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A Guide to Organizing Your Storage Unit 

  Organize Your Unit  


If you’re dealing with stress while preparing to move items into a self storage unit, you may just want to pack your belongings, put them in storage, and forget about them for a while. That can be a mistake. When you need to get items later, your unit won’t be organized well enough for you to get what you need easily.

Here are some suggestions for organizing your storage unit and keeping at least one part of your life stress free:

Preparing Your Stuff for Storage


A little preparation can go a long way, especially when packing a storing your stuff.  Check out our Guide to Packing Like a Pro for a more detailed guide. In the meantime, keep these two things in mind:  keep an inventory and use good boxes.

Inventory Everything

Write the inventory on a piece of paper for ease (labeling boxes as you pack can help) and then transcribe it to a spreadsheet on the computer. You should keep a hard copy with your unit in the front.  If you don’t want to bother with the computer, make a copy of your inventory to keep at home too.

Use Sturdy Boxes

If you’re going to stack boxes (and you should), make sure they’re good quality that can hold at least 50 pounds. There are two choices. Some prefer using plastic tubs, which tend to be strong and keep moisture out. The downside however, is they also trap moisture in with your stuff. Others prefer the traditional cardboard boxes, which are more breathable. However, in some instances cardboard can attract pests (especially if you are storing edible/scented items).  A lot of it comes down to what you are storing and how much time you have to prepare your stuff.

Organizing Your Stuff


Stack From Heavy to Light

Your heavier items should go toward the bottom of your unit, and your lighter ones, higher up. There are a couple of reasons for this. To keep items from breaking and boxes from crushing one another, stack based on fragility and weight. Heavy boxes and items should be placed at the bottom.  As you start to stack, things should get lighter with the most fragile on top. If you’re using shelves, you don’t want heavy items to fall on you when you’re getting them down.

Organized Storage Unit with Shelves


Depending on the size of your unit, having an aisle you can walk through to get to things in the back is very handy. This also allows for better air flow, which can limit musty odors and mold growth.


Shelves are a great alternative or supplement to stacking and are especially useful if you’re storing items that don’t box easily or you’re using commercial storage for your business’s inventory.

You can provide your own shelving, but remember you can’t attach the shelving to the walls, so pick a unit with a sturdy base.


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