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neat storage unitWhen you’ve finished with spring cleaning at your home, you may have some momentum going and wonder what to do with it. Don’t forget that your storage unit could likely use a good cleaning too!

Why Clean a Storage Unit?

There are several good reasons for cleaning your storage unit at least once a year. The first is that the elements will find a way into the unit. In addition to dust, you may find cobwebs or even rodent droppings. Cleaning will also give you a chance to inspect your belongings for water damage from flooding, mildew, or damage due to extreme heat, cold, or humidity.

Another goal in cleaning your unit is to clear out items that you don’t need. Maybe you put them there because you weren’t sure what to do with them. Now you may have a plan or have realized you don’t need things anymore. Also, some things, like mementos from childhood (yours or your kids’), don’t hold up to storage well. Sorting through your stored stuff and making a decision to remove some of them is a good task for spring.

Why Clean in Spring?

Two words: perfect weather. In most parts of the country, spring is the best time to be lugging boxes in and out of a storage unit, especially if it isn’t climate-controlled. It’s not too hot yet and the cold has passed. If you’re really lucky there will be a light breeze to keep things cool, rather than the blustery winds of autumn.

Another bonus to doing this in the spring is that it’s the best season for holding a yard sale. Between the things you cleared out of your home and what you sort in your storage compartment, you may have enough items to hold a successful yard sale. If not, the nice weather is ideal for bringing people by the unit to look at items you list on Craigslist or other online classifieds.

How Do I Clean?

Start by gathering a few supplies: broom, dusting tools, trash bags, gloves, new boxes/tubs, labels.

empty storage unitNext, take everything out of your storage unit at once. Make sure you have a clear staging area right outside or near your unit. You don’t want to block other tenants from accessing their spaces.

Dust all the boxes, tubs, furniture, etc. and sweep out the unit. Look for cobwebs or other signs of pests. If you find any, be sure to notify management right away. Examine each box for damage or simple wear and tear. Set aside any boxes, crates, etc., that need to be replaced.

Inspect the contents of each container, remembering to check all furniture that has drawers or cabinets. If it is not clearly labeled, take time to label it now. As you are doing this, remove items to sell, give away, trash, or take back to your home.

As you remove items, you may need to consolidate items into fewer containers. This is also the time to replace old, broken, cracked, or otherwise damaged containers. As always, make sure you are labeling everything to make it easier to find later.

Now it’s time to put back those items that are staying in storage and remove everything else to your vehicle.

If you’re diligent in your sorting, maybe you’ll find that you’ve eliminated enough stuff that you can downsize to a smaller unit. If you’re lucky, you may make a tidy profit selling the items you’re not keeping. At the very least, you have a clean, sorted, organized storage unit.

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