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Tips & Advice | Storage

5 Ways to Keep Track of Your Stored Belongings

keep track of your stored belongings

If you’ve ever rented a storage unit, the following scenario has likely happened to you at some point. You haul all your boxes and belongings to your storage unit, pack it to maximum capacity, pat yourself on the back and consider it a job well done as you head back to your perfectly decluttered home.

And then it happens…

Maybe it’s a month from filling your unit. Perhaps it’s six months or even years later. But, at some point, you realise there is something you desperately need in that storage unit, and you return to your unit, forced to pull out piles of boxes and search in vain for that proverbial needle in your storage haystack.

There’s not much that’s worse.

That’s why we are huge proponents of organising your unit in a way that makes finding even the tiniest item a breeze. To help you do just that, we’ve gathered 5 of our favorite pro tips for keeping all of your items organised and fantastically findable no matter how long they stay in storage. Let’s dive in!

1. Start With a Plan

Create a blueprint of your storage unit and decide where you’re going to store items, including larger pieces of furniture and your containers. You may want to consider adding shelving to your unit prior to moving in your stuff—they can be a lifesaver when it comes to maximising the space of your unit as they allow you to safely stack items vertically. Here’s a tip: know the dimensions of your unit so you can purchase shelving that will allow you to stack items right up to the ceiling.

2. Sort Before You Pack

It just makes sense to pack items together. Have separate boxes for clothing, toys, dishware, electronics, collectibles, and any other “groups” that need to be stored. You can further break down the categories into kid’s clothing, formal wear, glasses, plates…you get the idea.

3. Ban Boxes

Despite what friends may tell you, boxes are not the best choice for storing items…particularly if your things will be living in storage for a long period of time.

Cardboard doesn’t have a long shelf life, and eventually, the boxes will begin to break down, especially if they are stacked on top of one another. You’ll notice signs of crumpling in the bottom boxes first as they are the ones bearing the heaviest load, but the others will quickly follow suit.

Another issue with cardboard boxes is their sensitivity to the weather. If you live in a humid climate, you’ll find your boxes break down faster than they would in other locales. And if something happens and your storage facility experiences a water leak, cardboard provides little protection.

A final drawback to cardboard—it is a food of choice for pests like mice, rats, and roaches, and having piles of it in your unit is the equivalent of a neon sign offering all sorts of creepy crawlies an open invitation to the all-you-can-eat cardboard buffet in your unit…shudder.

You’ll be better off with plastic bins for a variety of reasons. They are more durable, longer lasting, and much easier to stack than their cardboard counterparts. And, if you purchase clear bins, it is easier to find items in them.

4. If You’re Old School, Make a Spreadsheet…or Use Good Old Pen and Paper

Not interested in a high-tech option for keeping track of what’s in your storage unit? That’s no problem. You can use graphing paper to make a spreadsheet, but even a simple notepad and pen will do the trick. Simply label each bin with a number, record the number on your paper of choice, then list the contents. Pro tip: Make a copy of the completed list and hang it from a clipboard at the front of your storage unit or take photographs to store on your phone so you don’t have to remember to bring the original along every time you’re hunting for something.

5. If You’re New School, Incorporate Technology

If you’re comfortable with technology, consider typing up your spreadsheet in a program like Excel or Google Sheets. You can always print out a hard copy if you like the feel of having paper in hand.

But you can take the technology even further by downloading and using apps like Scan Your Boxes. This inventory app allows you to generate QR codes for each box in your unit. Simply affix the code to the box and you have instant digital access to its contents, including photos of the items stored inside and any notes you’ve made. It’s genius!

If you find yourself looking for quality storage in or around Sydney, we hope you’ll contact us at Holloway. We make the storage process easy and affordable, and we’d love to have you as part of the Holloway family.

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