Picture this. You’re binging on your favorite Netflix program when your phone alerts you to a severe weather storm that is quickly passing through and will dump snow tonight in your region.
You decide to pause your Netflix (aw, really?) and jump in the car to drive to your self-storage unit because all of your winter clothes are tucked away neatly in your unit. Or, are they?
Once you get there, you realize you have been enjoying the ability to pop over to your storage unit over the past year to stuff random boxes, thinking you will mentally remember what’s in those boxes. But you don’t. And now, with a storm coming, you need to find those winter clothes and snow boots. Quickly!
Let us help. Our proven storage unit organization tips will help you get the most out of your space and offer you a system that will show you how to store items easily and, most importantly, retrieve them quickly. You will know exactly where everything is – saving you oodles of time.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT BOXES & SPACE
When visualizing all that needs to be put in storage, it can be difficult to know how many boxes you need and what sizes to choose. Also, what size storage unit should you choose? Thankfully, TMS Self Storage has you covered with a full supply of packing paper and boxes ranging from small to x-large. Their website details which storage unit size is best for certain household objects and offers other moving supplies. TMS Self Storage renters receive 20% off ALL packing and moving supplies!
Try to pick out one size for boxes, if possible, for most of your household items to make it easier on you when you start stacking them in your storage unit. Larger boxes tend to get stuck at the bottom of a stack and therefore can be tricky when you need to pull them out in the future. After you visualize all that needs to be put in your self storage, it’s best to get a storage unit that’s a little bigger than what you need in case you have to add more boxes later down the road.
For more info on what storage size is best for you: TMS Self Storage Space
CREATE A PLAN
While this may be the most crucial step in your storage unit organization, it can also be the trickiest – trying to decide which items you will need more frequently. Fortunately, we live in the age of technology and have several apps to help us in keeping track of our possessions. The ones listed below are only a handful of what’s available.
Home Contents – Short on time or just lazy? Capture an entire room using the camera entry mode and fill in the specifics later to produce accurate tallies of belongings.
Available for: iOS 12.0 or later
Cost: Free, with in-app purchases
Magic Home Inventory – One of the best storage apps for Android; sort by room or container; create unique item lists and organize items in 15 different major categories plus more than 300 sub-categories.
Available for: Android 2.3.3 and up
Google Drive – One of the most popular and accessible apps where you can share inventory data through Google Sheets, an app within Google Drive, as well as photos, videos and documents that you can store digitally into reliable cloud storage.
Available for: iOS 11.0 or later, Android or Windows
After downloading one of the apps to help in your storage unit organization, identify and list the items you may need to access throughout the year, such as those winter clothes :).
To help you in creating this list, we suggest these items below:
- Holiday items/decorations
- Winter/summer clothes
- Legal documents
- Trip supplies (tents, sleeping bags, scuba gear, skis, etc.)
- Tools & hobby supplies
- Kids hoys
LABEL, LABEL & MORE LABELING
The more detailed the label, the better. The last thing you want when searching for those snow boots or legal documents is having to open every single box because labels are messy, abbreviated, or not detailed. Label each box at the top and at least one of the sides with the contents of the box. Give it a special number, if it doesn’t have one already, and write down from which room in your house or office it came.
Identify the boxes that you think you’ll need to access most frequently. Put a special mark on them or color-code them in some visible way and place them in your storage unit last so they will be in front of items in longer storage. Feel free to add the approximate replacement cost of each item in case you’d want to insure them. If the contents of the box are breakable, write down or put stickers that say “Fragile” to remind you to be careful with them. Make sure to write your labels big so you can see them from afar when stacked.
MAKE A MASTER LIST
On a separate piece of paper or in your Google Drive, create a master content list for all of the contents of each box along with the box number. Although this may seem tedious, you’ll thank us later when it’s time to find that one specific item, especially when the boxes are all stacked up like a game of Tetris.
CREATE A LAYOUT FOR YOUR STORAGE UNIT
Even if you’re not planning on accessing your unit frequently, it’s best to create a layout of where you’re going to stack your boxes and furniture. Organize items from back to front in the order that you’ll need to access them. The boxes you’ll need more frequently should be at the very front of the storage unit.
Store bulky furniture in the very back along with appliances and boxes filled with items you won’t need in a pinch. Plan to store the heavier boxes on the lower levels to help ensure that the boxes don’t cave in or collapse. Always check the weight of your boxes so they are not heavier than those underneath them.
Ideally, you want to put furniture up against the wall opposite your boxes to leave a path in the middle of the unit to access boxes and furniture items without a lot of disruption. If you need to use the space in the middle of the unit, you can store items that need to be most accessible there or create aisles between the storage rows. Adding shelves along one of the walls will also free up space on the ground.
Once you’ve completed your layout, tape a copy of it to the inside wall of your storage unit and keep a picture of it saved on your cell phone
LOAD UP & MOVE THE BOXES
Now it’s finally time to load up the truck with your boxes and furniture. Load the truck in the reverse order of how you will load your storage unit. Load the frequently used items that you’ll want to store at the front of the storage unit into the truck first. Load the long-term storage items into the truck last. This will save you time and keep you organized when you start unloading the items from the truck into the unit.
When stacking items, always stack vertically to save space but try not to stack the towers of boxes higher than your head to avoid straining your back or boxes falling on you. If you’re low on space and must go higher, store a foldable or step ladder inside your storage unit with your belongings to ensure safe access.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR BELONGINGS
Whether you are storing long-term or for a few months, consider a few of our care tips to protect the value of your belongings.
- Purchase mattress and furniture coverings to protect couches, beds, and other furniture from scratching and keep out unwanted pests. We sell them in our front office.
- Moisture absorbers are great at keeping your storage unit dry and preventing musty or mildew odors. Consider purchasing DampRid or Dri-Z-Air, which will safely attract and trap excess moisture, along with silica gel packets, charcoal briquettes, clay cat litter, and dehumidifiers.
- Pallets are an effective way to keep your boxes and furniture off the ground and create air circulation. Use wooden pallets or thick plastic sheeting to prevent moisture from damaging your items and furniture.
Following these storage unit organization tips will improve your storage experience, protect your belongings and allow you to safely access items quickly. It feels good to know where your “stuff” is and to know it’s safely stored away.
For more storage tips for long-term storage, read Top 10 Ways to Efficiently Store Items.
Ready to get organized? Contact us at TMS Self Storage with any questions you have about what packing/moving materials we offer. For storage unit sizes, we have all the sizes to solve your needs including climate-controlled and traditional storage. Our on-site manager will help you decide your best options. Contact us on our website, or give us a call at 940-648-5000 start your storage unit organization.