Imagine sitting at home on a cold winter night when your son or daughter says they need some baby pictures of themselves for a school project that’s due tomorrow. You remember that you keep most of your old family pictures in a shoebox in your nearby storage unit. You begrudgingly change from your pajamas into your winter clothes and lightly chastise your child for waiting until the last minute on their project.
The two of you get in the car and drive to your drive up storage unit. Luckily it has 24-hour access so you are able to get in without any issues. Unluckily, you decided to rent a unit without climate control, which means this treasure hunt will take place in the cold winter weather.
You remove your lock and open the large rolling door and reveal an unfortunate scene. One half of your storage unit is a giant pile of random pieces of furniture. The other half is filled with boxes of all different sizes precariously stacked on top of one another. The whole thing looks like the end of a game of jenga that could all come crashing down if you accidentally sneezed on it.
You tell your child, “Alright, we’re looking for a black shoe-box with a piece of tape labeled ‘Family Pictures’ on it.” and the search begins…
At Mattapoisett storage, we want to help you make the most out of your storage unit, so we have put together some basic tips for organizing your unit so that stories like this don’t ever happen to you.
If you don’t already have a storage unit with us and you’re just looking for ways to organize your closet at home, contact us today to see if having an easily accessible storage unit could be the solution you need!
1. Uniformity Among Containers
One of the simplest ways to make your unit more organized is by only using boxes that fit well together. Some people recommend only having one size of box for everything you want to store, but we understand that sometimes it doesn’t make sense to try and store little trinkets in a giant box. Our suggestion is to try to find a couple different sized boxes that fit well together and only use those two or three sized boxes.
Cardboard boxes work well and are the cheapest option. However, there are many systems of clear plastic tubs that work even better. Because of the clear sides, you can see what’s inside each bin, making organizing and accessing you stuff quicker and easier.
2. Go Vertical Whenever Possible
By putting everything in boxes or plastic tubs, you are able to fit much more stuff into an area than by just trying to make a big pile. This is because you can easily stack the containers vertically and make use of all three dimensions inside your storage unit. The more stuff you can fit in stackable boxes, the more vertical space you will be able to take advantage of!
3. Consider shelves
One problem you may have when stacking all of your boxes on top of each other is that you can only easily access whatever is in the top container. Otherwise, you will need to remove boxes to get to the lower one in the stack.
The easiest way to solve this problem is by buying or building shelves to put in your storage unit. By using shelves, you create multiple layers of containers but without removing the accessibility of what’s on the bottom.
4. Keep Your Boxes Organized
One of the hardest parts of organizing your storage space is keeping the contents inside your boxes organized. This means each box should only contain one type of item, or group of items. For example, you could have one box that just contains towels. You could also have a box that contains all of your kitchen gadgets. You want to make sure that your themes or categories are clear and simple so that when you need to find something obscure, you don’t have to go through seven boxes with obscure titles, you only have to search one or two boxes that have the only possible category for that item.
5. Label Everything
All of that being said, the categories you split your stuff into won’t matter one bit if you don’t have your containers labeled. Our advice here is quite simple. Label every container, and keep your labels large enough to read from a distance and clear enough that you know what is inside.
In other words, labeling six different boxes, “Miscellaneous Junk” is not much better than just not labeling them at all. Miscellaneous boxes may be a quick way to remove clutter from your house, but they cause a lot of headaches later on when you need to retrieve something sitting inside.
6. Disassemble Furniture — Or Use It!
If your storage unit is running out of space, one of our best tips is to disassemble large bulky furniture and store the pieces vertically. A bed frame can take up more than 20 square feet of floor space! Alternatively, if you disassemble it into a headboard, a foot board, and two runners, those pieces can be leaned vertically onto one of the walls and only take up three to five square feet.
Not all furniture needs to be taken apart to save space. Sometimes you can use the furniture to store more stuff! For example, if you are storing an old armoire, why not fill it with clothes from your old wardrobe that you still want to hang on to? That way you don’t have to reconstruct the armoire later on, but you are still making the best use of your space.
7. Consider a Larger Space
If you have tried the last six tips for optimizing the space inside your storage unit, but you are still not able to fit everything you need into your unit, we suggest considering renting a larger space. Here at Mattapoisett Self Storage, we have many sizes and options available. We want to help you find the unit that meets all of your needs, not just one or two. Contact us today and we will find the right size unit for all of your possessions.