Find out how to make the most of a self-storage unit, for effective organisation that keeps your belongings in the best possible condition until you need them again.
Self-storage is often required when we are moving house but with all the other tasks going on when moving (not to mention the stress) the storage space can end up as an ill-thought out dumping ground of poorly packed and stacked items. Perhaps you crammed everything in your unit last minute so didn’t have time to plan the space properly. Maybe you stacked it too high to try make the most of the vertical space. Maybe you bought a bigger space for a few items in case you needed to store more in future – and are now left with spare space.
The problem is, stacking a self-storage unit badly can result in breakages, unused space, too much money being spent on space you don’t need, and even a safety risk to those entering the unit. To help you keep your belongings in great shape, check out these 6 ways to make the most of your self storage unit:
Large furniture like sofas and bed frames should be stacked against the walls (but not on top of each other!). This ensures that there is no fumbling around larger furniture when you need to get to other items.
Label boxes with numbers and link them to a list of everything in that box. This helps you to avoid having to rummage around when you need something from your unit. You can create your inventory in any way that suits you best. On paper, on a spreadsheet, in your phone notes – just organise however suits you best.
If you take photos of the boxes as well, you’ll also have visual evidence should you ever need it for insurance.
It is important that you can get to every part of your unit with reasonable ease. This means you should have some sort of safe walkway that allows you access to each area.
Stacking is a great idea for self-storage to keep costs down because then you can rent a smaller, cheaper storage unit, but it should be done safely. You should have the heaviest items on the bottom, and they should be in secure, strong boxes. Any items stacked on top of other boxes should not be stacked so high they are unsafe. You should be able to easily get the boxes from the top without worrying about them toppling down.
If you can install shelving units you’ll be in a better position to organise your unit. They provide a sturdy base to store belongings, which is especially handy when it comes to making the most of the vertical space. If you store a lot of clothes, hanging rails and racks can be particularly handy because they stop the clothes from being creased and crammed in boxes. Hanging them makes them more likely to come out of the unit looking as good as when they went in.
In some scenarios it does make sense to pack out a full unit so you can’t get into the back. This is usually if the unit is a one-off storage rental where you’re putting everything in there for months or years and won’t be visiting. However, in most scenarios it makes more sense to have a unit that is not going to either be totally packed out, or not used in full.
If you don’t know how much room you’ll need, try to avoid paying for a unit that is too big. Instead, use a facility that allows you to switch your unit between different sizes which gives you the flexibility you need.
Otherwise, if you want to fill a unit right up but not to the point it is packed, do speak to the facility for advice as they will know which size you need. It should be full, but not to the point you can’t get to everything easily. The only exception is the scenario we mentioned above where you are literally packing the unit up, then emptying it out again in the future, with no interim visits.
The six tips above can help you to make the most of your self storage space. If you’re still unsure how to stack and pack it properly, do speak to the facility you plan to use. They are experts in this field and will be more than happy to advise you on making the most of the unit you rent with them.