When you book a storage unit, you probably need the extra space to declutter your home or organize your seasonal belongings. Because the transition from basement or attic to storage unit can happen quickly, some individuals succumb to the temptation to stack everything up haphazardly and just close the door behind them.
While you may not need precise organization for all types of storage, it’s important to consider how you’ll access the unit when you need something, especially if your stored belongings include items you’ll need sooner rather than later.
In this blog, we walk you through the process of organizing your storage unit so that you can pop in and find what you’re looking for more easily.
Choose the Right Unit Size
A functional storage space starts with finding the right size unit for your needs. The more you have to cram your items into the space, the less likely you will be to find things on short notice. Close quarters also increases the risk of property damage and injury.
On the other hand, you don’t want to book an excessively large unit because you shouldn’t pay for space you won’t ever use.
Look for a unit that gives you enough room to stack packed boxes in towers of three to five with space to walk around comfortably, as we’ll discuss in our section on walkways.
Visit North Star Mini Storage’s site to get an idea of which items may fit in each prospective unit size.
Create an Inventory and Basic Space Plan
In order to be able to come into your unit and find specific items later, you need to have a general idea of where everything is. As you prepare to move your belongings to a storage unit, create an inventory list and a plan for the space.
These organizational guides can be as simple or complex as you want, but remember why you’re making them. An inventory that just lists “seasonal clothes” as opposed to “winter outerwear and boots” may not be particularly useful.
You may want to turn your plan for the space into a diagram that you can change if you shift boxes later. This strategy allows you to look at the diagram and start your search for a particular item in the right area, even after your possessions have been in storage for a long period of time.
Give Yourself Walkways
You may feel tempted to stack all your belongings close together so you can create larger piles and fit more items into the unit. However, this technique does not allow for much organization. If you load your unit this way, you will have to move most items out in order to access anything in the back or on the sides.
Instead, give yourself clear paths to walk between items. These clear areas can even help you better organize the space by allowing you to separate items of different types from each other.
For example, if you put boxes full of seasonal decor across a walkway from boxes of books, you’re less likely to end up accidentally going through Christmas lights when you came in for a specific title.
Pack in Clear Containers
When you begin preparing your belongings for storage, use clear plastic bins, boxes, and vacuum bags as much as possible. Using clear containers will make it easy for you to look at a collection of items and determine whether what you’re looking for is among them.
When you don’t have enough clear containers on hand, be sure to clearly label any cardboard boxes and other solid containers so you don’t have to search through the entire container for an item that may not be there.
Place Large and Rarely Used Items Near the Back
In most cases, the largest items in your storage unit will also be the least frequently used. For example, couches and tables tend to go into storage units when there isn’t a place or need for them at home.