Five Simple Steps To Organizing Your Storage Unit

Packing up and moving your household can be an overwhelming task.  And it's one that most of us will do at least once in our lives.  For example, the American Moving and Storage Industry estimated that more than 40 million people moved their household in 2013.  That's a lot of stuff to organize and keep track of! 

Even aside from the work involved in packing and unpacking, there are special considerations if you need to use a storage unit during part of your move.  Failing to plan now - before loading anything into storage - will result in waste of time and energy later. 

There are five steps to success with organizing your storage area.  What are they?

  1. Size.  Consider a unit slightly larger than your needs.  The reason?  Leave room for a walkway or walking paths.  There's a good chance that you'll need to get at least one thing out of that unit during your storage time.  Plan ahead to be rummaging around inside the unit at least once. 
  2. Planning.  Think about your storage space before moving a single box.  Don't be afraid to sketch out your storage plan or mark off a space the size of your storage unit in the yard or inside your current home.
  3. Pallets.  Think pallets and plastic tarps for protection.  Many storage units are unheated and if you're in an area prone to big temperature changes, this can cause leakage.  Improperly-filled boxes or packed liquids can break during storage, damaging things around and below them.  Pallets provide protection from the ground and plastic provides protection from neighboring items. 
  4. Labels.  Mark boxes as you fill them, always in the same place on multiple sides of the box.  Make sure one of the labels faces any walking space you've set up inside your unit.  For the best result, don't write directly on the box; instead, use plain white labels from an office supply store.  Blog Thrifty Fun suggests going even further by color coding boxes for different rooms.  You can easily color-code boxes with price tags or stickers available at any dollar store. 
  5. Inventory.  If you're ever going to find anything in your storage unit again, it's vital to know what's going in there as you fill it.  Write it down.  Make a copy for your records and hang one inventory copy near the door.  To prepare for the possibility of filing an insurance claim for any disaster, reminds you to make sure you take photos of items that are particularly valuable and to be specific in descriptions.    

There's an art and a science to organizing your storage area.  While you certainly can just throw your stuff inside and close the door, you may regret it when you open the door again.  Avoid the pain later by spending a few extra moments at each of these five steps. 

If you're looking for a great place to store your stuff, check out American Storage.