You might not think self storage is a seasonal issue, but most storage facilities become quite busy when the weather starts to change—especially when the Spring Equinox rolls around and we all start seeing a little more sun. Nothing feels better than making a fresh start and clearing out the winter doldrums by organizing your storage space to make room for the year to come.

Of course, organizing storage units can be an intimidating task. If you are like most people, you use storage facilities as a last-ditch effort, a place to put items that no longer fit in your home or in your life. This makes these materials particularly daunting to tackle. We recommend that you bring a team of people with you to clean your storage facility, and to come with two main items: plenty of boxes and a heavy-duty black pen.

Storage DIY: Label, Label, Label

self storage unit cleaningOne of the biggest challenges of organizing a self storage facility is taking the time to open and close all the containers holding your various goods and sundry. That is why we recommend making labeling the focus of this year’s spring cleaning efforts.  Not only can you organize your self-storage space, but you can pave the way for easier cleanup in years to come.

Of course, there is no one way to label your stored items. Depending on what you use the self storage unit for and how you prefer to organize, we recommend one of the following options.

  • Very Important, Important, Not Important: We all place value on our possessions. If you want a quicker way to organize your self-storage, try grouping things based on how often they are needed or how valuable they are. Place Not Important items near the back, and keep Very Important boxes where they can be quickly accessed.
  • Heirlooms, Books, Kitchen, Etc.: You can also opt to group things by room or by what the boxes contain. If you are using storage as a temporary solution, knowing exactly where you can find things for your newly remodeled kitchen can help make things easier.
  • Names of People: If you have a large family, you may want to sort items by who they belong to (or who might be most interested in looking the items over before they are thrown away). Putting names on boxes makes it easy for them to come in later and make quick decisions regarding what comes next.
  • Garbage (Next Time): One of the most difficult things to do with personal effects in storage is throw them away. Getting rid of furniture or other items can often feel like throwing away a memory or a piece of ourselves. As it is not likely you can saunter into your spring cleaning and start throwing things away, it might be a good idea to tuck away items you know you should part with, but maybe are still hesitating over. That way, when you come back next year, you can look at your boxes labeled garbage and see if you are ready to say goodbye. Every year could become a step closer to getting rid of the unwanted junk.

Spring cleaning your self storage unit does not have to include throwing items away by the truck or putting up shelves to keep things neatly stacked. Any organization system is better than no system, and spring is a great reason to start putting things in order. And because you can get started with nothing more than a few boxes and a pen, this year’s spring cleaning can be done without breaking the bank.

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  1. My husband and I are moving into the big city, but it’s just for a year. Since we know we are coming back, it seems silly to sell all of our things. It would be a good idea to get a storage unit, and I would want to keep it very organized. Like you said, it’s a great idea to try and keep things in categories, so it all gets accounted for.

  2. People think that just because a self storage unit is located off site from your property that you don’t have to spend too much time to keep it in order. But the truth is that the storage unit is really just an extension of your home – you’re going to have to put in the effort. At least if you want to easily find items that you’re keeping in there anyway!

  3. I really liked that you mentioned labeling. I was going through my storage the other day just trying to find one box and we realized that we had only really labeled one side of the box and it was on top and buried underneath so many others. We ended up taking out the majority of the boxes and searched for an hour. I’m sure we could have avoided all of that by simply labeling more sides and more clearly than we had.

  4. I love how you pointing out that one should label their items before placing them in storage, as it can help them find what they need later. One of my friends will be moving for her last semester of college, so she’ll probably need to put some things in storage. Thanks so much for all the great tips on organizing a storage unit!


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