Storage units are great for having a secure place to store your boxes and belongings, but it’s not as simple as packing up and leaving in your chosen unit. There’s an art to packing a storage unit if you want to make the most of your space, ensure the integrity of your items and be able to access your storage unit whenever you need to easily. After all, if you need to unload something from your unit, you don’t want to be faced with a wall of boxes with no clue where the item you need is!
Packing and moving items can be stressful enough as it is, so you want to make sure that organizing your storage unit and keeping your items is as easy as possible.
While dependable storage facilities will help you along the way and provide everything you need to keep your belongings safe and secure, it’s also up to you to make sure items are packed and accounted for properly before placing your items into your unit.
So here is what you can do to make sure you organize your storage unit in the best possible way.
Step 1: Take an Inventory
It’s extremely important to know what exactly you’ve stored in your unit. Of course, if you have exposed furniture items like a couch or a table, this is easy to account for by simply looking, but what to do if you have a great number of boxes? Even if you label your boxes, you may have many intricate items packed instead, so a full inventory is vital. You should make a complete list of each and every item as it is packed, so you can refer back to your list whenever you need and understand exactly what’s in your storage unit without having to break open boxes and search.
Step 2: Mark and Record Boxes
In addition to your inventory, you may want to make it a lot easier by making each and every box more identifiable. You could take a photo of each box and match it up with your inventory, so you know what the box looks like for each item. Or number your boxes and put the relevant number beside your inventory items.
How you want to do this is entirely up to you, based on how you best work; if you’re more of a visual person, photos might be the best help for you, and also means you can get a quick snap instead of spreadsheets or extensive writing. As long as you have some record and have marked your boxes in a way you can easily understand, that’s what counts.
Step 3: Think About What You’re Packing Your Items In
Cardboard boxes are often the go-to for packing, storing, and moving items, but there are alternatives. This could be purely for ease, or perhaps you’re looking for something more durable than cardboard to last in a storage unit. Either way, alternatives such as transparent plastic boxes can be more protective, as well as allowing you to see what’s inside each box.
Step 4: Prepare All Large Furniture Items Appropriately
Organizing your storage unit isn’t just about your neatly packed boxes; if you have large furniture items going in there, too, then you also need to prepare and organize these properly. For large items such as beds and assembled furniture, take apart whatever you can to make it easier (and safer) to store them. Disassembling furniture items wherever possible is key for making the most of your unit space, too, as you don’t want bulky furniture taking up floor space if it can be avoided.
So, with large items, make sure to take off any legs, knobs, drawers, headboards, or any extra features to break down and place in your unit appropriately.
Step 5: Place Larger and Heavier Items First
When you’re ready to start moving items and boxes into your unit, you need to plan out each item’s location in a practical way. The most helpful choice is to put bulkier and heavier items in first so that you have a free space to work with, without the risk of damaging or squashing other boxes.
So, if you have furniture items such as a couch, bed, or heavy wooden furniture, place them in your unit first, back, and against the wall.
Step 6: Work Your Way Up to the Lightest
With the previous step in mind, you can then begin filling your storage unit based on weight and fragility. You want your heavier items and boxes to go in first and work your way up to the lightest items, especially if these can easily be placed on the top of other boxes and avoid the risk of being weighed down by other items.
Step 7: Think High
When you’re filling up a storage unit, working from the back to front and low to high is key. This is so you have more maneuverability for new items and still have room to walk in the unit and place further boxes without tripping over full-floor space. Therefore, when you’re loading in your boxes, always stack vertically and try to use tall high space rather than fill up horizontally.
This is also true of your large furniture items, so if it’s safe to do so, try to stack your couch or other items vertically leaning against the wall, rather than placed normally on the floor, to save on space and store more practically.
Step 8: Plan Ahead for What You Might Need
If you’re planning to actively return to your self storage unit now and again for certain bits, or if you know there’ll be a point in the future when you need a specific item, plan to put these items at the very front of your unit for easy access. That way, you can grab what you need without disturbing the rest of the packed unit.
Using these key steps, you can make sure your storage unit is organized perfectly!