Rochester, NY Storage – The Definitive Guide For Your Items

Got questions about using a storage facility in Brockport or Rochester? We’ve got answers. At Champion Moving & Storage, we’re not just a Rochester moving company. We also offer storage. This guide full of tips will make storing your possessions a little easier.

storage-rochester-nyIf you want to jump ahead to other sections here they are:

Why Rent a Storage Unit in Rochester, NY?
How to prepare your storage unit?
What you can and can not put in storage in Rochester
How to pack your Rochester storage unit
Storing cars, boats and RV’s

Why Rent a Storage Unit in Rochester, NY?

Storage units are for, well, storing stuff. But people have lots of different reasons to put their belongings into one of our units.

  • Busting at the Seams: Folks find their homes have become too small for their possessions. Or, more accurately (since houses don’t actually shrink), homeowners have just added personal property over the years. Now it’s reached critical mass.
  • Going Down: Sometimes people move into smaller places. They don’t want to get rid of things, but there’s just not enough room in the new digs.
  • Building Up: Maybe you’re doing an addition or renovation. You need someplace to store furnishings while work is being done.
  • Changing Seasons: Don’t want your bicycles taking up room during the snowy Rochester winters? Perhaps your skis or snowboards are in the way when warm weather rolls around. Storing seasonal equipment or decorations keeps them out of your way the rest of the year.
  • Taking a Break: Rochester is lucky to have several good institutions of higher education. Some students don’t want to drag their possessions home for just a few months.
  • Coming Back: Because of your job or other life situation, you’re going to be out of town for several months. You can’t take it all with you, but you know you’ll be back.

How Do I Prepare for Storage?

Organizing a storage unit seems overwhelming. Here are some suggestions that make it simpler to pack and stash your belongings. (Bonus! You’ll also be able to find anything you need.)

  • Sort: Especially if you have a lot of things to store, sort through it all first. Sell, give away, or donate things you don’t want anymore. No sense paying for a larger until than you really need.
  • Label: On every side of every box, write its contents. “School books.” “Good china.” “Ski clothes.” Also, give each box a number for your…
  • Inventory: Make a list of everything you put in storage. It’s easy to record what’s inside each box, because the containers are numbered, remember?
  • Insure: Storage units are safe, but this is real life. Accidents (and thefts) can happen. Check into insuring your possessions. Your current insurance company is a good place to start.
  • Select: Choose the right size unit. You need to fit everything inside, but you don’t want wasted space. Ask our staff. They’ll you figure out what’ll work best for you. Also, our fellow storage professionals at Bomarc Self Storage in Maine have an excellent webpage that explains how much fits into storage units of various sizes.
  • Map: As you put belongings into the unit, create a map. If you need to pull something out later, you’ll know where to look. BIG time saver!
  • Update: Every time you take something out of storage or put something new in, mark it on your inventory. Keep that baby up-to-date!
  • Plan: If you’re going to the unit to pick an item up, take a minute to think if there’s anything else you need. If you’re going to get your bikes, are there some garden tools you’ll need soon? It’ll save you extra trips.

What’s Safe…and What’s Not to Put in Storage in Rochester, NY?

We don’t want anyone –- or anything –- getting hurt.

DON’T’s When It Comes to Storage in Rochester

Plain and simple: don’t put anything combustible, flammable or toxic into a storage unit. Just don’t. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Motor oil
  • Propane tanks
  • Fertilizers
  • Chemicals
  • Fireworks
  • Narcotics
  • Biological waste
  • When in doubt, just ask us!

Food: DON’T store perishables. This includes food for both humans and animals. Not only might it spoil – it can also attract insets and critters. Canned goods are OK.

Stacking: You want to make good use of the unit’s space, but be careful about stacking things too high. You don’t want to end up under a tumble of boxes.

Make sure stacks don’t wobble. If you do stack over your head, keep a sturdy stepladder in the unit for safer access to higher belongings.

How Should I Pack My Items Into My Storage Unit?

If you pack your possessions properly, they’ll ride out their storage session in style and come out the other side in tip-top condition.

General Packing

  • Label all your containers on more than one side. You think you’ll remember what’s in there, but you won’t. Trust us.
  • DON’T store wet items. You’re risking mold and mildew.
  • Put protective sheet, boards, or pallets on the floor of the unit before filling it. This is Rochester. If you track in mud or snow, you don’t want the dampness and dirt getting to your belongings.
  • Set up a shelving unit if you have many small or medium boxes you’ll want to access. This is even more perfect if you have one to store!
  • Limit moisture and odors in the air with an open bag of activated charcoal or sidewalk chalk wrapped in cheesecloth.

Filling Containers

  • Try to use boxes or polypropylene containers that are the same size. It’s great for stacking.
  • DON’T use sealed plastic bags. They encourage mildew growth.
  • Put heavy items on the bottom of a container or box.
  • 25 to 30 pounds should be the weight limit for each box and container. Otherwise they might be too heavy to lift safely.
  • DON’T under-fill boxes, or they’ll collapse when stacked. To keep them from being overweight, add filler or paper, if necessary.
  • DON’T overfill boxes, or they won’t stack properly. They also fall apart more easily.
  • DON’T use newspaper for filler unless you don’t care if the ink rubs off on your stuff. (You will.)
  • Seal boxes with packing tape to keep out dust.


  • In general, store larger items first, near the walls of the unit.
  • Smaller items go closer to the front. That way you can see what’s in the back better.
  • Try to leave an aisle in the unit so you can access items you want to remove.
  • Don’t stack objects too high if you’ll be going in and out of the unit.  You don’t want an avalanche on top of you.
  • Put sheets or other coverings between pieces of furniture to prevent scratching
  • Cover everything to keep dust out.

Packing Specific Items

Some possessions need a little extra TLC.


  • Wipe down damp or wet appliances with baking soda to remove water.
  • Wrap or tape cords so they don’t drag.

Refrigerators and Freezers:

  • Defrost and clean.
  • Wedge their doors open.
  • Use the space inside to store small items.

Washing machine:

  • Drain.
  • Tie up its hoses.

Vacuum cleaner:

  • Empty its bag. Do you want to store the dirt, food bits and detritus in it? Thought not.

Household Goods

  • To save on wrapping costs, enclose fragile items in blankets and towels you’re going to store anyway.


  • Separate lampshades from the lamps before wrapping for storage.  


  • Pack as many as you can in their original boxes.


  • Put delicate dishes in storage boxes designed for them.
  • Stack plates on their ends after wrapping them in packing paper.


  • Put them in small boxes. They get heavy fast.
  • Lay books flat on their fronts or backs to protect their pages and spines.

Mirror and Pictures:

  • Crisscross tape over the front before wrapping them.
  • DON’T store them FLAT. Place them on their sides.


  • Make sure all pieces are clean.
  • Use leather conditioner for protection, when appropriate.
  • DON’T store anything vertically if it wobbles. You’re just asking for that bookcase to fall over…
  • Fill drawers and cabinet shelves with smaller item to save space.


  • Take apart anything you can to make it smaller.
  • For instance, take the legs off a table.
  • Tape small parts to the largest piece.


  • NOT sofa beds — can be tipped on their ends to safe space.


  • Stack them together, if possible.


Mattresses, sofas, upholstered chairs:

  • Put covers or bags over them to protect the fabric. Moving companies and storage facilities carry special cover-ups.
  • Don’t stack heavy stuff on top.


  • Before packing, put matching colored tape or stickers on cord ends and by holes so setting up is easier.
  • Pack electronics in their original boxes, if possible
  • If not, find the closest-sized box you can, and use filler in empty spaces
  • Still got albums? Store them on their ends, not flat


  • Gas-powered equipment: drain gas and oil.
  • Wipe all metal equipment and tools with oil to prevent rust.
  • If you’re storing trash cans, put outdoor equipment such as hoses, shovels, brooms, and hoes inside.


  • Make sure everything is clean.
  • Hanging clothes store best in wardrobe boxes.
  • Other clothes can be folded up in polypropylene containers.
  • DON’T use dry cleaner bags or other plastic bags.
  • If you have wool items, store with cedar or lavender.

What If I Need to Store a Boat, Cars, or RV?

If you have a vehicle or boat to store in the Rochester area, here are some facilities:

  • Dewey Self Storage is on Dewey Ave. in Rochester.
  • Smith Boys has several area locations for boats.
  • Linden Self Storage has RV and boat storage on Linden Ave. in Rochester.
  • Avon Self Storage Park in Avon has space for RVs and boats.
  • U-Box of Rochester on Ajax Rd. stores RVs and boats.

Boat Storage Tips

Here are steps for preparing your motorboat for storage:

  • Disconnect the battery.
  • Loosen drive belts.
  • Change the oil filter and oil.
  • Re-freshen the coolant.
  • Open all drains.
  • Wipe the boat thoroughly to remove salt water and dirt.
  • Take unnecessary items out of the boat, such as food, electronics, and anything fabric.

Car Storage Tips

Before storing your car for a while:

  • Change the oil.
  • Fill up the tank if the storage facility allows it.
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  • Inflate tires to the recommended pressure, or take off the wheels and support the car with jack stands.
  • Clean the outside thoroughly, including the finish, wheels, and underside of fenders.
  • Consider waxing your car.
  • Fill gaps with steel wool where animals could enter.
  • DON’T use the parking brake.
  • If it’s in an outdoor lot, cover it.

RV Storage Tips

Preparing an RV for storage can get pretty involved. Check out suggestions from the Family Motor Coach Association.

What is Climate Controlled Storage?

Climate controlled storage areas never get hot, cold or humid. This environment is good for certain items, such as:

  • Computers and other electronics
  • Paintings
  • Antiques
  • Books
  • Heirlooms
  • Wine
  • Stamp and coin collections
  • Musical instruments

Contact Champion Moving & Storage for any questions related to our Rochester, NY Storage solutions.