Do you feel like you are constantly looking for items that you know are hiding somewhere in your house, but you can never find what you’re looking for? Well, you are not alone. Let’s face it. Most Americans have too much stuff. And we understand why — stuff is great! But sometimes it can be stressful to know that you own something but then never be able to actually find it when you need it.
Our last post — 7 Easy Tips on Organizing Your Storage Unit — gave some great tips that almost everyone can apply to create more useful space in their storage unit, or even in their garage and storage closets. In this post we will explore four more tips that require a bit more work, but when done correctly, can completely change the way you view your storage unit.
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Create aisles/walking space
Now that you have completed the basic tips for organizing your unit, such as putting everything in the same sized boxes or plastic containers, you can now start to really make the most out of your storage space. If you have standing shelves, we recommend using those shelves to make aisles in your storage unit.
You also want to make sure that everything is only one layer deep. If your boxes are stacked up three layers deep against a wall, then every box behind the outermost layer will be virtually inaccessible. By having only one layer of boxes — or two layers if it is accessible from the other side — you ensure that every box is completely accessible.
By creating shallow aisles, you can use more than just the space up against the walls, but you will still have enough room to walk through and be able to easily access everything you own.
Create a map
By creating aisles in your space, one disadvantage can be not being able to see everything all at once. While having vertical aisles throughout your storage unit may make the space slightly more complex than simply a giant pile of unorganized junk, it actually can make the space much more easy to use. By creating a simple map with each aisle labeled with its contents, you can ensure that finding your stuff will be simpler than ever before. Make sure to keep the map in the storage unit so you don’t find yourself in a situation where you open the door and realize that you left the map at home.
Prioritize Items Front to Back
Now that your space has a bit more organization, you may want to think a bit more about how things are laid out. We recommend prioritizing things that are going to be accessed the most frequently and placing them close to the front. That way, the need to go into the back of your storage unit will be minimized.
We also recommend keeping large items’ size in mind. For example, say you have a large armoire that you are keeping in your storage unit. It’s ok to keep it in the back, just make sure that there is enough space in at least one of your aisles to be able to move it out. That way, if you ever do need to get it out, you won’t be forced to rearrange the entire storage unit to get it out without knocking things over.
List of items
Our final tip is a culmination of everything that came before. Now that your storage space has easily accessible aisles and shelves with boxes numbered and categorized, you may feel that you don’t need to change anything else. Some simple organization can really help make a space much easier and more pleasant to use. However, making a list of your items has a couple huge benefits. The first one being, you can see what is in your storage unit without ever leaving the comfort of your home. If you really need to find something and you think it’s out in the storage unit, you can simply check your list to make sure a trip to the storage facility is really necessary.
Making a list of your items may seem like a fortuitous task, but when we talk about lists for your storage unit, we don’t necessarily mean that you need to make a list of every single item in there. One way to do it is to have a list of the labels on each of your boxes, as well as maybe a few items in each box. This can be especially helpful with really obscure items. That way, when it comes time to find your kit for making sugar rockets, you can look at your list and see exactly where to look for it.
If you really want to take this tip to the extreme you can digitize your list for optimal efficiency. By writing a number on each container, you can then add each individual item in the container into a separate line in a Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet. You can even add categories or notes into other columns if you want.
You may find this task to be more easily completed as a two-person job. That way, one of you can read off the contents of each container while the other quickly types in the data. Here is an example of what such a spreadsheet might look like:
|Item Name||Box #||Category||Notes|
|Spatulas||| 12||| Kitchen Supplies||| 4 Spatulas|
|Apple Corer||| 12||| Kitchen Supplies||| –|
|Old Journals||| 13||| Memories||| 3 Journals|
|Kid’s Yearbooks||| 13||| Memories||| 5 Yearbooks|
|Legos||| 14||| Toys||| –|
|Skis||| No Box||| Sports Equipment||| Back Right Corner|
Once you have documented all the items in your storage, finding that item when you need it will now be as easy as doing a quick search (CTRL+F) in your spreadsheet. Letting your computer do the searching is much faster and much less stressful than trying to dig through all of your boxes.
At Mattapoisett Self Storage, we want to make sure that our customers are getting the most out of their storage units. We believe that by following these tips, you can make sure that your storage unit is a pleasant and usable space.
This way, when you realize you need to make a trip to your local storage unit, instead of being filled with dread and fear that you won’t be able to find what you need, you will be excited to come out and see all of your stuff neatly organized.
If you don’t already have a storage unit with Mattapoisett Self Storage, what are you waiting for? From well-lit, climate controlled indoor storage units to outdoor spaces for boats and RVs with access to electricity and water, we can fill all of your storage needs. Contact us today to see how Mattapoisett Self Storage can help you store your stuff.