How to pack a storage unit

This week has been pretty busy as our family has spent a lot of time helping our friends Glen and Karen move. Friday, some of the staff went over as well.

You learn all sorts of interesting things about people you work with. One thing I didn’t know was that Keith used to work for a moving company. He would load up trucks by himself and drive to a storage unit and unload and pack the storage unit. So he is a master packer and gave really good tips on how to maximize space in Glen’s storage unit. I wish I had taken a better picture of the back half of the unit that was already packed. You can kind of see in the back there how he managed to pack everything to the ceiling.

Storage  units are usually 10 feet high (I think) and the key is to try to stack things and use up the vertical space. The problem is that there are usually oddly shaped items that make it hard to do this.

So I learned:

  • Stack boxy things on top of each other as high as they can go (shelves, cabinets).
  • Turn sofas on the end so they are tall. (Put a cardboard box underneath so the sofa doesn’t get messed up by the concrete.
  • Stack tables on top of each other, or turn tables sideways.
  • For all the air space above shelves and cabinets, pile on boxes to the ceiling. Or add boxes and toss up odd-shaped stuff above it.
  • Turn chairs upside down and put them on top of the bookshelves. Or turn them sideways.

It was quite amazing how much you could actually pack in there with careful packing, compared to the moving truck where we didn’t have time and just put in things as quickly as possible.

Of course, I find it all interesting because it’s just like organizing a drawer… in a larger scale. And the difference is I am unable to pick up most of these heavy items.  But like Keith said, it’s like a giant version of 3D Tetris.

A Yee

Angela Yee is a professional designer (graphic design, stage design, interior design — and teaches leadership skills at

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