Storage units are a great short or long-term solution for your storage needs. They can simplify your life as they help you declutter your space and protect the items you want to keep but don’t currently need in your home. When organized properly, these units can store an incredible amount of furniture, books, collectibles, and appliances. Your home will have more actual living space, and your prized possessions will be safe and easy to access. However, you need to plan the use of your storage unit to take full advantage of it. As you organize your storage unit, keep the following tips in mind:
Even the best storage units may be affected by the elements. The floors can become damp, so you should put your items on pallets. They are inexpensive and could save you thousands in damages. Also, using pallets helps keep you organized. Placing like items on each one makes finding things much easier. For instance, you can have a kitchen items pallet, a sports items pallet, and a toys pallet.
Don’t forget to label your items! This step may seem obvious, but many storage unit users don’t bother to do it. Every box should have several labels that are protected by clear packing tape to prevent them from fading or tearing. Clearly labeling the top and sides of each box will make it easier to find items.
You may be tempted to organize your items by size, but storing a large item in the back is a bad idea if you use it frequently. Keep the items you use the most in the front of the unit so you don’t have to disrupt everything to get what you need, even if this means keeping a big hope chest front and center.
Experts recommend creating an aisle through the center of your unit. You may want to use every inch of space for storage, but you need to access things in the middle and back of your unit without having to rip the place apart. A small aisle is well worth the space it takes.
5. Box Size
Invest in quality boxes, and don’t use more than two sizes. This makes them easier to stack and will keep the stacks steady and fragile items safe from damage. Also, odd-sized boxes waste space because they don’t fit together snugly. If you choose larger boxes, mix heavy items with lighter ones. A big box of books can be a terror to move.
Once you have your dressers, hutches and chests moved into the unit, fill them up with smaller items. You should use all of the space in these pieces of furniture, but remember to label them as well. It is too easy to forget that you put the towels in the entertainment center or your pictures in the dresser.
You should wrap your items with plastic in order to protect them from dampness, dirt and the occasional insect. You can also use colored plastic wrap to help organize your items. For example, you could wrap your heirlooms in red so you can easily find your most treasured items.
If you prefer to use cloth wrappings, the same principle applies. Choose differently colored fabrics so you’ll have visual clues when you are searching for items.
To save space, you can store some furniture, such as sofas, upright. They won’t be damaged, and they make nice corner fillers. Mirrors should always be stored upright to prevent breakage. Also, you may disassemble the furniture that you will not be needing in the near future. Dining room tables and chairs are prime examples.
9. Content List
Creating a content list makes your life easier in the long run. Keep a detailed copy of exactly what’s in the storage unit on your computer, and update it as needed. This simple measure will prevent you from running to the storage unit for something that is actually in your basement. Also, you should have a list to show your insurance company in case of damage or theft.
10. Create a Map
You don’t have to be an illustrator to draw a rudimentary map of your storage unit, and having one can save you hours of time. You won’t have to read the labels on every box to find what you need. The map can simply show you that books are in the middle of the unit or that clothes are in the back. With a map, you can get in and get out of your unit in a matter of minutes.
People rent storage units for a number of reasons. They may be in the midst of a move, or their possessions may have outgrown their homes. A personal storage unit solves many problems as long as you use it correctly. Take the time to organize and protect your items as you move in. Then, whenever you need to retrieve something, you can visit the unit and be on your way in a few minutes rather than a few hours. After all, storage units exist to make your life more convenient.
You can reach us at 1 (800) 233-6683 or visit your local Massachusetts moving company to learn more about what we can do to help you during your move. Download the Ayer Moving Guide for a Stress-Free Move!