We all know renting a storage unit is a safe and convenient way to house all the extra stuff that is taking up space in our homes. But the convenience factor plummets if you don’t take time to organise the layout of your storage unit, forcing you to spend hours pulling out items and sifting through boxes to find what you need.
Who has time for that? Absolutely no one.
To help mitigate the frustration, we’ve created a handy storage unit organization guide to help you plan the perfect layout for your unit, ensuring you’ll be able to quickly and easily find what you need when you need it.
1. Clean Your Unit
We know what you’re thinking and, you’re right—the facility you’re renting from should offer you a clean unit from the get-go. That being said, the definition of “clean” differs from one facility to the next, so make sure your storage experience starts on the right foot with a clean and dry unit. Sweep the floors to remove dust and debris and go back over them with a damp mop or wet Swiffer.
Now is also a great time to check the condition of your unit. Walk the perimeter to make sure there are no cracks in the walls or holes in the ceiling. It’s much easier to change units before you’ve added all your stuff, so if you see any issues be sure to inform the facility…stat.
2. Label All Boxes
Does labeling take time? Yes. Will it ultimately save your sanity? Also, yes. Though it seems a pain at the time, labeling each box with a number, the name of the room it came from, and a list of its contents is a life saver in the long run. And, no…there’s no such thing as too specific, so start writing.
As you pack and label, keep in mind the things you know you’ll want to access with greater regularity as this will affect where they are stored in your unit (more on that later).
Here’s a pro tip: When packing, try to use the same size boxes as much as possible. This will make stacking them in your storage unity infinitely easier.
3. Make a Master List
Again, some people think this step is over the top. But when you are trying to find your wedding photos or the novel you’re reading for a book club that wasn’t supposed to get packed in the first place, having an organised master list will save you hours of search time in the long run.
Take all the information you wrote on your boxes and transfer it to your master list. The list can be handwritten or, for all you tech-savvy storage owners, entered into an Excel spreadsheet.
4. Invest in Shelving
Did you know most storage units are 10 feet high or taller? That means you have tons of vertical storage space that you should be using. Shelving is an easy way to go up with your boxes without stacking them dangerously high and risking an accident.
Check out local garage sales and resale shops for discounted shelving. While it does add to the expense of the unit, shelving often allows renters to get more stuff into a smaller unit, thereby saving money in the long run.
5. Start Stacking
Begin stacking boxes in your unit from back to front according to need. Boxes to which you will need regular access should be stored closer to the front of the unit while items you plan to never touch go to the very back. Everything else falls somewhere in between.
Heavy boxes should go on bottom and lighter ones on top. If you do not have shelving, be careful how high you go. Boxes should not be stacked above your head.
If you are storing furniture, consider removing legs when possible to maximise space within your unit. If legs aren’t removable, stack furniture top-to-top. You can fill any empty space below the furniture with boxes and stack boxes on top.
6. Create a Center Aisle
Having all your boxes neatly labeled and inventoried will do you no good if you cannot access them. Do yourself a favor and leave a center aisle running down the middle of your unit, allowing you access to all boxes in your unit…from the front all the way to the back. Depending on the size of your unit, you may be able to create two aisles. Just make sure you can reach any box at any time.
7. Post a Copy of Your Master List
Once everything is neatly stacked and you’ve left room for an access aisle, there’s only one thing left to do. Post a copy of your master list or Excel spreadsheet at the entrance of your unit, so you don’t have to worry about having a copy on hand when you’re looking for something.
And there you have it…seven easy steps for organizing your storage unit. And if you’re looking for the perfect place to store your stuff, we hope you’ll contact us at Holloway Storage. Whether you’re looking for long- or short-term storage, our team is here to help.