If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the moving process, it’s understandable. When you have to put things in storage, you may be worried about finding them again, or leaving them where you can’t access them.
While insurance can help with protecting your things, some DIY storage unit organization can help with relocating them. Never worry about finding everything again when you follow these guidelines for arranging your unit. Take a look.
Use Clear Storage Tubs
Many moving companies have cardboard boxes you can buy for packing your things. Often you can use boxes you get for free, from a friend or a business in the area that’s getting rid of them.
Sure, those boxes work fine and get the job done if you remember to tape the bottom. But packing is hard enough without having to worry about finding your stuff after the move.
If you can see what’s in the box, it makes it easier to find your things when you need them. That’s why clear plastic storage tubs, while a small investment, are the best route to go for packing. You won’t have to scribble a note on the box that you won’t be able to read later.
Instead, look through the side of the box to tell if it has what you need. Clear-sided bins can make using your storage unit much easier, especially if you’re going to use the unit for an extended period of time.
Build Custom Shelves
Only you know what items you’re going to store in your unit. That means you are the best candidate for designing your shelves to fit those items. Build custom shelves to go along the side walls of your unit to help you organize your stuff.
Basic shelving isn’t hard to build, and the materials are inexpensive at the home improvement store. They’ll even cut the OSB and the lumber down for you to help you fit it in your car and prep it for the project.
It would be a good idea to make at least one of the shelves large enough to accommodate those clear tubs you used in the last step. With rows of tubs at the perfect height for viewing, you can go right to the box you need without searching forever. Those shelves can fit tons of other things, too, not only the ones in clear tubs.
Label Everything for Easy Storage Unit Organization
Type or write labels, then laminate them. You can also use rectangular plastic plates like you would see outside a door at a hospital or office building to write labels on.
Use stick-on Velcro tabs to attach the labels to the shelves. Then if you move items, you can move their labels with them to another place on the shelf. Just stick it to another Velcro tab farther down.
Don’t use dry-erase markers because they will wipe off. Instead, Sharpies work great, and they aren’t permanent if you use pure acetone and a paper towel to erase it. Then you can rewrite the label.
Labels also make it easy if you ever have to file a claim with your storage unit insurance company. You’ll be able to tell what’s missing faster and easier than if everything was haphazard. If you’re organized enough to inventory it all, labels smooth out that process, too.
Putting up shelves on the side walls of the unit means you have plenty of walking space in the middle. Depending on the size of the unit, you may also have space to put a third shelving unit in the middle of the storage bay, leaving a walkway on either side of it. As long as you have space to walk in between, you’ll be able to access your items with ease.
Engineering walkways seems easy, but it takes careful planning. Make sure you think about big items like furniture or vehicles. You won’t be able to fit those in the walkways, so plan to load them first if you won’t need them or last if you’ll want to get them out again later.
Arrange Items by Necessity
This method of planning helps with all your items, not only the furniture. Put things you’ll need first near the exit so you can access them without an issue. If you’re storing items for the foreseeable future, instead of a short time, think about how often you’ll want to get to your stuff and arrange them accordingly.
Holiday and seasonal decor items that you’ll want for an upcoming season should be near the front. Memorabilia and sentimental items that you won’t need to get out for a long time can be stored in harder to reach places.
Use All the Space
Remember that you have height to work with, too. If you feel like your unit is full already, and you still want to put more in it, consider the entire area, including the part above your head. Even if the floor space is full, remember you can stack items and use your shelving to store items high.
You may be right that you need another unit to fit all your stuff, but use every available bit of space before trying that option.
Not Everyone Is Marie Kondo
While you’re planning your storage unit organization, make sure to give yourself grace. You’re not an expert, and you’re allowed to make mistakes.
As long as you can access what you need, you can consider your efforts a success. By using the above tips, you’ll be able to make full use of your storage unit no matter how long you’ll be there.
Protect your things with storage unit insurance. Get a free quote today.