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Storage Unit 101: 5 Tips for Storing Your Belongings

A storage unit is perfect for storing items that you do not need around your home. You can store items such as old clothes, CDs, furniture, bicycles and many more!

Whether you are storing your belongings for a long or short term, it is vital for you to properly organize your belongings in the storage unit so you can easily find and retrieve the items down the road. 

To help you organize your items in a storage unit efficiently, we have come up with seven tips you can use:

1. Create a List of All Inventory

When placing a lot of items in storage, it is difficult to remember all of them. While large furniture pieces such as a bed or sofa are easy to remember, smaller items such as artwork, pictures, electronics and clothes are oftentimes forgotten after months in storage. To keep everything organized, you can create and maintain a list of all items stored inside the unit. 

As you begin the packing process, we recommend registering each item in a spreadsheet. Taking photos of stored items is also a great way to keep up with what is in your storage unit. Be sure to save all photos and inventory descriptions in one place. It is also a good idea to create some sort of map that indicates where your belongings are located within the unit. 

2. Disassemble Furniture and Store Items Upright

To maximize space and organize more efficiently, disassemble large furniture items prior to placing them in storage. This includes taking apart headboards, bed frames and mattresses, as well as disassembling table legs, among other items. We recommend storing individual items in a vertical position towards the back of a storage unit (except for mattresses, which should be stored lying flat). By storing furniture, such as headboards, upright and on the side, you will open up more floor space for other items.

3. Store Large, Heavy Items on the Bottom 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 at the bottom. Remember that heavy items should always be stored at the bottom of the storage unit to create a stable base for lighter items.

4. Place Items You Need More Frequently Towards the Front

Chances are, there are some items you plan on using more frequently than others. For instance, that extra bed you no longer have room for likely will not see the light of day for a while – whereas your baby’s pack ‘n' play will. 

Other items that you are sure to need more often include seasonal clothing such as heavy coats, boots, hats, flip flops and swimsuits. While you will not need these items every day, you will be making trips to the storage unit to retrieve them at least once a year. These types of belongings should be placed towards the front of your storage unit in well-labeled boxes or bins. Placing them in an easy-to-reach spot near the door will save you the trouble of having to dig through mountains of boxes every time you go to the storage unit.

5. Stack Vertically

When packing and organizing your storage unit, you should go vertical with your belongings. Boxes should be stacked high and furniture should be stored upright. If you happen to be storing bookcases or anything with shelving, take advantage of the extra storage space. 

To make room for smaller boxes and belongings, consider adding wire shelving or hanging shelves in the storage unit. If the storage unit is particularly high, you may want to consider keeping a foldable ladder or step stool inside the unit with your belongings.

6. Label Everything

It is incredibly important to label every box and bin inside a storage unit. You may think you will remember where you put those family photo albums – but trust us – you will not especially if they have been sitting in storage for a long period of time. Label every box clearly with either a permanent marker or printed labels. Make sure the labeled part of the box is facing the front of the storage unit, so you can see it upon entering.