14 May


By / Emily Adams

Keeping Your Cool Box Safe and Secure for the Long-Haul

The biggest obstacle standing between you and setting up your new home is getting everything packed and transported safely. When you’re strapped for time and really just want to get the move over with, it can be really tempting to just throw everything into boxes, load up your portable storage unit, and hope for the best. 

Rushing the process seems like it might save time, but more often than not it only means you’ll have a mess to deal with when it comes to unpacking in your new place. Not to mention it’s your responsibility to safely load your portable storage container in order to prevent damage to your belongings. 

Here are important portable storage unit packing tips to keep in mind – especially if you’re new to using portable storage units for moving! 

The Better You Pack Up Your Stuff, The Easier Your Whole Move Will Be

The key to a smooth move is taking the time to pack everything the right way the first time. Try and use the same size boxes whenever possible and always label each box with the room it belongs to. To get even more organized and help make unpacking a breeze, include a rough inventory of what’s in the box on each label as well. 

There’s a ton of helpful advice out there on how to more efficiently pack boxes and prepare furnishings for a move. In fact, we even have a blog post of our own that outlines important tips and tricks for moving with ease when using a portable moving container! 

Once everything is properly packed and prepped, you can move onto the tips for actually loading and securing your stuff in your Cool Box container! 

Choose a Portable Storage Container That Matches Your Number of Items 

Choosing a portable storage container is a bit of a Goldilocks and the Three Bear situation. Too large of a container and you’ll be overpaying. Too small of a container and you won’t have enough space to safely store everything. 

Cool Box offers 3 different size portable storage units for rent – 12′, 16′, and 20′ models. You’ll want to pick a size that matches how much stuff you have to move. The 12′ model is best for small spaces and 1 bedroom apartments. Move up to the 16′ models for small houses and 2 bedroom apartments. If you’re moving a lot of boxes and furnishings, the 20′ model will give you a ton of space (equivalent to a big moving truck). 

Organize Your Boxes and Furniture Before Your Start Loading Your Container 

The best plan of attack when loading up your portable storage unit is to keep boxes and furniture grouped by room. We’ve talked before about decluttering and packing up room by room as the most efficient method, but you should also keep the same idea in mind when loading your container. All your kitchen boxes and appliances should be in one general area of the container, bathroom boxes in other, and so on. This will make unloading your container much easier and get you started on unpacking boxes faster.  

Plan Ahead for Any Long-Term Storage of Certain Items 

While you’re grouping together your items by room, you should also keep in mind if there are any items you’re going to want to store long-term. A significant advantage of using portable storage units for moving is the freedom of being able to store your things for as long as you need post-move. If you are already planning on going this route, you’ll want to be sure that the stuff you’re going to store will be the first wave loaded into the moving container. That way you won’t need to unnecessarily move these items around, but rather just unload what you immediately need in your new place. 

Wrap Furniture to Prevent Damage and Potential Injury During a Move 

Moving big furniture can always be a potential danger. When it comes to portable storage unit safety tips to always keep in mind, an important one is securing and wrapping furniture whenever possible. Firstly, wrapping and securing furniture with straps will ensure no damage occurs to the object. Secondly, and even more importantly, it will also prevent injury from drawers accidentally falling open or cabinet doors from swinging open and hitting someone. 

Always be careful when moving furniture in order to avoid hurting or straining your back. Get help for the larger or heavier items and don’t be afraid to hire a moving crew if you’re stuck moving solo. 

Keep Your Portable Storage Unit Safely Locked Until You Unload 

Cool Box portable storage containers have a latch bar that accommodates a lock – either one you provide yourself or one purchased from Cool Box. An important safety tip is to always keep your portable storage unit locked unless you’re actively loading or unloading it. This prevents theft from occurring and also keeps children and pet safe from trying to venture inside. 

A lock is an absolute must-have if you decide to store items short- or long-term in your Cool Box unit. Even if you choose to store your Cool Box at their own secure facility rather than at home, you should still invest in a solid padlock. 

Do What Pros Do By Creating ‘Walls’ From End to End, Bottom to Ceiling 

Borrowing portable storage unit packing tips from the pros is a great idea for packing your Cool Box safely and efficiently. If you ever watch professional movers load a truck or portable unit, you’ll notice that they pack from side to side, bottom to top, completely before adding another row. This technique of creating ‘walls’ maximizes space in the unit and helps prevent damage to items since minimal gaps also mean minimal room for shifting. 

Load Your Heaviest Items First and Distribute the Weight Evenly 

As you make each ‘wall’ you’ll want to start first with the heaviest items on the bottom. This will create a solid foundation for other items to sit on top. As far as portable storage unit safety tips go, having heavier items on the bottom helps reduce the chance of injury when unloading. However, keep in mind that you don’t place all of your heaviest items within the base of a single ‘wall’. Distribute the weight evenly across the bottom of each ‘wall’ to ensure the floor of your unit isn’t overly stressed. 

Keep Your Most Important Items Up at the Front of the Container 

Aside from going bottom to top with your heaviest to lightest items, you also want to load your portable storage container from back to front by importance. Boxes containing items you’re going to need immediately should be placed up front while others that can wait should go in the back. For example, a box of memorabilia can be placed at the back of the container while the box with your kitchens cooking utensils and flatware should probably be right up front. 

Pack Your Container as Tightly as Possible Before Moving to the ‘Next Wall’ 

You want to minimize gaps between boxes and furniture as much as possible in each ‘wall’. The more gaps, the less stable your ‘wall’ will be and the more likely things may shift or fall once the Cool Box unit is being transported. 

Ensure your wall is secure and tightly packed before you move to the next section. A really helpful tip for filling in gaps is to stuff soft storage bags in between. For example, pack your bedding in soft bags and stuff those in between boxes and furniture. Not only will this make your ‘walls’ more stable, but it also saves space in boxes for other items. 

Periodically Use Loading Straps to Secure Your ‘Walls’ and Any Large Furniture 

Many portable storage units have hooks or anchor points built into the framing of the container itself. Take advantage of these whenever possible. After every couple of ‘walls’, consider throwing a strap up to help keep the boxes stable and upright. It’s also a good idea to use a strap for any big pieces of furniture, especially those that could slide or roll on the floor of the storage unit. 

Don’t forget to include strapping before the door after you’re finished loading. This is one of the most important portable storage unit safety tips as it prevents boxes from falling when you open the door. 

Ready to Start Packing Up Your Cool Box Portable Storage Unit?


Using a Cool Box portable storage container is a surefire way of making your move easier and less stressful. By keeping the featured portable storage unit safety tips in mind and taking your time with packing, loading, and unpacking, you should have a wonderful experience.  

If you ever have any questions about packing your Cool Box container, you can give Cool Box customer service a call. The Cool Box call center is open 7 days a week, from 6:30 AM to 5 PM Monday to Friday, 6:30 AM to 4 PM Saturday, and 7 AM to 3 PM on Sunday. 

Emily Adams