So you’ve made the decision to rent a storage unit to help create some space in your life. Perhaps you’ll want to access your stuff from time to time while in storage? Whatever the reason for having the storage unit, you’ll want to ensure a simple and stress-free storage experience by taking a few steps to arrange your unit to avoid time-consuming rummaging and reorganizing later.
PACK EFFICIENTLY FOR SELF-STORAGE
Have a plan before you even pack the belongings that you’ll be storing. Place like items together in similar sized boxes. Remember not to overpack large boxes, even if it seems like they can hold up to a lot of weight. Remember that they need to be light enough to move without injuring your back.
CLEARLY LABEL YOUR BOXES
Taking extra time to provide detail about the contents of each box will pay off later when you need to find something. In addition to details about the contents, you can include the date on your label. Use a permanent black marker on large white adhesive labels, in two locations on different sides of the box. Place the box in the unit with the label facing forward and visible.
USE CLEAR PLASTIC BINS OR TUBS
Plastic containers are the best way to protect items against moisture and dirt, and clear plastic varieties are a great way to quickly see what’s inside. They also make for easy, uniform and ultimately safer stacking.
INSTALL SHELVES AND CREATE A WALKWAY
If you’ve got a lot of boxes and enough space in your unit, consider installing shelving along the side or creating a walkway for easy access to each side of the unit. Stack heavier items on the bottom, and avoid stacking higher than you can reach. It’s also a good idea to give your items some space between the walls and other items, to allow air to circulate in your unit.
DON’T MIX FURNITURE AND BOXES
Place furniture towards the back of your unit, or to one side opposite boxes. Try to keep delicate items away from heavier items. Items that can’t be moved easily should be stored towards the back of the unit away from the accessible items. Place mattresses in plastic storage bags and cover upholstery and furniture with a sheet or tarp.
MAKE AN INVENTORY LIST
Keep a list of which items you’ve placed in storage. You may even want to take photos of the things that will be going into storage, so when you’re looking for a specific item later, you can quickly confirm the item is in storage by simply looking it up in your photo inventory.
PLACE FREQUENTLY ACCESSED ITEMS IN FRONT
Probably one of the most important rules for organizing your self-storage unit is to place frequently accessed items towards the front, so you don’t have to rearrange or dig through the contents of your unit.
Organizing efficiently will take time and consideration, but it is well worth the effort. With a little planning before you move in, you can make your self-storage unit into an easily accessible and organized space. To help you make the most out of your self-storage space, check out our size guide to help figure out the size you will need or talk to one of our storage experts or stop by and pick up all the moving and packing supplies you'll need to get started.