Storage Facility, Storage Unit, Storage, Self StorageWhen many people start unloading their stuff into a self storage unit usually they just end up piling everything in there as it comes off the truck, and then walking away. Which is fine, until you actually need to retrieve something from the unit later on.

Um, where did I put that box of dishes again?

Exactly.

What people don’t realize is that a storage unit can pretty easily be organized, so that when you invariably have to come back to the unit to retrieve some of your items, or when it comes time to pack it up for a move, you will know exactly where everything is.

Install Shelving

Alright, guilty as charged, it was only recently that I discovered the concept of putting a few shelves in a storage unit. Once I did that, wow organizing became so much easier. If you are worried that you are going to be losing valuable floor space, don’t.

And it really doesn’t even take many shelves to get going. Simply get a few heavy duty metal or plastic stackable units and set them up on one or two of the walls in the storage container.

From there, it is then really easy to store some of the more breakable and delicate items on the shelves. You can also put anything on the shelves that aren’t really easily stackable, lamps would be an example. This way you are clearing up some valuable floor space and you are taking advantage of the vertical height in the storage unit.

Stack Boxes

Once you have all of the funky shaped or non-stackable items off the floor, you can move onto the boxes.

Storage Facility, Storage Unit, Storage, Self StorageNow, here is where it pays when you are setting up your storage unit to invest in some sturdy cardboard boxes. If you don’t want to splurge on new boxes, then ask a local grocery store or sporting goods store if they have any extra boxes that they were just going to recycle or throw away. Or find a place online that re-sells used boxes at a discount.

For the best results, put everything that can fit into boxes in them. Make life easy for yourself and take out the guesswork by bringing a a trusty roll of packing tape and a sharpie to clearly label exactly what is in the boxes.

Stack the boxes against the remaining walls from large to small, and ideally in groupings. For example, everything from a bedroom in one stack, bathroom in another stack and so on.

Leave Room to Maneuver

As a last step, don’t forget to leave room to maneuver! You don’t want all of your hard organizing work to go to waste if you can’t actually get to anything in the unit.

This is why you want to put your shelving and boxes right up against the walls of the storage unit, leaving a narrow pathway for you to be able to walk into the unit and grab whatever you might need from the back.

So yes, it probably is a bit more work in the beginning to get yourself organized before you get into your storage unit, but I promise this will make life a whole lot easier in the end. This is especially true if you are planning to keep your items in the unit for a while, because odds are you will have to make a couple of trips to the storage unit in order to retrieve things from time to time.

Have you used any of these tips to organize your own self-storage unit? Do you have any other tips or tricks that haven’t been mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!

Liz Froment