How to Organize Your Storage Unit

How to Organize Your Storage Unit: A Complete Guide
Storage units are intended to be accessible and convenient. This allows for easy access when you need to grab something you’ve stored away, the last thing you want to do is spend an exorbitant amount of time shuffling through boxes and pulling all of the items out of the storage unit.
Luckily, with a bit of planning ahead to make sure that your storage unit is organized in a manner to help alleviate any issues later. Here are nine tips to help set up and organize a storage unit so that you can easily find what you need in an efficient way.

  • Stick to one box size for your packable items
    It may be tempting to use whatever cardboard box you have lying around when packing up a storage unit. But same-size boxes help with stacking and accessibility. (So long as they’re properly labeled). Aim for similar sized hard plastic totes. Along with clothing, accessories, books, documents, and other stored items, they can even hold heftier items like small appliances and kitchenware!
    If you are unable to get boxes that are the same size, that is okay! Be sure to place your larger and heavier boxes at the bottom of stacks of boxes. Because loading up boxes on top of smaller/ lesser weighted boxes can make for unstable storage conditions in your unit.

  • Label each box you pack.
    Speaking of labeling, be sure to clearly label each box on the top and all four sides with short, simple identifiers. This can include a box number, the room it came from, and/or the contents of the box. Select a labeling style that works for your organizational needs and stick to that process throughout your entire packing and organizational process. Place a special mark on boxes you may need to access at some point during storage, and remember to put them in your storage unit last so that they are among the first boxes seen when entering the unit. Try to be as detailed as possible with the boxes to alleviate headaches down the road.

  • Identify the items commonly needed to access while in storage.
    An efficient way to organize belongings that don’t otherwise seem to have a theme or room, ask yourself this question: How often do you use each item? Things you do not use often when you’re packing may be needed later on. Be sure to consider what you may need while your items are in storage.
    Here are a few things you may need to retrieve from your storage unit:
    -Seasonal clothing
    -Trip supplies (tents, sleeping bags, fishing gear, sleds, etc.)
    -Car Parts
    -Hobby Supplies
    -Holiday items (decorations, costumes, bakeware)
    -Children’s toys
    -Office/personal documents
    These items that you will most commonly need access to, arrange them in a way so that they will easily be accessible. The most common practice is to store these items closest to the door, or on top of key stacks of boxes so that you can come and go quickly.

  • Create a master content list for your boxes.
    Try to write down all of the contents in each box along with the box number on paper or in a digital spreadsheet. (You can also use whatever organizational method works best for your brain). This step is more time consuming and requires a bit more planning ahead, however, a master list becomes worth it when you need to find a specific item, especially if some of your boxes will be completely out of view. This can happen often in smaller sized storage units. If you’re using the box number method then the unique box numbers, for example, you can easily cross-reference that number on your master spreadsheet to identify which box you need to access.

  • Plan an organized layout for your storage unit.
    If you will access your unit frequently,it is important to think about how you pack your storage unit. Leaving a clear path is also important for your own safety when accessing your storage unit, as it ensures you’re never pinned or trapped by stacks of boxes and furniture. If you need to use the space in the middle, to allow for a safe path, then place your most moveable items there so you can easily remove them. This could include very light items or furniture pieces on wheels.
    Pro Tip: It’s also a good idea to use some space to place something on the ground, like wooden or plastic pallets, to ensure your furniture, appliances, and especially boxes aren’t resting directly on the ground where they’re vulnerable to spills. Moving blankets are also a great idea to place on top of your furniture to avoid any dust or dirt from getting onto those items.

  • Consider upgrading to a larger unit.
    It sounds fun, to pack every square inch like a Tetris master. But that can mean a more difficult process when accessing items from the unit. If you are finding that your storage unit is packed to the brim, it can be a great idea to look at a larger unit size to accommodate your items. A little extra space can give you room for shelving units and a path through the middle of your unit for easy access to most of your belongings.
    Obviously, you don’t want to pay for space you won’t use, but our “Rates and Availability Page” should give you a good idea of how much space you will need along with the rate for that size. You are also welcome to contact the office for their expertise of your sizing needs.

  • Shelve or stack boxes.
    If you’re using a self-storage unit as a long-term storage solution, it’s a good idea to place sturdy shelves along one wall of the unit. That way, you can guarantee that everything is safely stacked without risk of falling over.
    Pro Tip: all shelving must be free standing, as our facilities do not allow for nailing or drilling items into the walls or ceiling of the storage unit.

  • Place a list of your belongings inside the unit where you can see it.
    There’s no need to map out visible boxes or items, but you should definitely be sure to notate anything that ends up getting buried. That way, you don’t lose track of where it is. A great way to do this is to place your master list at an easy to access place in your storage unit where you can see it and remember where boxes and items have been placed

  • It is OK to unpack all of your boxes
    If you’ve already packed and have many boxes filled with the random items that fit conveniently, you might want to invest some time repacking. Yes, this task can be a hassle, but taking some extra time now can save yourself a headache in the future. Repack similar items like seasonal clothes, holiday decor, or bakeware into their own boxes.
    Packing items that fit within general categories is okay. You just do not want to pack things like boots and coats with your kitchen gear.. Use your best judgment and pack in a manner that makes sense for you. This will seem well worth it if you spend extra time to repack, label, and organize everything now than if you decide not to repack everything and later need to tear your storage unit apart to find something like a kitchen aid mixer
    How do you maximize space in your storage unit?
    These steps may take some time with extra brain power, however, they are well worth your effort. You will save yourself a lot of time and energy in the future, which would otherwise be spent sifting through unmarked, disorganized boxes and causing chaos in your space.
    Have you used any of these tips to organize a storage unit? What are the must-know organizational hacks you live by? Feel free to share with us on social media!

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