There are a variety of reasons you might need a self-storage unit. Maybe you’re in the process of moving and you’re not sure how much furniture you’ll use in your new place. Or maybe you’ve inherited valuable items that you don’t have space for at home.
Whatever the reason, you likely have other things on your mind, and it can be tempting to simply stack your boxes in your storage unit and call it a day. But taking the time to organize your items efficiently helps you maximize space and makes it much easier to find things and prevent them from getting lost or damaged.
In case you’re not sure how to organize your storage unit, here are a few self storage tips and tricks to help you make the most of your space.
1. Make a list and have a plan
Storage unit organization is a whole lot easier if you have a basic game plan before you start.
If you have time, make a list of items you know you need to put in storage. That way, you can figure out the most economic way to stack and organize your boxes. Make note of which items are heavy, bulky, or awkward to move. You’ll likely want to load these items into your unit first and place them at the bottom of your stacks.
Having an itemized list allows you to check things off as you fill the space so you know everything is accounted for.
2. Organize items carefully and label every box
One thing people tend to forget when filling a storage unit is that they may need to go back to retrieve specific items for various reasons.
Place items you’re likely to need near the front of your unit. Also, make sure you label every box to avoid having to rummage through each one to find what you need.
Placing larger items in the storage unit first helps you get a sense for how much room you have for smaller items. Start with furniture, then large/heavy boxes, then smaller/lighter ones. This ensures you’re not putting heavy, bulky items on top of small or fragile ones.
If you’re not sure what you’re likely to need, here are a few things to think about placing near the front of your unit for easy access:
- Cold- or warm-weather clothing
- Holiday decorations
- Files, paperwork, or tax documents
- Camping supplies
3. Save space by filling dressers and cabinets with smaller items
If you’re storing furniture or appliances, you can save space by putting smaller items inside bigger ones like dressers and cabinets. Why add more boxes when you can use the empty space you already have? This is sometimes referred to as the “Russian nesting doll” method. Here are a few ideas:
- Put books in dresser drawers
- Hang clothes in wardrobes or cabinets
- Stack boxes inside stoves, fridges, or other appliances
4. Invest in some inexpensive shelving
Not only do shelves allow you to easily stack boxes vertically without compromising stability, but they also make it easier to access boxes near the bottom.
Shelving units also allow you to leave pathways through your items, so you can find what you need. Just make sure that your boxes’ labels are pointing outward, facing any aisles you’ve created.
Shelving doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to be sturdy. Look for metal or another strong, durable material that won’t bend or topple under the weight of your boxes.
5. Pick one or two box sizes for easy stacking
Using boxes that are all different shapes and sizes can make stacking a bit of a nightmare. If all or most of your boxes are the same size, you can stack them like a grid without wasting space or creating a precarious tower.
Small or medium-sized boxes are generally your best bet. They fit easily on shelves and make it easier to find what you need inside each box. While large boxes are great for storing lighter items, if you fill large boxes with books or other heavy items, they can become difficult to move and organize.
If you’re stacking many boxes on top of each other without shelving units, consider laying boards horizontally across the top of each layer of boxes. This adds stability and keeps boxes from caving in on each other over time.
6. Keep an updated inventory of everything in your storage unit
A comprehensive list of all the items in your unit makes life so much easier.
Firstly, you’ll have documentation of everything in storage for insurance purposes in the case of a natural disaster, like a flood or fire. This is especially important if you’re planning to store valuable items. Secondly, you can reference your inventory if you ever need to find something and you’re not sure whether it’s in storage or not.
Make sure you update your list every time you add or remove anything. This way, your list will accurately reflect the contents of your unit, and you’ll be able to find what you need more easily.
Let us help you move and store your items
Choosing a moving company that can also provide you with storage space makes the process of moving and storing your items much easier and more streamlined. At Priority Moving Services, we can carry your furniture and boxes to your new home and take any extra items to one of our storage units.
We understand that your belongings are important to you, whether we’re taking them to your new home, or helping you put them into storage. We can also help you load your storage unit and maximize your space.
Do you have questions about how we work? Are you interested in a free in-home estimate in Hillsboro, Portland, or surrounding areas? Contact us today.