Staying organized is an important part of moving and storage. A cluttered and messy storage unit could even attract unwanted pests. If you know how to organize a storage unit, you will be able to access your belonging without stress or hassle. This step is often overlooked. Then, that day comes when you need an item all the way in the back and underneath piles of boxes. Well, that’s if you even remember where you put it in the first place. Avoid that scenario by following these instructions on how to organize your storage unit.
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Pick One Box Size and Stick With It
One mistake people make when they organize a storage unit is using several box sizes. Big boxes, small boxes, tiny boxes, you name it. The problem with all these different size boxes is simple; they don’t stack very well. That’s not good because stacking is vital if you want to organize your storage unit well. In short, try to pick one size box and stick with it. Or, at the very least, choose 3 or 4 standard size moving boxes and use only those. That way, stacking, and organizing your storage unit will be much simpler.
Label Your Boxes
When it comes to organizing your storage unit, labels are your friends. Using labels means knowing where things are and how to access them quickly. The best way to do that in a storage unit is to label every box. Some people use a sharpie marking pen and write on the box; others use labels. The point is to make it easy to know what’s in any box with a glance.
Keep a Master Inventory List
As you’re packing and organizing, create a master contents list of what’s inside each box. This is a separate list of each box and the contents of that box. You don’t have to list every item in your boxes, a general overview should suffice. However, we suggest including items that are extra important to you so you can find them quickly. For example, in one of your clothing boxes, you could list “the red sweater from grandma.” Your master inventory list could look something like this:
|Holiday Season||Wrapping paper, Christmas tree, ornaments, and string lights.|
|Winter Clothing||Jackets, long johns, boots, scarves, and beanies.|
|Summer Clothing||Bathing suits, sandals, shorts, dresses, and tank tops.|
|Sewing||Sewing machine, string and yarn, needles, and thimbles.|
|Kitchenware||Cooking utensils, glasses, plates, pots, and pans.|
|Kid’s Stuff||Toys, board games, baseball gloves, and action figures.|
Create a Layout for Your Storage Unit
To truly organize a storage unit and make it easy to find things quickly, you need a plan. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it should help you visualize what your storage unit will look like.Here’s how to create a layout for your storage unit:
- On a sheet of paper, draw a rectangular space to represent your storage unit.
- Next, draw in where your items will go. Don’t get too technical; a general idea works just fine!
- Put large items (like furniture) against a wall so you don’t have to maneuver around them to reach boxes.
- Leave space in the middle of the unit for a walkway. That way, you can comfortably get to each of your items.
- Plan to store boxes that you’ll need to access frequently toward the front.
You can change things around as much as you like. (It’s much easier on paper!) When you have everything organized on paper, you’re ready to organize in your storage unit!
Use Shelves and Stack, Stack, Stack
Shelving makes organizing your storage unit so much easier! Accessing, for example, a specific box or item is easy when it’s on a shelf. That’s because you won’t have to move a dozen different items or boxes to get to it. Just grab it and go! Here are our favorite shelving units:
Shelving makes organizing your storage unit so much easier! Accessing, for example, a specific box or item is easy when it’s on a shelf. That’s because you won’t have to move a dozen different items or boxes to get to it. Just grab it and go! Here are a couple of our favorite, affordable shelving units from Amazon:
If you don’t want to purchase shelves for whatever reason, your best bet is to stack. Stack boxes on top of boxes, or boxes on top of furniture. Remember how we said to purchase similar size boxes? That’s because, when your boxes are all alike, stacking them is much easier!
When In Doubt, Opt for a Bigger Storage Unit
Here’s the thing; organizing a storage unit that’s stuffed full is practically impossible. There’s too little space to move around, let alone get to things effortlessly. That’s why, if you’re in doubt, going up to the next size storage unit is a good choice. That way, you will have plenty of room to organize things precisely the way you like them. Even better, when you need something, getting it will be fast and easy!
Now You Know How to Organize a Storage Unit
Moving can be a really stressful event for many people, nothing is going to change that. However, if you follow these simple steps on how to organize a storage unit you can greatly reduce your frustration and moving day will go by more smoothly. Remember to create your plan and stick to it. Get and stay organized. And, if you need help or assistance at any time throughout the process, contact us anytime! We’re always happy to help.
More storage unit tips and tricks on the Moove In Blog:
We originally published this post on 9/24/2013. We updated it on 8/23/2021.