Self-storage units are an essential service while you are moving. Unfortunately, it is easy to get much less out of your storage unit than you could if you are not careful about how you organize your belongings inside the unit. Here are four tips that can help you use your storage unit as efficiently as possible.
Place the Items You Will Need Soonest in the Front
One of the most frustrating parts of using a storage unit is realizing that an item you need is buried under other less important belongings. While it is always possible to need an item from your storage unit suddenly and unexpectedly, you can avoid this problem for items that you commonly use by placing them in the front of the unit.
The best way to make sure that the items you will need soonest end up in the front of the storage unit is to load them onto the moving truck first. The moving truck will be unloaded from the back to the front, so your most-needed items will naturally be placed in the front of the storage unit during the unloading process.
Stack From the Walls Inward
While there will almost always be some level of disorganization in any storage unit, your unit will be much easier to access if you leave a walkway in the middle. Creating a walkway after you have already unloaded all your belongings can be difficult, so it is best to have a plan to create a walkway before you place the first box inside the unit.
The best way to create a walkway in your storage unit is to stack items along the back wall first, then the side walls, and finally start stacking toward the center when there is no wall space left. Be sure to stack your boxes with the largest ones on the floor to reduce the chance that your belongings will topple and foil your efforts by cluttering up the walkway.
Place the Tallest Items in the Back of the Unit
You can take advantage of the varying height of the items you put in storage to get a better overview of your items at a glance. Placing the tallest items along the back wall of the storage unit will allow them to remain visible over the rest of your items. You can even exaggerate the effect by creating a staircase system of pallets along the edges of the unit, with the tallest pallet stacks in the back.
An added benefit of placing your belongings on pallets is that they will be protected from moisture on the floor of the storage unit that could promote mold growth. If you are considering the pallet method, you should be sure that you have chosen a storage unit that is large enough to fit the pallets and your belongings while still leaving plenty of walking space in the center.
Create an Inventory for Your Stored Items
A little bit of organization on paper never hurts any project, and using a storage unit is no exception. While labels go a long way toward getting your items back in order when you remove them from storage, they are only the first step. Labeling boxes by their content and then writing each label name next to the room that it belongs in is a good system for quick and painless unpacking.
A paper inventory can also be a valuable asset for navigating your belongings while they are still stored. Boxes can get turned around as they are placed in the unit, causing you to end up with "mystery boxes" with labels that are facing a wall or corner. You can use your inventory to quickly note the location of each box in your storage unit so that it is easier to find any item you are looking for.
Using a self-storage unit efficiently will help your move go more smoothly and make it easy to organize and unpack your belongings when you arrive at your new home. If you are looking for a moving company to help you transport your belongings to or from a storage unit, check out one like Bekins Van Lines Inc.