Plan your space out ahead of time. Make sure that items you need to get at often are in the front. Also allow space for a walkway inside the storage unit.
Drain all gas and oil from engines in lawnmowers, weed trimmers, etc. It is unlawful to store combustible materials such as gasoline, paints, and solvents in a storage unit.
Inventory all items in storage and keep this list in a safe place at home in a safety deposit box.
Utilize "dead space" in larger items such as appliances, furniture, and trashcans. Clothing can go into bureaus, pillows and blankets can go into washers, rakes, hoses, and brooms can go into trashcans. This will reduce the total amount of space your items take up.
Tape brooms, rakes, and shovels together to save space and avoid clutter.
Store sofa and loveseats on end to save floor space. Place a protective cover on the floor to avoid scratching and tearing.
Cover stuffed furniture and put cushions into trash bags. This will protect against dust.
If you store your mattress on end, store it against the wall of the unit with the box spring and/or large pieces of furniture in front of it. This will help protect the mattress from bending or becoming lumpy.
Tables and chairs with removable legs should be "broken down" to help save on space.
Pack boxes with the heaviest items on the bottom and lighter items on top.
Make sure the boxes that you use are in good shape and have tops. They should be strong enough to hold 25-30 pounds. Also try to keep the boxes all the same size. This will make stacking easier.
Pack heavier boxes on the bottom of the self storage unit and lighter/fragile boxes on top.
Dishes and glasses should be packed in paper or bubble wrap and placed in dish boxes. Wrap paintings and mirrors in bubble wrap and place in picture boxes. Clearly label all such items as fragile.
Label boxes and any wrapped/covered items for easy identification.