Three Tips For Organizing Your Long-Term Storage Unit

24 February 2016
 Categories: Business, Blog


If you have rented a storage unit for long-term use because your housing situation has turned upside down, you may be thinking that you can pile your stuff in there and then wait for the day when you can empty out the unit into a new place to live. But if you're going to place things in the unit for more than a few weeks or so, you have to treat the unit like an extension of your home and keep it neat. Having a clean, well-organized unit can make you feel more hopeful that one day you will get your stuff out of there -- plus it makes it easier to find things if you need them. Here are three organizational tips for long-term storage that will leave you feeling happier and calmer.


Get freestanding shelving units for the boxes, even if you can put only one layer of boxes on each shelf. You can pick up relatively tall units for reasonable prices at home improvement stores. Using shelving not only looks neater, but it takes literal pressure off the boxes. If you stack boxes on top of one another, the bottom boxes can be slowly crushed over time. Shelving keeps them in better shape and makes it easier to grab the boxes you need, rather than hauling piles of other boxes out of the way first.

Leave Pathways

Choose a storage unit large enough so that you can leave at least one pathway, preferably two, through the items and to the back of the unit. You never know when you'll be able to remove a few items, and the pathways will let you access most of your stuff instead of having to empty out the unit just to reach something in back.

Periodic Cleanouts

Contrary to what current decluttering wisdom says, there's nothing wrong with having a long-term storage unit. Placing items into storage does not mean you don't need them; it means you currently don't have room for them, and these are merely items that can wait for the next time you have a large enough home to put them in. That being said, it is a good idea to periodically go through the items and get rid of what you've decided you don't need. For example, if you have a mattress in storage, and you find yourself thinking that maybe it would be better to buy a new mattress once you move into a new place, you may as well donate the old mattress and free up the space.

It's also a good idea to rearrange the boxes once in a while to ensure they're all still in good shape and to clean off webs or dust. Doing so will make the unit seem less dank on hot or damp days.

If you'd like more organizing tips for your storage unit, talk to the facilities in your area and see what strategies they've seen work. Long-term storage should be monitored, so start everything off on the right foot and get organized.