1. Make a storage plan
- How long will it take to organize your storage unit? If it has been a while since you last organized or cleaned the unit, try to get an idea of how long the process will take. If the unit is not too bad, you may be able to finish in one short trip. But if the storage unit is very disorganized, it might take several sessions. And you may need extra time if you are cleaning out sentimental items; it can be an emotional process.
- Do you need any of these items before you start: shelves, bins, boxes, labels, marker, rags or paper towels, cleaners, broom, dustpan, trash bags?
- Do you need help? If it is a big job, you might need help with heavy items.
2. Start organizing
- If the unit is full, you may need to remove some items to give you space to work.
- Take this time to dust off shelves if you have them. If you don’t have shelves, now is a great time to add some.
- Designate areas or receptacles for trash, donates, and items to sell. As you go through the unit, move items to the appropriate area.
- If needed, repack the items you are keeping in plastic bins or sturdy cardboard boxes. Bins and boxes of similar sizes are easier to stack.
- Put items in appropriately sized boxes. Books and heavier items should go into smaller bins. Lighter items can go into bigger bins.
- Re-wrap fragile items to keep them safe from breakage.
- Label each box neatly on the side you will see when stacked.
- As you pack or repack the boxes, make a list of everything in the unit. You can take notes on your phone or on a notepad. Or snap photos of the items and make the list later. This list will come in handy when you are searching for items and aren’t sure if they are in the storage unit or not.
3. Finish up
- Sweep if necessary.
- If selling items online take photos for online listings. Take items home if you are selling at a garage sale.
- Dispose of trash and recyclables. Take donation items to the donation center.
Congratulations — Your storage unit is now clean and organized!