Many and most storage facilities will take time to ensure a clean environment throughout their entries, parking lots, and hallways to reduce the rate of bugs, vermin, and other pests from getting into belongings, but what can you do to keep the inside of your storage unit clean?

While the best method for keeping a clean, organized storage unit begins when you first move in, for whatever reason you may need to clean things up, regardless of whether your storage is getting overfull, want to practice regular maintenance, or perhaps you haven’t visited your unit in a long time, here is a tried-and-true method on how to clean your storage unit and keep it clean throughout the long-term.

1. Prepare yourself to clean

This first step is crucial in the case of having an overfull storage unit or one you haven’t visited in years. It will likely have more clutter and dust than anyone would prefer, and it can be a bit overwhelming. A few tips to start with this important first step:

  • Devise a plan – Make your best estimate on how many hours or days you’ll need, and schedule it out. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your storage unit does not need to be cleaned in an hour.
  • Enlist help –  Whether a spouse, partner, friend, or family member, working alongside someone can make any process seem less daunting.
  • Give yourself grace – If you’re cleaning out personal or sentimental items, keep in mind this can be an emotional process, so give yourself some time and patience.

2. Document everything you have

Another important step for those who haven’t been in their storage unit for awhile, make sure that once you get inside, you take account of everything that you have waiting for you there. This can be done with a notepad and pen or even just texting yourself a list of things you have. This will be useful for helping you get a better idea of how long the process will take you as well as what items you may be getting rid of (more on that later.)

In dealing with near-capacity units or tight spaces, start by documenting and clearing out a corner to give you accessibility to the other items, then work your way in taking inventory from there.

3. Keep, trash, or donate and sell

Similar to organizing and cleaning your home, you can begin decluttering your storage unit by grabbing each item and taking a bit of time to determine if it should go in one of three piles: the keep pile, the trash pile, or the pile to give away or sell. This method has been proven to help declutter any space. A few tips to help you decide which pile to place your belongings in:

  • Keep pile – Do you need this item or does it give you joy? Then keep it.
  • Trash pile – Is it broken, unsalvageable, or otherwise useless? This item can be trashed or recycled.
  • Giveaway or sell – To put it simply: if it’s useable but you don’t have an immediate or future need for it, consider blessing someone else with the item or making some money by selling it off.

4. Reorganize and your stuff

If you have shelves, now would be a good time to dust them with a wet wipe, towel, or microfiber dusting cloth. It’s also a good time to reorganize your belongings. If you’re not using plastic totes, then you should consider it as cardboard is likely to wear down over time as well as have more crevices for dust and debris to collect.

Another tip would be to leave a small stash of cleaning supplies directly in your unit. For long term users, it’s recommended you visit your unit at least once every other month, if not monthly. By having a small supplies of safe cleaning supplies, you can routinely wipe down and keep the inside of your storage unit clean of dust and other contaminants that could harm your belongings or attract unwanted pests.

Cleanliness is an important thing, and thankfully with a few simple steps you can maintain a clean environment for all your belongings at home, at work, and at your storage unit. 

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