Making Your Storage Unit Functional

boxes packed for functional storageWith these quick and easy steps, you can make your storage unit accessible and functional in no time.

In most storage units, you’ll find boxes on the verge of falling over; you’re missing things like your boots or cookware in some elusive spot and, if that weren’t enough, imagine the frustration when a week later, you remember your holiday décor is packed away in that same storage unit too.

Don’t spend time digging through boxes-especially if the weather sucks and the timing isn’t convenient. Spend some time making your storage unit functional beforehand to save yourself from headaches later on.

Here are some organizing tips that will help you find what you need with minimal effort.

Find a box size that can fit most items.

Same-sized boxes will make it easier to stack and access your belongings. Most of your belongings will be best stored in either a small or medium box. Large boxes are best for lightweight items, but may not do well at the bottom of large stacks. We recommend using them for the top layers instead because it’s more difficult to get things out of these boxes if you need them.

Figure out what you might need from time to time.

When deciding what goes in a storage unit, you should consider the items that you won’t use regularly. It’s a good idea to take into account seasonal needs, like winter clothes or outdoor furniture.

If you want to find things in your storage unit, here are a few items you may need:

  • Winter clothing
  • Summer clothing
  • Vacation Gear (Beach chairs, surf boards, skis, ski boots)
  • Household Items
  • Toys
  • Tools
  • Important Documents

Label your boxes on the top and at least one side.

Label each box with a unique number, the room it came from, and the contents of the box. Put a special mark on boxes that you might need to access at some point during storage. Remember to put them in your storage unit last. Be as detailed as possible about the contents of each box.

Make a list of everything you packed.

For each box you pack, list what’s inside as well as the number of that box. The advantage of this system is that it will be easy to find things by number without having to check every one.

Want to be more organized? Printing labels is a fantastic idea!

Establish an efficient layout for your storage unit.

If you’re going to access your unit frequently, it’s a good idea to put thought into how you’ll pack it. Ideally, you want furniture against the wall opposite boxes so there’s a path in the middle of the unit for easy accessing. Put less-moveable items in the middle so that when you need that space, they are easily removed.

Sturdy shelves should be placed along one wall of the unit if it is your long-term storage solution. If not, these guidelines should be taken into consideration when stacking your boxes:

  • Put things you need least often at the back, and keep the things you will access most frequently closer to the front and on shelves that are easy to see.
  • Locate larger, heavier boxes near the bottom of the stack, and then place lighter ones on top. Be careful how high you stack your stacks. If you stack them too high, they could topple over- creating a safety hazard for you and anything else that’s breakable in the storage unit.
  • Consider a brick-wall pattern when stacking same-size boxes. It can seem to be illogical, but it may allow you to remove and replace boxes without moving boxes the ones above.

Packing items in like groups (pairs of shoes together, blankets with other blankets) is good. You just don’t want to pack things like winter boots and coats with snorkeling gear. It will be easier on you if you spend time planning your packing now, rather than struggling to find something in your storage unit because you couldn’t be bothered to plan and pack better up front.

If you’ve outgrown your current unit, consider upgrading to a larger size.

It is easy to underestimate how much stuff you actually have to go into storage. That being said, you don’t want to have empty space you are paying for each month. Our unit size descriptions should give you a good idea how much space you need, but if you run short on space, consider upgrading.

These steps to make your storage unit functional will take a little time up front; however, it’ll save you a lot of time in the long run, which would otherwise be spent sifting through unlabeled, disorganized boxes.