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How to Organize a Storage Unit: A Guide

Self storage and organization are two concepts that should not be separated. An organized unit is a storage dream. A disorganized unit is chaotic nightmare. If you’re searching for storage unit organization ideas to make your life easier, you’re in the right place. Learn how to organize your self storage unit in this guide, and reserve your unit with our team here at Stor-It today!

Why Storage Unit Organization is Important

If you have recently reserved a storage unit, you’re likely looking to free up some space at your home or business. Freeing up space will reduce headache and hassle, all while allowing you to keep hold of possessions without cluttering up your primary area. However, headache and hassle can quickly resurface if your storage unit is disorganized. Visiting a disorganized unit is like solving a puzzle and lifting weights all at once; it’s more than anyone bargained for. On the other hand, a well-organized storage unit is a simplified storage solution that does exactly what it’s supposed to. Properly organizing your unit will allow you to find your possessions quickly and use space efficiently to store as much stuff as possible.

Self Storage Unit Organization: Essential Steps

  • Clean your unit. Organizing your self storage unit will always begin with a thorough clean. Grab a broom and a trashcan to remove any dust, dirt, and debris that may be lingering in your unit. If you want things extra clean, you can also mop after sweeping.
  • Pack your boxes properly. Before putting anything in your unit, you’ll want to make sure that all items are properly packed and sorted. First use packing boxes of matching sizes to optimize both stacking and space utilization. Pack similar items in the same boxes with heavier items on the bottom of the box and lighter, fragile items towards the top. Of course, you’ll want to cushion your more fragile items with bubble wrap or blankets — or both. Lastly, you’ll want to label your boxes with a short but detailed description of their contents to make finding them as easy as possible.
  • Stack smart. Once you have your same-sized boxes packed, it’s time to stack them in your storage unit. To optimize stacking, follow these two rules: stack by weight and arrange by type. Each box stack should have the heaviest box at the bottom and the lighter boxes towards the top. This will make moving boxes as easy as possible later on. Arrange your box stacks by type so each area of your storage unit has a “theme” (seasonal stuff, collectibles, kitchenware, etc).
  • Create an aisle. If you’re like most storage unit tenants, you want to use as much space as possible in your unit. However, using up every square inch of your storage unit can make accessing your items incredibly difficult. To optimize both space and accessibility, create an aisle (or two, depending on the size of your unit) wide enough to fit you and any box you might be holding. It’s also a good idea to leave an inch or two between your boxes and the walls to allow for good circulation while keeping boxes away from weather-sensitive walls.
  • Make a map. Once you have your unit packed, it’s time to make a map. It doesn’t have to be super detailed, but it should give you a good idea of where everything is stored in your unit. Take a single sheet of printer paper and use a marker to separate it into sections. Label those sections with items in the corresponding area of your storage unit, and stick your finished map on the wall at the front of your unit. When you come back to grab a few items 6 months down the line, you may not remember exactly where they are, which is when your map will save the day.

Storage Unit Organization: Essential Items

You’ve read the essential steps for optimal storage unit organization. Now it’s time to learn the list of essential items you’ll need to put those steps into action. Create your storage checklist using the items below, and shop for all of your storage essentials here at Stor-It.

  • Cleaning Supplies. Cleaning your unit is the first step to optimal storage unit organization. Get yourself a good broom and garbage can. If you want a truly deep clean, grab a mop and some cleaning solution.
  • Boxes. Storage and organization are built on the shoulders of boxes. To optimize space usage and stackability, invest in boxes of the same size (or same two sizes, if you want some variation). This will allow you to create perfectly-flush stacks. For most storage situations, high-quality cardboard boxes will do the trick.
  • Packing Tape. To keep your boxes closed, pick up some packing tape. This adhesive storage solution will also help you wrap your more fragile items with cushioned materials — which leads us to our next essential.
  • Cushioned Materials. Storage unit organization isn’t successful if items are at risk of damage. To make sure your items stay in tip-top shape, invest in some cushioned packing materials (bubble wrap is best) to wrap around any sensitive areas. It’s also a good idea to get covers for your larger furniture items.
  • Markers. Labeling your boxes is an essential for great storage unit organization. When your boxes are labeled, you know exactly what’s in them and you don’t have to go open multiple boxes in search of a single item. Invest in a few markers to clearly label each box in your storage unit. Your markers will also help you make your map once your unit is packed.

Learn More and Store With Us

Want more information on the best way to organize storage units? Our team at Stor-It is here to help. Explore the many online storage resources on our Storage FAQ, Size Guide, and Storage Tips pages, and contact our team online or call toll-free 208-376-8750 to have your storage unit organization questions answered. You can also visit our Blog to check out other great storage-related articles. Ready to store with us? Visit our Locations page to learn more about our many Idah self storage facilities, and reserve your unit here at Stor-It today!