Self Storage Tips: How to Organize a Storage Unit

how to organize a storage unit

It’s a new year, and as every homeowner knows, this means one thing: it’s time to deep clean! There’s something about that crisp, “I can do anything,” January air that breathes life into your organizational motivations. Read on: here’s our best tips on how to organize a storage unit!

Don’t let that feeling go! Start right now by figuring out what’s going to stay in your house, and what’s getting the boot to your handy storage unit down the road. 

Before you shove all the holiday decorations in boxes and toss them into the black hole that your unit has become, check out these handy tricks to become the Marie Kondo of your storage unit facility.

Label ALL the Boxes (Seriously, All of Them)

When we tell you to label every single last box, we mean it. If you think you’ll remember that the holiday decorations are in the box with the ripped top and the red tape, trust us, there’s no way that information is going to stick around in your head until next year. 

Be specific! It may seem unnecessary, but adding as many details as possible will save you precious time in the future. Label both the tops and sides of the boxes, and include details like the room the items came from, and exactly what is inside. 

If you’re extremely dedicated to the organizational cause, give each box a number and create a list or excel spreadsheet detailing the number of the box and its corresponding items.

Stick to the Same Box Size

An overlooked tip when learning how to organize a storage unit is packing your items in boxes of the same size. Utilizing uniform box sizes takes the hassle out of stacking, and makes it much easier to reach that pesky box at the bottom of the pile. 

Keep your unit safe! Check out our article on the importance of locks and secure self storage.

Use Shelves, or Stack Thoughtfully

how to organize a storage unit

If your boxes are going to be in storage for a long time, it can be beneficial to invest in shelving, which is the easiest way to access all of your items. But if you’re not in the mood to spend money on shelves you’ll hardly see, be sure to employ these box stacking tricks:

  • Stack lighter boxes on top of heavier boxes in order to not crush the bottom layers.
  • Place boxes you’ll need easy access to near the front of your storage unit, and less-used boxes in the back.
  • For boxes of the same size, try stacking them like you would a brick wall. This is a super cool trick that will allow you to reach boxes without moving the ones above.
  • Never stack the boxes too high! As a general rule of thumb, a box stack taller than you is a bad idea, as this lends itself to the stack toppling over.
  • Stack the boxes so you can clearly see their labels for easy identification purposes. 
  • Don’t stack anything on top of fragile items. Delicate materials such as glass or china can be crushed easily. Put these at the top of a stack and be sure to label them as breakable. 

How to Organize a Storage Unit 101: Group Your Items

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important and will save you loads of time. Group your items by category! Your winter coats probably shouldn’t be packed in the same box as your second kitchen blender. Pack items in groups that make sense, and then place similar boxes near one another. 

Create a Treasure Map

Don’t worry, you don’t have to create a detailed blueprint to keep organized. Just divide a sheet of paper into four quadrants (or more for a larger unit), and roughly label which section groupings of items are in. For example, if all of your sporting equipment items are in the back left corner, label that on the sheet and tape it to the inside of your unit’s wall. 

Put Some Thought Into the Flow

If you know that a particular set of items needs to be easily accessible, place it near the front of your unit. Larger items (such as furniture) that you don’t often use are best placed in the back corners of your storage space. 

Many storage unit owners even create a center aisle that they can walk through, which gives them maximum access to every box in the entire unit.

Get Some Pallets

Your items need room to breathe. All those old clothing items will thank you if you stack your boxes on top of pallets. Pallets allow air flow to circulate under your items, keeping them better ventilated. 

We are Albuquerque’s largest and most trusted self storage facility! Learn more about us here. 

Consider Ditching Cardboard Boxes

If you’re okay with spending a little more money on self storage organization, invest in some clear storage tubs. This is the fastest way to to find any items that you are looking for, as you can see inside the containers. However, we still recommend labeling them with extra information, such as a number and what room the items inside belong in. 

Thanks for reading another entry on the Albuquerque Self Storage blog! We hope you learned how to organize a storage unit in the most effective and easy way! Contact us today to rent your own self storage space! 


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