Storing items that we only use now and then is a good way of making space at home. Putting all your winter clothes and Christmas decorations in a self-storage unit during the summer removes the clutter from your home. But of course, you’ll want to find these items at some point, and this is where you need to get organized and plan where items will go in your self-storage unit.
It’s tempting to just rent a much bigger self-storage than you need to give yourself plenty of space. But with a bit of planning and organization, you don’t need to.
The first thing to do is decide which items you will need access to regularly. You need to be fairly ruthless with yourself here as it’s all too easy to convince yourself that everything needs to be easily accessed!
Label your boxes
Knowing what is in your boxes is the key to easily finding things when you need them. You should label each box with a unique number or code to identify it. Make sure you put a label on the top and a couple of the sides so that it is easy to find. Packing similar items together or items from a particular room will also help. You can also stick a content list to the side of the box if you wish, but making a master content list is essential.
This may seem like an odious and pointless task, but making comprehensive lists of the contents of every box will save you time in the long run. Then, when you need to find your winter clothes, skiing equipment or whatever it is, there’s no need to go hunting through every box.
Plan your self-storage layout
Before you start randomly putting your boxes into storage, spend some time planning a layout. Try to keep furniture items on one side and boxes on the other, and if you can leave the center area free, this will help with access.
If you are going to stack boxes more than one row deep, it will help to make a plan of where your boxes are. In this way, finding a particular item will be a simple job of checking the contents list to identify the box number and then using the plan to locate it in your self-storage unit.
These steps could save you hours of looking for one item, opening loads of boxes, and then having to repack them again.
Self-storage usually does not come with any form of racking or shelving, and everything is stacked on the floor. Putting in some shelving units will greatly help with organization, allowing items to be accessed without the need to move boxes stacked on top.
Put similar items together
This is an obvious statement, but something that people forget. It’s very tempting when you have a small space in a box to find anything to go in it! Not only does this make finding that one small item more difficult in the future, but it also makes your content lists longer.
Try to keep boxes the same size
Keeping the size of your boxes as similar as possible really helps with stacking and keeps the whole stack far more stable. Remember to stack heavy items at the bottom and make sure the things you need least often go at the back.
Don’t stack your boxes too high, as it will quickly become unstable and there’s a risk the whole lot could come crashing down on top of you. If your self-storage unit has plenty of height, then shelving would be a better solution.
If you want access to most of your boxes, then try stacking them as if you were building a brick wall, with the rows of boxes staggered to give an overlap. In this way, it’s possible to remove a single box from the middle of the stack without having to move all the other boxes. A great time saver.
Planning before moving your stuff into a self-storage unit can make your life a lot easier. Make sure you label your boxes, make content lists and arrange the storage for easy access, and finding the things you need will be simple. A bit of effort at the beginning will save a whole load of hassle later on!