With careful planning, a self-storage unit can be an effective extension of your storage needs. If you are considering a storage unit for your overflow of not yet ready to part with non-essentials, we have put together a few tips that will help you maximize the space, and still allow you access when needed.
When you are getting things together to put inside of boxes, try and keep as many “like” items together as possible. Kitchen tools should not be stored with winter coats, and your record collection should be separate from your books. The boxes should be packed tight, with no empty spaces. If you have any gaps use packing paper to fill them. This will keep the box stable and prevent it from crumbling if you stack other on top of it.
Always clearly label the boxes as well, with as much detail as possible. Clothes is too vague, try baby clothes – girl – 0 to 36 months. This will make it much easier for you when you do need to locate something important inside of the storage unit.
Extra Tip: Try not to store anything of great value in a storage unit, but if you do, place it in the back with a label that reads something not valuable.
To maximize the space in your unit, you are going to want to take advantage of its height. Stack boxes along the wall with the heavier ones on the bottom. Make sure that your labels are facing out when you do this. Leave an aisle that leads all the way to the back and is wide enough to easily allow you to pull a box or item down.
Take legs off of tables when possible and utilize the drawers inside of dressers if you are storing furniture. Stand mattresses on their ends on top of a small piece of plastic for protection. For these items that are not in boxes you will want to keep them from getting dirty by covering them with a blanket or large sheets of plastic.
Extra Tip: Have a small step stool or ladder front and center in the storage unit. This will make it easier to reach those items that are on top of the stacks.
If you have plans on putting microwaves, blenders, a washer or even your refrigerator in storage they should be cleaned thoroughly with a bleach solution first. This is especially true for kitchen appliances that have left over food particles embedded on the surface. The dark environment of a self-storage unit is a prime environment for mold to grow in.
Extra Tip: Appliances take up a lot of space, but many are spacious inside. Consider using smaller boxes for kitchen items and stacking them in the refrigerator or placing one inside of a microwave. Washers and dryers can be used to store bags of stuffed animals or even small toys.
When thought out beforehand, you will be able to make your storage unit a neat and useful space to keep your extra items well protected. This will helpful when you suddenly realize that you are going to have to pull out those baby clothes one more time.