Self-Storage Tips

U-Haul Rentals

Large U-haul truck.

So, you’ve just rented a self-storage unit. You’ve packed up everything that you want to store and all that’s left to do is get it to your new unit.

While it may be possible to fit smaller boxes and items in the family van, it may be difficult or nearly impossible if you need to move, say a dresser, a china cabinet, or a sofa. For larger or more cumbersome items, a larger vehicle will make transportation go more smoothly.

Many self-storage renters opt to make the move with a U-Haul truck. As an authorized U-Haul truck rental location, Store It America offers a simple, convenient way to take care of the entire process. We offer U-Haul rentals at all of our Store It America locations, excluding Des Moines.

To book your U-Haul truck or trailer rental, please call us at:

Self-Storage Tips for Moving Students

storage unit for student
As the summer comes to an end all too quickly, college students will be moving in and out of housing in the month of August just as some did a short three months ago. Many people don't think about it, but not every lease ends when the next one starts. Landlords have to make sure all their properties are clean and damage free so they leave a week for a cleaning crews and repairers to fix anything that is wrong. This leaves college kids in limbo, and they need a place for their stuff. The end of the summer can be a busy time for college students. The last thing you want to worry about is where all your stuff is going to go before you move into your next place. A storage unit is the perfect, affordable option.

Guide to student self-storage

You have a bedroom full of furniture, clothes, and decorations and you were the saint that brought the mini fridge and living room couch. You need a place to put it for a week or two until you move into the next place or someone can haul it back home. So what kind of unit do you need, what can you store in it, and how do you get your items in it?  
Figuring out what unit to rent. Most students who are moving from place to place don't have a ton of belongings to store. If you're storing bedroom furniture, a TV, some clothes and some boxes, then a 5x5 unit should be plenty big enough. As the smallest unit, it's also the most cost effective. If you are sharing a storage unit with others and you have more furniture, you may want to rent a 10x10 unit. Another type of storage unit to think about is a temperature-controlled unit. In the summer when it's 100 degrees and the humidity is high, you may want to keep your clothes, pictures, and wood furniture in a cool place to keep it safe from the elements. If you're still wondering the exact dimensions of the storage unit you need—or whether to get an air conditioned unit—you can give us a call and we'll talk you through it.
What can you store and what should you do before storing your items? There are a number of things you shouldn't keep in a storage unit. We talked about the things you shouldn't store in a previous post. The major ones that apply to college students are perishable items—like your food—and anything really valuable that you need. Before storing the items you decide to keep, you should understand some basic packing tricks. If you have furniture to store—especially your mattress—you might want to use plastic covers to keep it clean. You will also want to pack your smaller items in boxes to keep them organized and safe. Covering your clothes you are storing is also a good idea in the middle of the hot summer. We can provide boxes and packing material if you need extra supplies or covers. If you have a mini fridge, you should make sure it is completely defrosted so you don't get water damage on anything in the unit. All of these tips will provide a safe and clean storage unit for your items.
How can I get my stuff to a storage unit. Not everyone has a truck readily available to them. If you don't want to risk your life by hanging onto a couch through an open hatchback, there are a couple of options. If you need some extra hands or vehicles, you can contact our partners over at SOS Property Transition Services. You can also rent a U-haul in a variety of sizes by giving us a call. Either option can make your moving day a little easier and quicker.
As leases end and you wait for the next one to begin, don't forget about a place to store your items. The beginning of the school year can be a stressful time and moving, as exciting as it is, can only add to that stress. Getting your stuff stored in an affordable, safe space is a nice weight off your shoulders and can allow you to focus on getting back into the swing of things. If you have any questions about anything from storage units to what you need to store, our team at Store It America can help you get your items in a safe place. 

What Not to Store in a Storage Unit

Open Storage Unit

Storage units are good for a ton of different things. You can store small items like pictures, clothes, and toys, as well as big items like appliances and cars. While a storage unit can be a safe and easy way to store your items, there are a few written and unwritten rules to follow. Some may seem really obvious, but we've seen it all and there's always a story every year about something stored away in a unit that shouldn't have been. If you're getting ready to store some items, you'll want to make sure they are safe and that you're following the rules.

Obvious or not, don't store these items.

Whether you've thought about it or not, if it exists, someone has probably tried to put it in a storage unit. This doesn't mean they should've put it there, though. Here are a few tips and rules to follow when renting a storage unit:

Living things. We'll start with the obvious things that people still store. Whether it's one day or 100 days, don't store any living thing in a storage unit. This includes animals, plants, or yourself. A storage unit is not a house. All of these instances have happened and all of them are illegal—not to mention a little cruel. We have 24/7 security to see any illegal activity, and we also want our units to be used in a humane, safe, and legal way.

Hazardous and dangerous materials. Let's cover all the bases. Obvious materials you can't store are things like dangerous chemicals and anything that is highly flammable, like ammunition, cleaners, and gasses. If it can start a fire or let out a dangerous odor or substance, it shouldn't be stored in a unit. It's perfectly legal to store tools that use gas—like a lawnmower—but the gas tank should be completely drained. If you need to store a firearm, your local gun store will store these items safely and securely. Other materials and substances like paint or fertilizer shouldn't be stored either. If it can cause a health risk, there are safer alternatives. No one wants to come back to a storage unit that is destroyed or dangerous to enter.

Perishable items. If you or a pet you own can eat it, it shouldn't be stored. Obviously, if it's in there for a long time, it probably won't be good when you get back to it. Storing food for any amount of time can be an open invitation for rodents and insects as well. Although all the units are nice and safe,  we can't do it all. It takes a little help from our customers. Refrigerators and other appliances are not allowed to be connected to power for safety reasons. So food isn't allowed to be stored in any way. Perishable items shouldn't even be stored in the temperature-controlled units.

Illegal items. Back to the obvious, if it's stolen or illegal, it can't be stored. This includes drug related items and any stolen items. You don't want to get in trouble with the law.

Unregistered vehicles. We allow boats and RV's to be stored if they are legally owned. If your car or boat is registered under your name, then there is plenty of space for that. If the car isn't registered or is registered under someone else's name, then it can't be stored. Make sure to show up with a title and proof of registration.

Possible items to avoid. You should really think before storing anything that is really expensive or valuable to you. Storage units are generally safe and secure. As we mentioned before, Store it America takes security measures to make sure everything is safe, but things can still happen. To give yourself peace of mind no matter how good the security, things like expensive jewelry, money, and important documents should be strongly considered. If you couple leaving dangerous materials and valuable materials together in a storage facility, then you're at even more risk.

Maybe some of these suggestions and rules made you laugh, and maybe some left you wondering where to put things. In either instance, these rules and guidelines are in place for the safety of your belongings and the belongings of others inside the units around you. There are a ton of really good uses for a storage unit. If it's used correctly, a storage unit can be a perfect place to keep your items during a big move, for extra storage, or vehicle storage.

Store It America has a variety of storage units and ways to keep your items safe and secure. Contact us if you have any questions about storing an item legally and safely.


Boat Storage Prep

Boat Storage

Summer just began and we’re in the heart of boating season. Before you know it, though, summer will be over and you’ll want to have your boat prepared to keep in a safe place. It’s important to keep your boat in good condition all throughout the year—not just when you’re using it. There are a few important things to remember to do before you store your boat during the off-season.

Boat Storage Prep

If you follow these tips, your boat—or any water craft you own—will be ready to go for many season to come. Let’s run through the checklist:

  1. Take your boat out for one last ride. Chances are you’re going to want to do this anyway because you won’t want the season to end. On this trip out, though, make sure to pay attention to how your boat is riding. Make sure everything sounds good and you don’t notice anything funny going on. Letting issues sit over the winter will only make them worse.
  2. Clean your boat well. Your boat needs to be cleaned inside and out. This includes drain plugs and the engine all the way to the refrigerator or bathroom if you have one. Cleaning the important mechanics will keep your boat running well and is one of the most important parts to clean. You’ll want you boat to look nice as well, so clean off all the slime and dirt that is stuck on the exterior from the dirty river or lake. For your enjoyment on the first ride out of the season, clean the interior and make sure not to miss anything that can spoil in your refrigerator or onboard coolers. You’re going to be eager to take your boat out during the next season so get everything cleaned now so there’s no snags in your plan.
  3. Get your boat dry. You’ll want to make sure your boat is completely dry. Raise the bow and make sure all the water drains away from the boat. After you drain and dry your boat, you can also prevent mildew with cover bags on the interior. No one wants to come back to a smelly and mildew covered boat.
  4. Check all the fluids. You should check and change all the important fluids in your boat so you don’t come back to one that won’t start. Make sure to change out all the fluid or make sure it is at the correct level. Never drain the fluids from your vessel before you store it because this can create condensation and corrode your pipes. This includes topping off your gas tank so that it’s full, changing the oil, and checking the antifreeze.
  5. Keep your boat maintained over the winter. You should loosen or even remove your drive belts so they don’t crack under the extreme weather conditions during the winter. Lastly, you should grease all your controls up so you don’t come back to a boat you can’t steer because it hasn’t been moved all winter.
  6. Wax and cover your boat. It’s important to wax your boat before you store it to make sure rust or corrosion doesn’t occur. As an added bonus, your family and friends will be impressed on that first ride out when you take it right out of storage looking ready to go.
  7. Keep your boat in a safe space. You don’t want all the work you just did to go to waste. Keep your boat in a safe place so that weather or other people can’t get into it.

If you follow all these steps, your boat will be ready to go next season. If you need a safe place to store your boat, Store It America has spaces that you can reserve early so you aren’t scrambling to find a spot. Contact us to get your spot reserved so you can enjoy the rest of the season with one less thing to worry about!

RV Storage Prep

RV Storage

Whether you’re a first-time RVer or a seasoned owner, storing your vehicle for the winter months is an important part of maintenance. Prepping for winter RV storage requires time, and there are several points to take into consideration before the cold hits. It’s more than just remembering to put antifreeze in your RV’s water system!

RV Storage Prep

When you start to work through your RV storage checklist, preparation procedures are divided into two sections: the coach and the chassis.


  1. Be sure to avoid storing your RV near trees. It’s also best to avoid parking it on a grassy area.
  2. It is important to find a well-ventilated RV cover. This will help to prevent mildew buildup that can lead to mold.
  3. Make sure that your tires are inflated and covered.
  4. To avoid sun-bleaching on your furniture, be sure that all blinds and covers are down and securely in place throughout the winter months. This also helps to prevent rodents from taking shelter in your vehicle.
  5. Make sure that the main LPG supply valve is turned off. You’ll also want to cover any vents to prevent insects from finding their way inside.
  6. Be sure to remove any perishable items from the refrigerator, drawers, and cabinets. This is also a good time to defrost and clean your refrigerator.
    1. Bonus tip: Leaving some baking soda in the ridge with the door open will help to alleviate any odors that may occur during the winter months.


  1. Before storing your RV, you should be sure to change the oil.
  2. It is important to check the antifreeze levels in the radiator. The type of antifreeze for your vehicle can be found in your owner’s manual.
  3. You will need to store your RV’s battery separately to avoid any potential damage or drainage due to moisture or temperature drops.
    1. Bonus tip: When removing the battery, always take off the negative terminal first!
  4. While your vehicle is in storage, it is important that you add fuel stabilizer periodically. You will also want to run the engine on idle every two months for at least two hours to ensure that the fuel can circulate throughout the system. You should also do this for the generator.


After all of the above is completed, you can be sure of a smooth transition back in the spring.

Looking for a self-storage space for your RV this winter? We have spaces available at all of our locations. Click here to learn more!

Wrap it up!

When it comes to storage, plastic wrap is your friend. Using a good, thick plastic wrap with tape at the seams will prevent dust, mites, and insects from getting into your furniture and other items. New mattress plastic wrap and painter’s plastic are great options!

Pallets, pallets, pallets

Keeping your items off of the floor is important to the longevity of those items. As it happens, we provide wooden pallets for free! Grab some pallets from our facility, or set up some wood planks with some plastic sheeting to keep those items safe from water damage and insects.