How to Organize a Self Storage Unit

By Molly Hammond,

Whether you need a self storage unit for additional space during a move, as a place to store a car, or simply to keep basement clutter at bay, the process is easy: know what items you need to store, determine how big a unit you’ll need to rent, and transport those items into a unit. However, if you neglect to consider the best way to organize your items before pulling down that door and saying “sayonara,” you may regret it.

Look to the Future

Moving of any kind can be an arduous process, and it’s tempting to stack boxes and furniture wherever they’ll fit with no eye toward the days, weeks, or months down the road that you’ll actually be pulling some of these items out again. If you pack your storage unit with no thought to what’s stored where, you can find yourself in quite the dilemma when it comes time for you to find a certain set of boxes, or worse, a specific item.

To combat this future confusion, organize your unit by putting the things you’ll need the soonest at the front of the unit and the things you won’t need for some time closer to the back. This can be particularly helpful if you’re storing seasonal items alongside things you’ll use more frequently.

As Clear As Can Be

Cardboard boxes are a fine way to store things for a short time, but they won’t do you any favors in the organization department—no matter how clearly you attempt to label things. Self storage professionals will suggest clear plastic bins for most items in a unit. Not only are these safer for storing your belongings (since cardboard isn’t as easy to stack and more prone to damage from water or pests), but they make it a breeze to find things.

If you pack well, grouping similar items together and putting those bins near one another in your unit, you won’t have to dig through boxes at the facility and accidentally grab the wrong item(s) from your unit.

Keep Things in Line

It won’t matter how you arrange the things in your unit if what you ultimately create is an impenetrable wall of bins and boxes. One of the best ways to keep a unit organized in a way that will actually be helpful to you is to instill some order by creating and maintaining walkways.

A simple way to keep walkways clear is to invest in portable shelving that will allow bins and other items to be stacked neatly without creating precarious piles. Keeping things off the floor will also protect the items from pests or moisture that might find their way into your storage unit and prevent you from getting hurt when attempting to pull a specific box out from the bottom of a stack. Shelves also keep things organized and off the floor, making your unit easy to organize and even easier to navigate.

When you organize your storage unit, you make much better use of the space (and the money you’re spending to rent that space). Placing belongings in an order that makes sense and inside containers that keep everything visible will help keep your storage unit from becoming just another headache.