How to pack and organize a storage unit

There are many reasons for wanting to rent or buy a storage unit. You might be moving to a smaller place or just want to get rid of the clutter. Whatever your reason, you want an organized place where you can find what you need when you need it. While you might think it’s as simple as stacking boxes, there is a lot more to it. Here is a guide on how to pack and organize a storage unit in which you can easily keep track of your belongings. 

Clean your belongings and the storage unit

Before you start to start to pack the items you plan on storing, make sure that they are clean. Packing dirty items only make taking them out of storage much more difficult, because you will have to clean them harder. Wash your clothes and wipe down furniture with a damp cloth. Make sure that there is as least dust as possible on your belongings.

Before you pack and organize a storage unit, make sure that everything in it is clean.
Thoroughly clean the storage unit before you place your items in it.

Many moving companies also offer a wide range of moving services including storage. If you rent out a storage this way, you will most likely find it clean. However, that is not always the case. The first step when you pack and organize a storage unit is to clean the storage unit itself. Storing your items in a dirty environment is something you want to avoid. This is especially true if you are storing them outside of the boxes. Sweep the floor of the unit and collect any dust and cobwebs from the corners.

Disassemble furniture when you pack and organize a storage unit

Space is the biggest problem when you are dealing with a storage unit. One of the ways in which you can save space is to disassemble any items you can. Such items include bed frames, shelves, and tables. However, make sure that parts of the same items are kept together. You don’t want to be looking for a piece of a shelf throughout the entire storage.

Furthermore, consider how you pack your clothes when you pack and organize a storage unit. Moths and mildew are the worst enemies of your clothes. To keep them out, put clothes in plastics containers with clip-on lids. That way, moisture is kept out and your clothes are dry and safe.

If you are looking for help with packing, many moving companies offer these services as well. You can get a quote online to find out how much this type of service would cost.

Label boxes to keep track more easily

While this may seem simple enough, it is also an essential step in keeping your storage organized. Use a black marker to write the contents of each box. Make sure to write on top as well as on at least one side of the box. List as many items as you can, or use a general name such as ‘Christmas’ or ‘holiday decorations’.

Cardboard boxes with writing on them.
When you label boxes, you save yourself the time it would take to open each box.

On the other hand, you can use a different method of labeling. Put a unique number on each box. On a separate piece of paper write down the number of the box and then list all the items in it. You can keep a copy of this list taped to the wall of the storage so you have it in a visible place. 

Plan for easy access when you pack and organize a storage unit

A storage unit is a place where you keep items which you use infrequently. However, when the time comes, you want to be able to find these items when you need them. Think about how soon you will need certain items when you pack them into the storage unit. Those you will need soon, like winter coats or surfboards, should be in the front. On the other hand, those you know you won’t need for a longer period of time should be in the back, away from the storage door.

Moreover, when you stack boxes into the storage, try not to place them all next to each other. Instead, line them up on two sides, left and right. This way, you keep a clear path through the boxes and ensure that you will have an easier time finding what you need.

Put up shelves in your storage unit

If you plan on using this storage unit for a longer period of time, shelves are the way to go. Metal shelves help you utilize the vertical space which would otherwise be empty. It also keeps your boxes from collapsing or crushing each other. There are many cheap ways in which you can easily put up shelves in your storage.

Metal shelves in a large warehouse.
Metal shelves are cheap and relatively easy to install.

However, if you are renting out storage, you will not be able to make any alterations. Lucky for you, there is a great alternative. If you have any wardrobes or empty chests, place items inside instead of putting them in boxes. Additionally, refrigerators and ovens can be used to store smaller items.

Properly stack boxes when you pack and organize a storage unit

When you stack boxes in your storage unit, you should put the heaviest boxes on the bottom. These can be boxes with books, heavy furniture, clothes, etc. Tall items such as fridges, bed frames, and dressers should be placed against a wall. That way, you make use of the vertical space. However, make sure that they are supported and stable. You don’t want them falling over and crushing other boxes.

Consider the height of the stacked boxes. If a stack is taller than you, there is a danger of it falling on top of you when you are trying to reach a box underneath. For this reason, try to keep stacks as low as possible. This is where storing shelves come in handy since they will support the boxes and keep you safe.

Take care of your belongings

While a storage unit is a good place to keep items you don’t use every day, you should still try to take care of them as much as you can. Find a way to easily clean and sort the boxes without having to move everything. When you pack and organize a storage unit, consider how easily you can access as well as clean your belongings. Knowing that your items are safe and ready for use is a major advantage of this type of storing.

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