How to Organize Your Storage Unit

Storage Basics

October 11th, 2021

Maybe your need for a storage unit has been months in the planning. Or maybe, you’ve had an unexpected home repair that’s pushing you into a hotel for a few weeks and you need to store your belongings. Or maybe, you need convenient overflow storage for your business, or your small apartment. No matter why you need a storage unit, a little organization will help you stay sane, find things you need, and keep your belongings in good shape.
If you don’t have time to read the explanations of our tips, here’s a quick list to get you started organizing your storage unit:
  1. Clean your storage unit, clean your belongings.
  2. Label boxes clearly.
  3. Make an inventory list of your storage unit.
  4. Large, heavy items you don’t need on the bottom at the back of your storage unit.
  5. Keep a center aisle.
  6. Think vertical: stack, stack, stack.
  7. Keep needed items at the front in clear bins, if possible.

Clean Your Storage Unit, Clean Your Belongings

It’s likely that when the previous renter of your storage unit moved out, the unit was reviewed and cleaned by an Alamo staff member. Still, there could be some debris that was missed. Take a broom and sweep out the unit, then take the broom and clean the corners of the unit where spider webs might be located. Now, your storage unit is ready.
Cleaning your items before packing them or loading them into the storage unit is a good way to review each item for any damage, and to make sure they’ll be ready for use or display when you move them back to where you want them in your home.

Label Boxes Clearly

Make your life easier to unpack by labeling every box or piece of furniture clearly. For labels, you’ll likely want two types of information. One, you’ll want to list the room in your home these items came from. And two, you’ll want to list what items or what types of items are in the box. Another organizational method could include numbering the box, and then having that number correspond to a master list of inventory.

Make an Inventory List of Your Storage Unit

While it may be quite a feat to list every single item you pack into a storage unit, we suggest being as thorough as possible in cataloging your items should there be any cause—natural or manmade—that would disturb your belongings.
As you think about making your inventory list, consider what items would cost if you had to replace them—the costly items, or the hard to replace items are those that you want to make sure are included in the inventory. Other items, like boxes of clothes can be listed “in general” as: 5 boxes of clothes (not every piece of clothing has to be listed on the inventory).
This inventory list will come in handy if you require more than one storage unit for your belongings, and need to know which unit houses which items. An inventory list will also help with any insurance claims should your unit be damaged in any way.

Large, Heavy Items on the Bottom at the Back

Refrigerators or washers and dryers aren’t going to be items that you’ll need to access while they’re in storage. They’re heavy and large and can be easily placed at the back of the storage unit. Boxes or bins that include heavy items should be packed tightly, and to the top of the box, and placed on the floor.
Stacking heavy boxes higher from the floor could cause stacks to fall, damaging items or people who might be in the unit at the time.

Keep a Center Aisle

To make it easier to move around your storage unit, keep a center aisle as wide as a dining room chair. This will help you to maneuver through stacks, and pull down any boxes that you need to access in other parts of the unit.

Think Vertical

Stacking is your friend in the organization of a storage unit. Make boxes as uniform as possible. Fill boxes to the top, and tightly packed. Tape up boxes thoroughly. Place the heaviest box on the bottom, then the next heaviest on top of that, then repeat all the way up to as high as you need to go. Boxes can get smaller and lighter as you ascend, but remember that boxes need to be full and solid so that boxes don’t sink down within the contents of the boxes beneath them, creating unsteadiness and danger.

Keep Needed Items in the Front

No matter how meticulously you plan what you’re placing into storage and what you’re keeping out, you’ll likely always wind up in some way or another needing something from your storage unit.
Think through what those items might be—perhaps clothing or small appliances, or special clothing—and place those items at the front of the storage unit and in clear bins. Clear plastic bins are more expensive than cardboard boxes, that’s why we don’t suggest you buy hundreds of them for all of your storage or moving needs. But having a few clear plastic bins that hold special items will help you find some things a little faster.
At Alamo Mini-Storage, our resident managers have seen storage units organized effectively and ineffectively. If you need some help or insight into how to make your storage unit easy to access, ask them for their best tips.
And finally, when renting a storage unit, don’t forget to also:
Reserve a storage unit with Alamo Mini-Storage today!