or plastic covers.

Your electronic devices are valuable assets that require special attention during packing. Before stowing them away, always remember to remove their batteries. Batteries left inside devices during transportation can lead to leaks or corrosion, which may cause irreparable damage. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, store the batteries separately in a sealed bag and tape them securely to the respective devices. This simple yet crucial step ensures that your electronic items remain in perfect working condition.

Optimize your loading strategy

A crucial rule to remember when loading your storage container is to prioritize the placement of heavy items at the bottom. This simple yet crucial technique creates a stable foundation for your belongings. Begin by carefully positioning heavier furniture pieces, boxes filled with books, and other weighty items at the base of the container. Secure them firmly in place to prevent any unwelcome surprises during the journey. Additionally, consider placing larger and bulkier items near the container walls, as this helps in creating a more organized and space-efficient arrangement.

Avoid random placement and, instead, adopt a strategic approach to use the vertical space wisely. Start by building a sturdy wall of boxes at the back of the container, forming a stable base for the rest of your belongings. As you progress, stack items of similar sizes together, ensuring the heaviest and most robust boxes remain at the bottom. Delicate and lighter items should find their place on top.
To maximize space even further, use the corners and gaps thoughtfully to create a secure structure.

a man loading boxes into a storage container
Strategic loading of your portable storage container ensures optimal use of space and minimizes the risk of damage during transit.

Don’ts for packing portable storage containers

Now on to the “Don’ts.” While knowing the correct steps to take is crucial, being aware of what not to do can be just as important. This part of our guide for dos and don’ts for packing portable storage containers will highlight the pitfalls to avoid when packing your portable storage containers. From the hazards of waiting until the last minute to pack to the risks associated with using inadequate packing supplies, we’ll outline the pitfalls you’ll want to sidestep for a more secure and streamlined move.


One of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to packing items for storage Shirlington VA residents recommend is procrastination. Waiting until the last minute to start packing can lead to a host of issues, including elevated stress levels and the potential for mistakes. When you’re rushing, you’re more likely to throw items into boxes haphazardly, neglect to use adequate packing material, or overlook the proper techniques for securing items for transport. This disorganization not only compromises the safety of your belongings but can also pose a risk to those handling them. To avoid these problems, start your packing process well in advance, allowing ample time to carefully sort, pack, and secure your items.

Forget to double-check inventory

Ignoring the step of double-checking your inventory can be a costly mistake when storing items in storage units Purcellville VA has on offer. In the rush and fatigue of moving, it’s easy to overlook an item or two. However, these omissions could range from minor inconveniences to significant losses, depending on what was forgotten. That’s why it’s crucial to verify that all items are packed and accounted for by checking them against your original inventory list. This final review serves as a fail-safe to ensure that nothing important is left behind or lost in the shuffle. It adds an extra layer of peace of mind, confirming that you’ve done due diligence in safeguarding your belongings. Remember, double-checking takes minimal time but offers maximum reassurance.

two people carrying a box as one of dos and don’ts for packing portable storage containers
Double-checking will ensure all your items are there!

Overloading containers

One of the most critical “don’ts” is to refrain from overloading storage Frederick MD has to offer beyond its weight limits. While it may be tempting to fit in as much as possible, exceeding the recommended weight capacity can lead to serious consequences. Overloaded containers pose a safety hazard during transportation, making them more susceptible to damage, tipping, or even accidents. To avoid this, familiarize yourself with the weight limits of your containers and adhere to them diligently. When packing your belongings, be mindful not to stuff the container to the brim, leaving no room for proper closing and sealing. An overstuffed container not only compromises its security but also risks damaging your belongings. Ensure that the container’s lid can close securely without any forceful pressure.

In addition to avoiding overloading, consider organizing your belongings logically within the container. Place frequently used items closer to the door, while those you may not need right away can go towards the back. This thoughtful arrangement streamlines the unpacking process and saves you time and effort.

Neglecting protection

When it comes to delicate items, skipping padding is a big no-no. Fragile possessions such as glassware, ceramics, and electronics require extra care and attention during packing. Utilize bubble wrap, packing paper, or foam padding to cocoon these precious items, shielding them from potential damage during transportation or storage. Remember, a little padding goes a long way in preserving the pristine condition of your delicate belongings. Moreover, consider creating a separate “fragile items” section within the storage container. This strategic arrangement ensures these delicate possessions are protected from accidental bumps and remain easily identifiable for careful handling during unpacking.

Leaving empty spaces or gaps within your storage container can lead to unwanted shifting of your belongings during transit. Unsecured items are more likely to collide and bump against each other, potentially resulting in scratches or damages. To prevent this, strategically fill any voids with soft items like blankets, pillows, or clothing. These soft buffers act as stabilizers, minimizing the chances of shifting and keeping your belongings safe and secure. Additionally, consider using furniture straps or ratchet tie-downs to secure larger items and prevent them from shifting during transportation.

a couple wrapping furniture and talking about the dos and don’ts for packing portable storage containers
Following the dos and don’ts for packing portable storage containers can significantly streamline your moving process and safeguard your belongings.

Mixing incompatible items

A crucial “don’t” when packing your items for storage in Beltsville MD is mixing hazardous materials with regular household items. Items such as flammable liquids, aerosols, paint, pesticides, and propane tanks are considered hazardous and should be handled with care. Store them separately in designated containers or areas to reduce the risk of accidents or chemical reactions. Always refer to local guidelines and regulations for the proper disposal or storage of hazardous materials. Additionally, make sure that your storage facility allows the storage of hazardous materials, as some facilities may have specific restrictions in place.

Another essential consideration is keeping household chemicals and cleaning agents separate from other items, particularly those that are sensitive to fumes or odors, like clothing or electronics. While it might seem convenient to pack these together, sealed containers of chemicals can sometimes emit fumes that may adversely affect other stored items. To mitigate such risks, allocate dedicated spaces within your storage container for these categories of items.

Mastering the art of dos and don’ts for packing portable storage containers

Following these expert dos and don’ts for packing portable storage containers will help you optimize space, prevent damage, and save time during your storage journey. Whether you’re moving to a new home, decluttering, or storing valuable possessions, these practical tips will serve you well. Proper packing is more than just a task—it’s an investment in the safety and well-being of your belongings.

Latest Posts

Estimate My Move Or Call Us on: 703-705-4533

Claim additional 10% discount, by reserving online today!

Only available for online reservations. Conditions apply for reservations greater than 3 months.