Whether you’re in the middle of remodeling the house, downsizing, or are just short on space at home, if you’re someone who needs to access their storage unit on the regular, proper organization of that unit will save you loads of time down the line. Here’s everything you need to know about storage unit organization.
Tips for Organizing a Storage Unit
1) Make an Inventory of Your Stored Items
Before you load up your unit, write up a list of all the items you’ll be storing and how often you need access to stored items. An inventory list you can refer back to will save you from future headaches – you’ll always know what’s in your unit. It will also help you determine how to map out your unit and what storage unit size you’ll need to accommodate everything.
2) Create a Map of Your Storage Unit
Speaking of mapping things out, do yourself a favor, draw up a rough map of your storage space, and stick it to the inside door of your storage unit.
3) Strategically Position Your Items in Your Unit
One of the most important storage tips is to organize your unit based on how often you’ll them. You don’t want to store items frequently needed buried under loads of boxes, so it’s a good idea to put the items you need often in the front of the unit. You’ll also want to make sure you put heavy items at the bottom and stack lighter boxes on top.
4) Maximize Your Storage Space
To maximize space in your unit, arrange large, bulky items like furniture towards the back, ideally on either side against the wall. Storing a mattress up against one of the unit walls will also maximize space while ensuring the mattress doesn’t fall over. This will also leave a pathway down the center, allowing you easy access to all of your items.
5) Install Shelving in Your Storage Unit
Another way to maximize storage space is to install shelving. Storage facilities may not let you install shelves fixed to the unit wall, but you can bring in garage-type shelving to maximize the vertical space in your storage unit.
6) Choose the Right Boxes
You can either use clear plastic or cardboard boxes for storage, but clear plastic boxes are hardier and will help keep the damp away from clothes, books, and other items susceptible to mildew. Plus, you can easily see into clear boxes. Also stick to boxes that are roughly the same size, and stack large boxes on top of other large boxes and small boxes on top of small boxes — this maximizes space.
7) Label Your Boxes
Make your life easier by labeling boxes. This way you’ll never be forced to dig around to discover their contents. Use color-coded labels to instantly be able to tell which boxes contain clothes, household goods, books, files, and so on.
8) Keep Your Storage Unit Clutter-free
Once you’ve arranged your furniture and stacked your boxes in their place, your storage unit should be looking tidy. To keep it clutter-free, consider doing an annual clear-out. Go through your belongings and determine when to keep, donate, sell, and send to the dump.
9) What Not Keep in Your Storage Unit
One of the most common storage FAQs is what you can’t (and shouldn’t) store in a storage unit:
- Valuables, money, irreplaceable family heirlooms, in other words, items you’d hate to lose ought to be kept at home or in a safety deposit box.
- Perishable goods are another no-no. Food is a magnet for rats and mold.
- Hazardous materials like paint thinner, fireworks, gasoline, and chemicals – basically anything toxic, explosive, or flammable should not be kept in a storage unit
- Keep guns and ammunition in a safe place in your home.
Finally, it should go without saying that you absolutely should not use your storage unit for either animals or people. Stick to furniture, household items, documents, appliances, and clothes.
With these easy tips, maintaining an organized storage unit will be a breeze.