how to organize your storage space

How to Organize Your Storage Unit

How to Organize Your Storage Unit 

As winter creeps in closer and closer, now is the time to get your winter gear ready for use.  As the temperatures get colder and colder, it is important to be ready for it.  You will need to start pulling out cold-weather clothing and accessories such as boots, gloves, jackets, and hats.

You may also have holiday lights and ornaments in storage as well.  If you have your cold-weather gear stored in a storage unit now is the time to start looking for your seasonal items.   Before you even go, have a list of things you will need so that you do not have to make a second trip to the storage space. 

If you haven’t organized the unit properly, you may start digging through boxes for winter gear and forget to take everything you need for the cold weather and holidays.  A little bit of planning ahead to keep your unit organized can save you a bunch of frustration later on. 

We have a few tips for you to follow to ensure that when the time comes to retrieve your winter and holiday possessions, you can find what you need easily.  Read further on how to keep your storage unit organized.  

Have a List Ready of What You Need From Storage

If you are going to get a few things out of storage for winter and the holidays, it will serve you well to bring a list with you so that you get everything you need.  This helps avoid a second trip to the storage space during the busy holidays.  A sample list may look like this…

  • Winter jacket, boots, accessories like hats and gloves
  • Winter gear like skis, sleds, snowboards, and all accessories
  • Holiday decorations, and bakeware
  • Tools and supplies to help put up a holiday tree 

Organize and Label Your Boxes in the Storage Unit

Picking the same size box can help you with stacking and organizing.  Large boxes are great to store items that are not too heavy, but they don’t hold up well when stacked. And, they are difficult to pull down and remove what you need.   Go with medium-sized boxes when you can, they are easier to remove and put back.  

For easy access, label each box top so you know the contents of the box.  This allows you to avoid opening all of your boxes to find what you need.  

Plan an Efficient Layout to Organize Your Storage Unit

It will be of great benefit to you if you plan an efficient layout for your storage unit.  Ideally, this layout will allow you to get to your belongings easier.  

Start by putting furniture up against the opposite wall from your storage boxes and bins.  This can leave an accessible path in the middle of the unit. So, when you do have to go to the space to retrieve something, you can locate it with little hassle.  If you do need to use the middle of the storage space too, just be sure to use your most moveable items. 

Make Sure Your Storage Unit is the Right Size

Let’s say you pack a small storage space to the brim, like a Jenga game where every piece fits so precisely.  You get points for use of space, but have you thought about how hard it would be to retrieve the items you need with a storage unit packed like that?  Consider getting a larger storage space if you do not have a middle path to walk through in the unit.  It is a good idea to ensure that you have enough space to walk through the unit for easy access to items.  

Stack and Shelve Your Boxes

If you plan to store your belongings in the long term, then you should consider putting up shelving along a wall in the unit.  By storing your items up on a shelf and away from the floor, you are making sure to take good care of them.  Shelving also keeps items organized for easy access to your possessions.

 If shelving is not an option, then here are some guidelines to consider…

Stack your boxes in order of need.  The boxes that have items you will need more frequently should be the last ones stacked so you can just grab them up easily. So, stack from back to front in order of need.  

Put large and heavy boxes down first, they will not hold out well stacked on top of a lighter smaller box.  

Make a List of All Contents Stored to Organize Your Storage Unit

Take the time to write down the contents of each box and bin that is in storage.  Yes, it is a lot of work, but a master list of contents is really nice to have when you need to locate a specific item.  

You can construct a list by writing one down, or storing one digitally.  If you have bad handwriting, you can create labels for the boxes which are a cinch to read. 

Create a Map of Your Belongings for the Unit

Obviously, you will not need a map of boxes and bins in plain sight, but some of your possessions may be buried behind other boxes, which is why the map can help.  A simple handwritten map will do, you do not need to be an artist.  You can divide your unit into sections and list the belongings in each section on the map.  Place the map where you can see it in the storage unit.  

Do Not Be Afraid to Reorganize Your Items to Organize Your Storage Unit

Let’s say you have gone through a lot of boxes and unpacked them to find a certain item.  Now that everything is unpacked, it may be a good time to repack and reorganize.  This can save you a lot of time the next time you need something from storage. 

Spend a little extra time here to label, repack and organize.  First, you can repack the seasonal items like clothes, decorations, and bakeware.  Yes, this is tedious, but you will be thankful you did once you need those seasonal items again.  You will have saved yourself a lot of time and energy in the future.  

Learn more about how to clean your storage unit.

Organize your storage unit to find what you need.

10 thoughts on “How to Organize Your Storage Unit”

  1. Thank you for your advice to make a list of everything stored in the unit. My friend has been wondering how to keep track of everything that she keeps in her unit. I’ll be sure to mention this to her and see if it’s something she’d be willing to try.

  2. It’s interesting how different box sizes can cater for very specific items when moving like big ones for small items. My brother will move to his dorm next month for college. I’ll share this with him later when we get ready for him to move. Thanks!

  3. It was very informative to know that in order for you to access your belongings with ease, shelving is the best option. I’m leaving some of my stuff behind, because I’m planning to move in a new home. I want to keep my hard-earned belongings safe, so I’ll make sure to leave it in the best self-storage unit in town.

  4. My husband and I are hoping to rent a storage unit when we move into our new apartment. I really liked what you said about planning an efficient layout for it. We’ll make sure to take the time for that.

  5. You made a good point when you said that you won’t need to open all the boxes to find what you need when you label each box top. My mother is planning to rent a shipping container where she can store her belongings while she prepares to move out. She always wants to have peace of mind that her collection of vases is always damage-free while in a storage unit for a month or two, so she might as well consider your tips.

  6. I found it helpful when you said that you must choose a storage facility that can allow you to walk through the unit to make sure that you can access your items easily. My husband and I will take note of this because my husband and I are planning to rent a storage facility where we can move some of our belongings while the renovation of our house is ongoing. Since we want to ensure that it will be easy for us to check the condition of our belongings from time to time, we will do your tips.

  7. I’m getting ready to move and found these tips on organizing a storage unit to be very helpful. I see how important it is to organize and label the boxes I’ll be putting into storage, otherwise, it’ll be really difficult to find anything that I’ve put in storage. I’ve also heard that it’s a good idea to put things you’re not going to need for a while in the back of the storage unit.

  8. My sister has a ton of clothes, and she can’t fit them in her closet anymore, so she’s interested in renting a storage unit to keep her seasonal pieces on. I’m glad you described how we could keep a storage unit well-organized by labeling your stuff, so I’ll be sure to share your tips with my sister when I see her later. I appreciate your advice on how to know what items you have in your boxes.

  9. I like that you advise planning out how you’re going to pack your unit before getting there to put stuff in. My sister and her family recently downsized in house and now they need a unit for all their extra stuff. I’ll have to tell them about making a plan so they know what to pack with each other.

  10. Hmm.. this is quite interesting. How come no one has ever told me before that some simple labeling should be more than enough to maintain the organizational perfection of our storage area? Anyway, thanks for such a fantastic input. I’m so gonna let my daughter informed about this so she could make some proper arrangements anytime soon. She’s made up her mind to empty her apartment pantry next weekend because she needs an empty space to put her cooking utensils, which means she has to find somewhere else to store the items from there.

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