It is so tempting to just shove everything into your storage unit, lock the door, and run away! But you are going to have to use those items again – after all, that’s why you are storing them instead of getting rid of them, right? So make a plan, you won’t regret it. You will, however, regret storing your weight set on top of Grandma’s antique china, or all of those boxes of books on top of your memory foam mattress.
Here are some tips on how to organize your storage unit so that it serves you well:
- Rent the largest unit you can afford. Not so you can jam more stuff in there – so you can leave a little open space. If you can leave a narrow aisle from front to back of your storage unit, you will be able to access more of your items, and you won’t have to unpack the entire storage unit to get to something at the back. (Note: Our Corona Third Street location has units up to 1,000 square feet, also suitable for business storage.)
- Label and organize your belongings before you put them in the unit. This is so basic it shouldn’t even have to be said, but it is easy to get impatient and just start throwing things in boxes with no rhyme or reason. Or to rely too heavily on your memory, thinking “Oh, I’ll remember where I put that”, when the truth is, in six months, you won’t have a clue. If you have to include disparate items in the same box, be sure to clearly label the contents.
- Have you ever played Tetris? If you have, you will understand why it is better to use several smaller boxes rather than one large one. A large box can quickly become too heavy for one person to lift, and is harder to find a niche for in a crowded storage unit.
- Put large, seldom-accessed items, like appliances and furniture, at the back of the storage unit. When possible, turn furniture like couches and tables on end to create a smaller footprint. Put the things you use more often, like holiday decorations at the front.
- If you really want to make life easier, make a rough diagram of the storage unit and note the location of categories of items within the unit. You can be as general or specific as seems helpful. Tape this up somewhere inside the unit, and then anyone you send to retrieve something will have a handy map.
Taking a little extra time to set up and organize your storage unit can save you literally hours of time and frustration down the road.
Wow, these are really useful tips! My husband and I are about to get a storage unit for all of our seasonal things. We were just going to label all of the boxes and shove everything in the unit, but I can imagine how that would still be a nightmare when we need to dig something out. I’ll make a strategic diagram beforehand. Thanks for the awesome advice!
I think the analogy you make to Tetris is great way to think about how you will organize your storage unit. You want to have a bunch of smaller pieces that you can move around with ease and that can fit into small spaces rather than a few large ones that require too many people to move. Luckily for most people though, if you do get a line of boxes across the back of your unit, they won’t disappear into thin air!