Aside from cardboard boxes that are gathered from a supermarket or other retailer, most people do not give any thought to what packing materials they might need until they are starting to pack things up to put in a self storage unit. This is unfortunate because it can lead to poorly packed boxes or other problems that occur when they move the boxes to storage and when they return to the storage unit to retrieve a particular item or items from inside one of the boxes.
Most cardboard boxes from supermarkets or other retailers have already been through a lot of use which can weaken them and cause your possessions to dump out everywhere when the boxes are picked up. In addition, the boxes might have been constructed to hold lightweight items and using them to pack heavier items could cause the box to break. Instead of using second hand boxes, it is advisable to check with the storage facility to see if they have sturdy cardboard boxes available for a minimal cost. In addition, if you do not have a permanent marker you should request one because they are essential for labeling the outside of the boxes for easy retrieval in the future.
Another essential item for proper packing is a roll of high quality, wide tape. The tape is used to securely close the boxes to keep the contents clean and to stick bags of screws or other pieces to furniture that has been taken apart for easy moving and storage. It is important that the tape be strong and that it sticks well to the cardboard boxes or undersides of furniture pieces so that it will hold for an extended period of time. In addition, the roll of tape should be at least two inches wide to ensure that it properly secures the box flaps together even when the box is jostled during moving.
In order to keep the items in the cardboard box from being damaged when moving, it is important to pad everything well. Although newspaper is usually abundant, it is not recommended because the print can rub off onto the items. Another problem with using newspaper for padding is that over time the paper will deteriorate and no longer pad the contents of the box. Once again, it is advisable to ask the staff at the storage facility if they have bubble wrap or other types of padding for sale at a minimal cost.