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Organize Your Unit for Easy Access

March 27, 2020

Is this a familiar scene; you run to your self storage unit to grab a few things.  You plan on a quick trip, but before you know it over an hour has passed and you’re still sorting through boxes to find what you’re looking for. In your frenzy, you’ve opened several boxes, one stack has tipped over and now half your stuff is outside the unit.

 

Renting a self storage unit adds convenience to our lives, giving us off-site storage for the items that we don’t need to access every day, but the convenience quickly becomes an annoyance when we can’t easily retrieve our items. This is where organization comes into play; keeping your unit in order and keeping your sanity!

 

A little bit of planning ahead saves you from headaches later on. We’ve outlined some simple tips to help you stay organized to find your belongings with ease.

 

Use same-size boxes or containers

This helps with stacking these in an organized fashion inside your unit so you can easily navigate and access your items. Using small to medium size boxes ensures that you don’t over-stuff making these heavy to lift. Using larger boxes for lighter items is fine, as long as you don’t stack a lot of other boxes on top.

 

Think about which items you are most likely to access from your unit

Items that you don’t use every day, such as seasonal/occasional items, can be placed towards the back of your unit, but make sure to leave yourself room or ‘isles’ so that you can easily get to these items.

Seasonal/occasional items may include:

  • Clothing
  • Vacation/hobbies (camping or skiing gear, etc.)
  • Holiday decorations
  • Tools
  • Documents

 

Label contents on your boxes or containers

It’s important to label each box so that you know what the contents are, and it helps if you label both the top and at least one of the sides. You can even place an ‘x’ on those boxes that contain items you are most likely to need access to; these boxes should go into your unit last so that they are closest to the unit door. It’s also helpful to pack items according to categories. For example, if you pack seasonal items in separate boxes by season, it’s easier to find what you’re looking for when you need it.

 

Number your boxes and maintain a master content list

By numbering your boxes or containers and making a list of them, along with the contents, you will always know exactly where your items are. This also helps when you’re sending a family member to retrieve something from your unit and it’s also important for insurance purposes. Keeping a digital copy of your list makes it convenient and easy for retrieval.

 

Identify what unit size you’ll need

You don’t want to pay for more space than you need, but you also don’t want to pack your unit so full that you can’t get to anything without totally unpacking it. This is where a storage calculator comes in handy. Utilizing this tool allows you to enter the items you’ll be storing in order to estimate the size unit you’ll need.

 

Organize your unit

Now that your items are boxed up and ready to go, it’s time to think about the layout of your unit. When storing furniture and boxes, you want to make sure that you organize in such a way that you have access to both, especially if you will be storing seasonal/occasional items. Consider putting the furniture on one side of the unit and your boxes or containers on the other so that you have room to walk in between them. Make sure that you can also access the boxes that are against the wall of your unit.

  • Stack boxes from back to front in order of need; place the boxes you’ll need access to most frequently in front of those you won’t need frequent access to and make sure the side you labeled the contents on is facing where you can read it

 

  • Put larger, heavier boxes down first, and stack lighter ones on top; be sure not to stack too high as they may become unstable, especially if you bump them, creating a hazard for you and your belongings

 

Consider shelving for more organization

If you will be storing long-term, you may want to consider adding shelving to your unit, especially if you’ll be storing a lot of boxes or documents. Shelves offer additional organization and support for your stored items.

Taking the time to properly pack boxes and organize your unit will save you much frustration down the road, making it a simple and quick process to retrieve and enjoy your items.

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