Packing a Storage Unit: A Winter Guide

Winter weather makes everything more challenging, including moving your possessions into a storage unit. But because you can’t always wait until spring or summer to move, the best approach is to minimize the impact of the cold, snowy weather on your storage packing efforts. Here are nine tips to keep you and your possessions safe when loading a storage unit mid-winter.

Choose a Nearby Facility

A moving truck is hard enough to drive when it’s nice out, let alone when the roads are slick. Try to find a storage facility as close to your home as possible so your drive stays short. This will minimize your chances of an accident while also saving you time because traffic often slows when it’s snowing outside.

Opt for Climate Control

Climate controlled storage units are always maintained at a consistent temperature and humidity so you don’t have to worry about your items shrinking or molding in the wet, cold winter air.

If you have antiques, appliances, artwork, clothing, books, furniture, or documents to store, you need a climate controlled unit. Even if you do not have items in these categories, climate controlled storage is the safer choice and will save you from having to replace damaged items come spring.

Dress in Layers

Loading and unloading a moving truck in cold temperatures is hard work. You might get sweaty, cold, or wet. If you dress in layers, you can peel off a layer if you get wet or the layer gets damp so that you can keep yourself comfortable throughout the move.

Make sure you leave a few extra jackets or sweaters unpacked too. If you get too wet or chilly, change or add a layer quickly to prevent extended exposure to the cold.

Park Close By

This applies when you’re loading the moving truck and when you’re unloading your boxes into the storage unit. Park as close to your home or the storage unit as possible so you don’t have to walk as far in the cold.

Check out storage facilities in person before you agree to rent from them. Make sure you can park near the unit rather than having to ferry all of your items across a large, potentially slick parking lot.

Purchase Some Covers

Buy some waterproof plastic sheets or even a few plastic shower curtains from the dollar store. If it happens to snow when you’re loading your storage unit, cover your items as you carry them from the moving truck to the storage unit so that they do not get wet with snow.

Use Tote Boxes When Possible

If it is snowing when you move your items into storage, try to pack as many things as possible into plastic tote boxes rather than cardboard boxes. Cardboard can absorb water, exposing items inside to mold as they sit in storage. Water won’t permeate a plastic tote, and you can dry the tote off with a towel before you pack it into storage.

Stock Up on Towels

Make sure you have a big stack of towels handy to dry off items that become wet, dry your hands as needed, and even wipe off your boots so you don’t track snow and salt into the storage unit. Ask friends and family members to give you their old, worn out towels, or visit a thrift store to purchase used towels inexpensively.

Make sure you do not leave any wet towels in the storage unit. The moisture will evaporate into the air and increase the risk of mold growth.

Protect Sensitive Items in Transit

Certain items, including electronics and some antique furniture, should not be exposed to the winter cold. Pack these items separately, and transport them to your climate-controlled storage unit in the cab of the moving truck or in your personal vehicle. The backs of moving trucks are not typically heated.

Pick a Snow Date

Having to reschedule loading your storage unit can be a real hassle, especially if you are in the process of moving and have friends helping you out. You can safely and effectively load a storage unit in cold weather and light snow if you follow the tips above. However, if moving day arrives and the forecast is calling for a snowstorm, high winds, or freezing rain, your safest option might be to reschedule.

Try to schedule a snow date from the beginning as you plan your move. Let anyone who volunteers to help you load the storage unit know about this date in case the weather is terrible. Also, check your truck rental company’s policies regarding weather and cancellations.

Loading a storage unit in the winter is not easy, but many people do it successfully. If you are looking for a climate controlled storage unit in the Twin Cities, contact North Star Mini Storage. We have eight locations so you never have to drive far, and the convenient layout of our storage units makes packing and unloading easy.