You’ve paid for a self-storage unit, so you need to get the most out of it. Improper organisation strategies will mean you don’t maximise the storage space inside your unit. You’re wasting lots of space that could be taken up by more of your belongings. After all, the more items you store in a self-storage unit, the better value for money it becomes. 

Three things must come to mind when organising self-storage: 

  • Categorising your items correctly
  • Storing the items efficiently
  • Making it easy to access the items

In this article, we’ll delve into practical and efficient organisation tips with innovative ways to tick all the boxes above. Keep on reading to find out how you can maximise your self-storage unit! 

Write An Inventory List With Categories

The first task is to create an inventory list detailing everything in your self-storage unit. This is beneficial for a couple of reasons: 

  1. It helps you keep track of everything in the unit so nothing gets lost
  2. It lets you split your items into categories

Look at all the items you’re putting in the unit and make a note of them in a spreadsheet or notepad. Section everything into separate categories depending on what they are. For personal self-storage, you could have a category for clothing, electronics, photos, family heirlooms and so on. Those of you using self-storage for business purposes may have categories like documents, electrical goods and specific product categories if you store your stock in the unit. 

Having this inventory list will let you know what’s in the unit while giving you a good idea of where it’s being kept. If you’re keen to take out some old family jewellery, you can check the list to make sure it’s in your unit and to know that it’ll be with other family heirlooms. Simply look for where they’re stored and you’ll access it with ease. 

Pack Your Items In Labelled Boxes

It’s way easier to find things in a self-storage unit when your items are packed up and labelled. You’ve probably seen TV programs where people bid on the contents of storage units. They’re pretty fun to watch, but all these units are organised the same way; the items aren’t packed and it’s a cacophony of junk strewn everywhere. 

This is the exact opposite of what you’re hoping to achieve! 

Grab your inventory list and pack items into boxes based on their categories. You can even have sub-categories within each category to make life easier. Pack everything into strong moving boxes and be sure to slap a clear label on each side of the box. This makes it easy to spot the box and understand what’s inside. 

Depending on how many items you have within each category, some of the categories might only require one box for everything. As an example, your small business might only require one box with all of its documents. On the other hand, if the documents don’t fit in one box, you might require one for financial documents, one for administration documents and so on. 

Regardless of the system you employ when categorising items, be sure that every box is labelled so you know its contents. At this stage, you know which items will be stored next to one another – but you still have to prepare your unit for all the items. 

Use Shelving To Maximise Vertical Space Around Your Unit

The most common self-storage unit organisation mistake is to only use the floor space. You load everything on the floor – possibly stacking items on one another – until you run out of room. Doing so completely neglects the vertical space around the walls! 

Install storage racks or shelving units around the outside of your unit. Measure the size of your boxes to ensure that there’s enough space between the shelves. From here, you can stack boxes on the shelves while keeping them within their categories. In other words, stack all your clothing boxes next to one another with electrical goods in another group. 

This helps you pinpoint items the moment you open the unit, improving the accessibility. 

Store Heavy Stuff On The Bottom And Light Stuff At The Top

It’s way easier to move heavy items from the floor or maybe one shelf above the ground than it is to lift them from up high. Aside from being a safety hazard, it’s simply impractical. When you’re organising the shelves/racks around your self-storage unit, be sure to stack things from heavy to light. 

The lightest items should be the highest in the unit as it is far easier to reach up and remove them. You reduce the risk of injuries and lower the chances of heavy items crushing lighter ones beneath. 

Place Pallets Under Bulky Items

As mentioned above, your heaviest items should be stored on the floor. This might include furniture, very heavy boxes, etc. Instead of placing them directly on the floor, put these items on pallets. 

Why? Because it a) protects them against the flooring and b) makes it far easier to move them out of your storage unit. You can use a pallet jack that slips under the pallet and raises it off the floor. It then lets you pull or push the item with minimal strength required. This is a much better option than painfully trying to drag or push heavy items along the floor! 

Create A Layout Map Of Your Storage Unit

After following the previous tips, you should have a neatly organised self-storage unit. Shelving/racks are used along the walls to create more space while the heaviest items are nicely placed in categories across the floor. Make sure there’s enough space for you to walk in and move around or it’ll be impossible to access anything! 

Your final task is to draw a map of your storage unit. You don’t need to be artistically gifted to do this! Look at your unit and make a note of where everything is. This map will serve you well when you need to take anything out of your unit. Begin by looking at your inventory to check if the item actually is in the unit. Then, consult your “map” and it’ll tell you where it’s located. Instead of rooting around and moving things that don’t need to be moved, you simply head to the right place and keep everything as organised as possible.