Renting a storage unit is one of the best ways to make up for living somewhere with little storage space or transitioning from one living situation to another.
However, there are some challenges involved with packing your belongings into a small storage cube. If you need to find something in your unit, you’ll need to have a system in place to ensure that the process isn’t a frustrating one.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you organize the items you place in your self storage unit so you can find them when you need them.
Tip #1: Take Inventory of What You Plan to Store
The first step is to take a complete inventory of what you plan to store. This process will help you determine what size storage unit you need. It will also point you in the direction of a storage plan.
As you go, mark your list to indicate which items you think you will need to access frequently and which things you are unlikely to need before you move out of the unit. You can use these marks to help you map out where things will go in your unit.
Tip #2: Make a Storage Plan
Using your inventory list, decide which items should go in the back of your unit and which should go in the front. Here are some tips:
- Large items such as furniture and appliances should go in the back and around the edges of your unit. It’s unlikely you’ll need to access your sofa frequently, so plan accordingly.
- Items that you will need access to on a regular basis should be near the front of your unit where you can get to them easily.
- Use no more than two box sizes to make it easy to stack boxes one on top of the other.
- Use smaller boxes (such as book boxes) for heavy items so they are easy to lift.
You should be able to estimate how many boxes you need based on your inventory.
Tip #3: Pack Your Belongings
Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to pack your items. As stated above, make sure not to put too many heavy items into one box. You need to be able to lift the boxes when you move in and out, as well as when you need to access your belongings.
It’s a must to label every box carefully so you can find your things once they’re in the storage unit. You can write on the side in magic marker, or, if you’re feeling ambitious, type up comprehensive lists of what’s in each box. Either way, write on the side of the box so you can see the label even when boxes are stacked high in your unit.
Tip #4: Move into Your Storage Unit
Now it’s time to move into your storage unit. As you move, keep the following tips in mind to maximize your storage space and ensure you can find what you need.
- Use extra space under the legs of furniture and inside appliances to make sure everything fits in your storage unit.
- Put heavy boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on top, which will make it easy to move boxes if you need to and decrease the chances that items on the bottom will be damaged.
- Make sure all boxes are stacked with the labels visible so you can read them if you need to find something.
- Stick to your storage plan, and if you must change it, make note of what you changed so you’re not fruitlessly hunting for what you need.
- Leave a path down the middle of your unit so you can get to items in the back.
- If you have the time and inclination, draw a map of your packed unit so you know where everything is.
These tips will help ensure that your unit is clean, organized, and easy to navigate – both when you need to get a single item from storage and when the time comes to move!