When renting a storage unit in a self storage facility, moving things to the unit is only the first step in a larger process. You have to pack everything into your storage unit carefully so it takes up the least space and lets you store the most items. While that sounds easy, it’s like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle without the benefit of the box to help you.
If you’re moving things into a storage unit and need help figuring out where to start, the 10 storage organization tips below will be extremely helpful. From how to prepare things correctly and use the right storage equipment to DIY storage organization tips, we’ve got it all below. Read on and learn how to organize your storage unit like a pro!
1. Use Large, Clear Plastic Bins to See What You’ve Stored
Big box department stores typically have an entire aisle full of large plastic bins to store things. The best for self storage is clear plastic bins because, once they’re packed full of items, you can see what’s inside without having to open them.
2. Use Metal Shelving Units to Save Time and Energy When You Need Something
If you’re going the extra step to purchase large, clear plastic bins, the best way to store them is on a metal shelving unit. Metal shelving units allow you to pack several plastic containers on one shelf. That way, when you need something, you don’t have to spend precious time and energy stacking and unstacking bins to get what you need. Metal shelves also allow you to store fragile items without a lot of weight placed on top of them.
3. If You Use Cardboard Boxes, Label Them Well
There’s nothing worse than staring at 10 identical boxes and trying to figure out which holds the specific item you need. For this reason, labeling all your boxes is highly recommended. Labeling boxes correctly will help you find specific items faster and with less stress.
4. Face Labels Outward So You Can See Them
If you’ve gone through the trouble of labeling your boxes, make sure to point the label outward in your storage unit so that you can see it. Labeling your boxes on top’s also a good idea, so you have at least two options to see what’s inside.
5. Stack Things Well but Safely
Stacking things in storage, especially boxes and relatively square or rectangular furniture, can help you store more items in less space. The only caveat is that the stacks you make out of your boxes and furniture should be stable, with heavier items stacked on the bottom and lighter items on top. If done well, you can stack things almost to the ceiling in your storage unit (although you might need a small ladder to do it safely).
6. Search For DIY Storage Organization Ideas
Although Northwest Self Storage included 10 excellent storage organization ideas in this article, we offer many more DIY articles on how to organize your storage and house! Make sure to search for them on our blog home page!
7. Bags Don’t Stack (So Don’t Use Them)
Some folks want to save as much money as possible when storing their things in a self storage unit and, rather than buying boxes, put a lot of items in heavy-duty bags. Toys, linens, clothing, and several other items will be OK in plastic bags, but there’s one small problem; bags don’t stack. Since being able to stack things is one of the most important facets of self storage, having a lot of flimsy, unstable bags can quickly create chaos and take up much more room than necessary. Your best bet is never to use bags to store things, only boxes, plastic bins, and sturdy, stackable containers.
8. Stack Tables Vertically on their Edges with the Legs Off
For tables of all types, from dining room to kitchen, ping-pong, picnic, and others, it’s best to remove the legs and store them on their edges vertically. This position uses the least amount of room by far, maximizing your storage unit space. Be sure to put some cardboard on the floor first to protect your table’s edge.
9. Store Large Paintings, Posters, Pictures, and Mirrors Vertically in Mirror Boxes
Large paintings, mirrors, posters, or pictures should always be packed in a mirror box, which is a telescoping flat box perfect for their particular shape. Once packed, always store these items vertically on their edges for safety. Storing them flat leaves them open to destruction if something (or someone) big falls on them.
10. Store Mattresses and Box Springs Last
While mattresses can seem huge and bulky, they take up very little floor space when placed on their sides. That makes them perfect for placing into your storage unit last because most people have a little room left over once everything has been carefully packed into their storage unit. This also has the benefit of creating a barrier between your things and your storage unit’s door. This adds a layer of safety when you open your storage unit to get something out, as things can’t fall out and onto your head.
Store Your Stuff the Easy, Organized Way, with Northwest Self Storage
You can always count on Northwest Self Storage when you need safe, secure self storage. We’re the storage leaders in the northwest with storage unit features that make your experience easier, faster, more convenient, and less stressful. For storage near you, click the link and look for your town or city. Check out our storage unit size guide, and you’ll quickly have an idea of the size you need. Once you’re ready, reserve your storage unit online and store your stuff in an easy, organized way with Northwest Self Storage.
This post was originally published on 12/16/2019. It was updated on 06/21/2023