If you need a place to store your extra belongings, whether it’s for a temporary or long-term period, renting a storage unit can be a great solution. However, you don’t want to just dump your stuff inside the unit and forget about it. You want to pack and organize your storage unit in a way that protects your items from damage, maximizes the space available, and makes it easy to find what you need when you need it.
In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks for packing and organizing your storage unit like a pro. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to make the most of your storage experience.
1. Choose the right size and type of storage unit for your needs
Before you start packing and organizing your storage unit, you need to make sure you have enough space for all your belongings. You don’t want to end up with a unit that’s too small or too big for your needs. A too-small unit will force you to cram your items inside, risking damage and making it hard to access them later. A too-big unit will waste money and space that could be used for something else.
To choose the right size of storage unit, make a list of all the items you plan to store and estimate how much space they will take up. You can use online calculators or guides to help you with this task. For example, a 5x5 unit can fit a few boxes and small furniture items, while a 10x20 unit can fit the contents of a three-bedroom house.
You also need to consider the type of storage unit you need. Do you need a climate-controlled unit that will protect your items from extreme temperatures and humidity? Do you need an indoor or outdoor unit that will offer different levels of security and accessibility? Do you need a drive-up or ground-floor unit that will make loading and unloading easier? Think about these factors and compare different options before booking your storage unit.
2. Clean and prepare your items for storage
Before you pack your items for storage, you need to make sure they are clean and dry. This will prevent mold, mildew, pests, and odors from ruining your belongings while they are in storage. It will also help them maintain their quality and appearance over time.
To clean and prepare your items for storage, follow these steps:
- Dust off any dirt or debris from your furniture, appliances, electronics, etc.
- Wipe down any surfaces with a damp cloth or a mild cleaner.
- Vacuum any upholstery, carpets, rugs, curtains, etc.
- Wash any clothing, bedding, towels, etc. and dry them thoroughly.
- Polish any metal or wood items with a suitable product.
- Apply a protective coating or wrap to any leather or fabric items.
- Disassemble any large or bulky items that can be taken apart, such as beds, tables, sofas, etc. This will make them easier to pack and transport.
- Label any parts or hardware that belong together and keep them in a ziplock bag or a small box.
- Remove any batteries or cords from your electronics and appliances. This will prevent corrosion and damage from leaks or power surges.
- Drain any fluids from your lawn equipment, tools, vehicles, etc. This will prevent leaks, spills, and fire hazards.
3. Use quality packing materials and supplies
To pack and organize your storage unit effectively, you need to use quality packing materials and supplies that will protect your items from dust, moisture, scratches, dents, etc. You also need to use materials that will help you save space and make it easier to identify your belongings.
Some of the packing materials and supplies you’ll need are:
- Boxes: Use sturdy cardboard boxes or clear plastic bins that are in good condition. Avoid using boxes that are too large or too heavy to lift. Use different sizes of boxes for different types of items. For example, use small boxes for books, CDs, DVDs, etc., medium boxes for kitchenware, toys, etc., and large boxes for bedding, pillows, etc.
- Bubble wrap: Use bubble wrap to wrap fragile items such as glassware, dishes, mirrors, artwork, etc. You can also use bubble wrap to fill any gaps or spaces inside the boxes to prevent shifting and damage.
- Packing paper: Use packing paper to wrap non-fragile items such as clothing, shoes, etc. You can also use packing paper to cushion the bottom and top of the boxes.
Tape: Use strong packing tape to seal and reinforce your boxes. Use clear packing tape for cardboard boxes and duct tape for plastic bins.
- Labels: Use labels to identify the contents and destination of each box or bin. You can use pre-made labels, print your own labels, or write on sticky notes or masking tape. Use different colors or numbers to categorize your items by room, type, owner, etc. For example, you can use blue labels for kitchen items, red labels for bedroom items, green labels for living room items, etc. You can also use pictures or symbols to label boxes for kids or non-English speakers.
- Scissors: Use scissors to cut your packing materials and supplies as needed.
- Knife: Use a knife to open boxes or cut through tape when unpacking.
- Rope: Use rope to tie together items that are long or awkward to pack, such as skis, poles, brooms, etc.
- Plastic wrap: Use plastic wrap to wrap furniture, mattresses, sofas, etc. that are not going inside a box or bin. This will protect them from dust, dirt, moisture, and scratches.
- Furniture pads: Use furniture pads to cover and cushion furniture items that are going inside a storage unit. This will prevent them from rubbing against each other or the walls of the unit.
- Ziplock bags: Use ziplock bags to store small items such as screws, nails, jewelry, etc. that can get lost or damaged easily.
4. Pack your items carefully and efficiently
Once you have all your packing materials and supplies ready, you can start packing your items for storage. Here are some tips and tricks to pack your items carefully and efficiently:
- Pack similar items together. For example, pack books with books, clothes with clothes, dishes with dishes, etc. This will make it easier to organize and find your items later.
- Pack heavy items in small boxes and light items in large boxes. This will prevent the boxes from becoming too heavy or too bulky to lift and carry.
- Pack fragile items with extra care. Wrap them individually with bubble wrap or packing paper and place them in sturdy boxes with plenty of cushioning. Avoid placing heavy items on top of fragile items or stacking fragile boxes too high.
- Pack empty spaces with filler material. Use bubble wrap, packing paper, towels, blankets, pillows, etc. to fill any gaps or spaces inside the boxes or bins. This will prevent the items from shifting and breaking during transport or storage.
- Pack essential items separately. If you need to access some items more frequently than others, pack them in a separate box or bin and label it clearly as “Essentials”. Place this box or bin at the front of your storage unit for easy access.
- Label your boxes clearly and consistently. Use labels to write the contents and destination of each box or bin on at least two sides and the top. Use different colors or numbers to categorize your items by room, type, owner, etc. You can also use pictures or symbols to label boxes for kids or non-English speakers.
5. Organize your storage unit strategically
After you pack all your items for storage, you need to organize your storage unit strategically. This will help you maximize the space available, protect your items from damage, and make it easier to access them whenever you need to. Here are some tips and tricks to organize your storage unit strategically:
- Store large, heavy items on the bottom and towards the back. As you begin packing items inside the storage unit, start with large, heavy belongings such as furniture and heavy boxes. Place them towards the back of the storage unit on the bottom. Remember: unless you want to crush smaller and/or lighter boxes, heavy items should always be stored on the bottom of the storage unit.
- Place items you need more frequently towards the front. If you need to access some items more often than others, place them in a separate box or bin and label it clearly as “Essentials”. Place this box or bin at the front of your storage unit for easy access. For example, you may need to access seasonal clothing, holiday decorations, sports equipment, etc. more frequently than other items.
- Remember to go vertical. Going vertical is an essential packing and organizing strategy for storage units. Start by stacking your boxes high, keeping furniture upright, and using any shelving and surfaces within the unit. If you need to reach items stored in hard-to-reach places, keep a foldable ladder or step stool safely tucked away with your belongings for easy access.
- Label, label, label. Labeling your boxes and bins is not only important for packing, but also for organizing your storage unit. By labeling your boxes and bins clearly and consistently, you’ll be able to find what you need quickly and easily. Use different colors or numbers to categorize your items by room, type, owner, etc. You can also use pictures or symbols to label boxes for kids or non-English speakers.
- Create a center aisle. One of the best ways to organize your storage unit is to create a center aisle that allows you to walk through and access your items from both sides. This will prevent you from having to move or climb over boxes and furniture every time you need something. To create a center aisle, arrange your boxes and bins in rows along the walls of the unit, leaving enough space in the middle for walking.
- Let them breathe. When organizing your storage unit, make sure you leave some space between your items and the walls of the unit. This will allow air to circulate and prevent moisture buildup and mold growth. You can also use a dehumidifier or silica gel packets to absorb excess moisture in your storage unit.
- Get snazzy, get shelving. If you want to take your storage unit organization to the next level, consider investing in some shelving units or racks. These will help you utilize the vertical space in your storage unit more efficiently and keep your boxes and bins off the floor. You can also use hooks, pegboards, baskets, and bins to hang or store items on the walls of your unit.
Packing and organizing your storage unit may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to pack and organize your storage unit like a pro. You’ll be able to protect your items from damage, maximize the space available, and make it easy to find what you need when you need it.
If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable storage facility near you, check out Cheap Storage Units. They offer a variety of storage units in different sizes and types to suit your needs. Whether you need a climate-controlled unit, an indoor or outdoor unit, a drive-up or ground-floor unit, they have it all. Plus, they have friendly and helpful staff who can assist you with any questions or concerns.