Whether you’re a renter or a business owner, a student, or maybe just move around a lot, you’re probably going to need access to some kind of personal storage. If you run your own small business, you may depend on your storage unit for keeping important records and merchandise, and if you’re business is online you’re probably already using some self-storage for your business— unless your house looks like an episode of Hoarding.

Whether you depend on a storage unit for your livelihood or just because you can’t bear to throw away those old records and black light posters, we’ve got some tips to help you make the most from your storage solutions.

If you use an outdoor unit, then you may want to keep a few things in your unit to ensure that your belongings and merchandise are accessible in all weather. Specifically you want a bag of sand. Now this tip probably doesn’t apply if you live in California or anywhere with warm winters, but if you need to get in and out of your unit in sub-freezing temperatures then you don’t want to risk slipping, getting hurt, or breaking merchandise on a patch of ice. Sand will make it easier to get traction on the slick ground for you, your vehicle, or a hand truck.

Pallets can be a lifesaver. It’s often important to keep your belongings off the ground anyway, but your outdoor unit may be exposed to rain and snow and you definitely don’t want any of that getting under the door and damaging your stuff.

You also want to do some planning before you ever start moving items into the storage unit. Which items will you need to access quickly? Are you storing a lot of breakables? Which ones can go on the bottom and which on the top? Make sure to label your boxes legibly, a little planning beforehand can save you a big headache later.

Our Storage Unit Software makes it easy to access your unit and make payments on time; but if you’re renting from a company without this advantage, then you’re going to want to keep track of their hours of operation, deadlines, due dates, and other factors that will affect the accessibility of your items— particularly during holidays and busy seasons.

Finally, you’re going to want to protect the unit itself from scratches and dings that may occur when moving large items in and out of the unit. Always compare the size of the unit’s entrance to your largest items to make sure you won’t have any trouble.