What to Put on The Floor of a Storage Unit?

Storage units provide a safe and efficient place to keep extra household items or small business inventory. But before you start packing, take the time to think about what should go on your storage unit's floor to protect your belongings

Storage units are extremely convenient and increasingly common across the country. However, many people don’t know what they should put on the floor of their storage unit to protect their items.

Put these on the floor of your storage unit to protect your items:

  • First, place a layer of pallets down to elevate the items
  • Layer a tarp or plastic sheet over top to protect from water damage
  • Consider other measures to prevent damage, such as pest traps or kitty litter to absorb humidity

In addition to protecting your belongings from water damage and pests, you should also consider how the size and organization of the unit and the temperature and humidity fluctuations in it may impact your belongings. We’ll cover all of that and more below.

Protect Your Items by Placing Barriers on the Floor of the Storage Unit

The most common form of damage that occurs inside a storage unit is water damage from the floor. If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, expect water to find its way into the storage unit via the floor or entering through a leaky roof. The best way to protect against that is to layer protection between your items and the floor.

To protect your belongings in a storage unit, place pallets all over the floor and cover them with a sheet of plastic.

Here’s the best way to layer items on the floor and protect from water damage:

  • The first thing you should do is place a layer of pallets down. Pallets will elevate your items several inches, much higher than any water could reach. They are also plenty strong, so don’t worry about breaking them.
  • Cover the pallets with a sheet of plastic. Water on the ground will still evaporate as the unit heats and cools throughout the day and night. That water vapor can still cause issues on the underside of sensitive items. A layer of plastic sheeting or a large tarp will prevent that from being an issue.
  • It’s also best to place a tarp over top of important items. Even if your storage unit is very new and nice, leaks can still happen!
  • You can also use shelving to elevate small items. It also makes it much easier to organize.
  • Vacuum seal any documents. This helps to keep documents dry and prevents the retention of moisture which can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria. 

Protect Your Belongings from Moisture

If you do not have a climate-controlled storage unit, you must take steps to ensure that the temperature and humidity are kept at a constant, steady level to protect your belongings. This is more of an issue in high-humidity areas, so keep that in mind if you live there.

If your storage unit is not climate-controlled, you should check the temperature and humidity levels regularly.

This is important for everything you put in storage, but especially important for certain items: 

  • Items made out of wood, like furniture, artwork, or musical instruments can become warped, cracked or rot from moisture.  
  • Leather items, upholstery, clothing can become discolored and susceptible to mildew and mold. 
  • Items made from untreated metal, like certain furniture, car parts, or even records can crack or tarnish.
  • Paper items like important documents and photographs can fade, degrade, or otherwise become illegible.
  • Antiques and collectibles, or items with sentimental value should also be protected from temperature and humidity related damage. Older items are typically more susceptible to moisture damage, so keep that in mind.

In addition to checking humidity levels regularly and making sure you only store completely dry items in the storage unit, you can used desiccants like silica gel packets, salt, rice, or kitty litter. Leave large containers of them (a gallon or so) around the unit, remember to change them every few months.

Tips for Keeping Items in A Storage Unit in Good and Safe Condition

There are many things to consider when selecting a storage unit. These include, cost, location, and whether a storage unit is in a self-service or full-service facility. Crucial to maintaining your belongings in a safe condition is how you organize your things in it, whether it is temperature controlled, and how secure it is from pests (or intruders!).

Organize Belongings in a Way That Won’t Damage Them

Mark the floor of the storage unit with tape to map out where you will put everything. This creates a useful visual to also determine not only where things will go and if they will fit in the space, but also to map out a path that allows access your belongings carefully without damaging them. 

The worst way for something to get damaged is if it were to fall or get crushed while you were attempting to extricate another item. Proper organization removes that issue.

Adding shelves to your storage unit will help you organize your items and protect them against standing water.

Also, purchase shelving units that will allow you to use the vertical space in your unit to store items without worrying about things getting crushed. A shelving unit also provides elevation and therefore protection from standing water on the ground. Two for one!

Use Insulation for Longer Term Storage

If you plan to use the storage unit for a long period of time, installing insulation is another way to control temperature and humidity in storage. 

Insulation can be installed in the walls and roof to keep the building from overheating in the summer and becoming extremely cold in the winter. Some types of insulation can also create a “full vapor barrier”. This helps in avoiding condensation and moisture build up. 

This is only worth doing if you’ll be storing items for multiple seasons or even years. The extra insulation can prevent such wide swings in humidity and air conditions within the unit, which is important for long term storage.

Protect Your Belongings from Pests

Especially during colder seasons, rodents and bugs are on the lookout for warm, dry shelters. A nice cozy storage unit is like a 5-star hotel for those little travelers.

Packing your items in tightly sealed boxes or containers will protect valuables from pests.

Thankfully, there are effective and affordable ways to prevent rodents or other bug pests from setting up shop in your unit and eating or otherwise damaging your items:

  • Pack stuffed or paper goods carefully in tightly sealed containers, so that rodents cannot tear them apart to use for bedding or nesting. Plastic containers that rodents cannot chew through are ideal.
  • Do not bring food into the storage unit, when you are working in it, and never store food in storage so that mice are not attracted to it. If you are using containers that once stored food to pack your belongings, make sure to clean and sanitize them thoroughly before using them to store items.
  • Wrap your upholstered furniture in plastic to protect it from rodents. Make sure to do it effectively, though, as rodents and bugs can find and fit through very small holes.
  • Set deterrents like rat poison, mouse traps and fly tape to capture pests. You can also use cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil around the storage unit since mice and a few other pests are repulsed by the smell of peppermint.

Padding the Floor of a Storage Unit: The Best Defense

As we mentioned in the beginning, the #1 cause of damage inside storage units is water damage from the floor.

The best way to prevent this is to do this to the floor of your storage unit:

  • Place a layer of pallets
  • Cover those pallets with plastic sheeting or tarps
  • Add pest traps, like sicky pads or mouse traps

In addition, it is a good idea to take steps to control temperature and humidity in your unit, assess the degree to which the storage facility provides security for your belongings and, to protect against the unpredictable, insure your belongings in storage.

Share on email
Share on print
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

read this next

Hoses, rakes, shovels and other yard tools often present a storage problem in the garage. Fortunately, there are several storage options that allow you to make the most of your space and keep your garden tools accessible
Packing cubes come in all shapes and sizes, but what is the best way to use them? In this article we’ll share a packing strategy, tips and tricks and go through some of our favorite packing cubes to get you started. #
Hanging items in a storage unit is really quite simple and getting them out when it comes time to move out is easier than you may think. Here are some basic things you should keep in mind when hanging items in a storage unit.
Packaging is more than the type of box used to ship a product. It can be used to protect the contents but it can also be used to give consumers a peek at the product before making a purchase. If you want to choose a packaging that is suitable for you, here are three types that you can refer
Keeping camping gear in the garage is the best way to keep it out of sight and avoid potential damage or loss. It also helps keep your camper clean and smelling nice. Storing camping gear should be a simple, but there are still many things you should know. We are here to help
Storage unit sizes can seem overwhelming and confusing with all of the options out there. We have put together this complete guide to every storage unit size from 5×5′ to 10×30′ units and everything in between. This guide will help you understand the different sizes of storage units and help you choose the right size for your needs
Adding storage to a living room is always something which can make a big difference. It can change the way you think about the room, making the space seem more cozy and lived in. Here are some ways you can add storage to your living room.
While it may seem like a small space, a self-storage unit can house all types of belongings — from lawn mowers to designer clothing and collectibles. If you’re considering renting a storage unit, it’s helpful to know what size space you need
When considering using self-storage, a question that may arise is whether your rented space is insured. You want to ensure your property is safe while in storage. In this article our experts answer some of the most frequently asked questions about self-storage insurance
If you have a storage unit, you know how difficult it can be to organize all of your possessions. A storage unit makes the perfect storage space for items you’re not currently using or that don’t fit into your home or apartment. So let’s get organized! Here is the ultimate guide to organizing a storage unit.
Are you in need of a large enough space to store your personal belongings? It can be quite difficult to find a reliable storage company that will be able to assist you with your storage needs. This article lists the top 13 storage companies that are currently operating and the best one for your needs.
When it comes to choosing a storage facility, the most important thing an individual needs to consider is what is stored in the storage unit. There are several different types of storage units available for rent from operators across the country, you should consider your budget, location, and several more factors
Here are 26 great storage ideas to keep your kids’ toys in order. Having a room filled with toys can be both fun and challenge for parents. That’s why we’ve decided to help you out with 26 smart storage ideas
Properly storing furniture in a storage unit may seem like a simple task, but there are many things to consider. By taking the right steps to prepare and then store the pieces correctly, you can help ensure that they stay safe in storage.
Are you having trouble with your kitchen storage? Need some help to make your space functional? Simply follow these 30 clever ideas that can complement well your tiny kitchen. Make the most out of every inch of space and enjoy your life!
Keeping your lawnmower safe and protected in the garage can be a daunting task. You want to make sure that it’s both safe and ready for mowing season. This article provides tips on how to store your lawnmower properly in the garage so it’s easily accessible and out of the way.
Bugs are not what you want to find when searching through your storage unit. Storage units are meant for both business and personal use. Here are 6 tips you can do to ensure that the bugs stay outside and do not end up in your storage unit.
If you have been looking into self storage units, you may be wondering how safe are self storage units. Your concerns likely stem from what is done to protect your belongings while they are in storage. Here’s what you need to know

Receive the latest news

Get Our storing Newsletter

Stay updated with the latest tips, advices, and much more!

Your privacy is important to us.