Are you one of those people who visits your storage unit maybe once or twice a year, only to dig through stacks of boxes that are hard to access? This isn’t the way it needs to be! You can lower your rent by maximizing space and maybe getting a smaller unit by organizing what you have and making your space very accessible while simultaneously freeing up space at home or work. Here’s the best way to do it.
- What Will You Store?
The first step before you rent storage is planning what you’re going to store. Identify the items you will put in boxes and stack, and then prioritize the boxes you want to access the most, as they should be close to the front of your unit. Group items by fragility or weight, as heavy and sturdy items go on the bottom while lightweight items go on the top. You’ll also want to plan to place any items that can’t stack on a shelf in the back of your unit.
- Get the Right Size of Storage Unit
You certainly don’t want to pay for more storage than you need, and the best way to get cheap storage is renting only the minimum necessary. Still, you want to plan to have a little space to move around, both for airflow to prevent damage and to make it easy to access your belongings. The managers of self storage facilities can help you a lot to plan how much space you will need, and you can also use graph paper and measurements of your boxes to come up with your own plan.
- Organization Goes a Long Way
Always organize and pack with a good plan in mind. This will take some time, but it’s worth it when you finally unload your belongings into your storage unit.
Use good boxes that aren’t reused as they can stack well and take up less space. Don’t use sealed plastic bags, as this locks in humidity and creates mildew. When you buy boxes, you can get uniform shapes and sizes, which makes it much easier to stack your belongings versus using free boxes from the grocery store. Don’t forget to buy twice as much tape as you think you need, too.
Box up absolutely everything possible to help you maximize space and keep your belongings from getting dusty. Fill boxes to capacity to avoid shifting during transportation, and keep the boxes from collapsing, but don’t overfill. This is where foam peanuts come in handy. Distribute weight evenly and wrap up fragile items.
- Unpack and Arrange
Finally, as you unload, arrange everything to maximize space, as this will make a big difference later on. Put down wooden boards or cardboard boxes when you rent storage to keep everything clean and absorb moisture, then store a fold-up step ladder somewhere easy to access. Keep items you will use a lot near the beginning and store valuables farthest away from the door behind other items to conceal them. Unload the largest items into the back and sides, and use any dollies storage units Santa Monica facilities often provide. Leave an aisle space in your storage unit.