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For Your Residence February 28, 2023

5 Tips for Organizing and Maximizing Your Storage Unit Space

A stack of see-through plastic storage totes

A storage unit is a secure place to store various belongings on a permanent or temporary basis. It is an economical option for keeping stuff safely put away off-site until required. Storage units offer protection from damage due to environmental factors, and also come equipped with safety and security features that provide a  safeguard against hazards like fire or theft.

You may have decided to use a storage unit to store business inventory. Or maybe your current house is under renovation, and you needed a place to store away some of your stuff.

It may be that your dream modular home with a garage is getting ready, and you have decided to use a storage unit to better enjoy your new and organized, clutter-free living space. Maybe you wanted to save some time on your moving day. A storage unit may just be the answer to your storage needs, but you can get even more out of it by organizing it well. Listed below are 5 tips for organizing and maximizing your storage unit space:

Start With a Well-Thought-Out Storage Strategy

A great way to approach your storage process is to preplan the process. List out all the items that need to go inside the storage unit in a master list. It seems like an exhaustive and extensive task, but it is something that will prove very useful and convenient in the long term. You will need to pick an appropriate unit size to store your things, so some research into and knowledge about the available sizes helps greatly.

Formulate categories for all the items that will go in the storage unit. Your categories could be according to the seasons for your household items, or any such categories that seem reasonable as per your storage and accessibility needs.

Once you have decided on the item categories, it may be a good idea to divide the storage space accordingly. Of course, you may not always be able to rigidly compartmentalize your storage unit, because some items may be too large for the area you allocated  or they may fit into more than one category. Some categories may have more or fewer items, so rigid compartmentalization could lead to a waste of space.  However, having at least some sort of organized system for storage makes the whole process of access easier later. Next, loosely assign sections or sides of the storage unit to the item categories you defined.

You can get creative with your planning process. Make a rough map of the storage unit. You could either put it down on paper or, for a more complex scheme, use a floor plan app to design it. Color code the map if you so wish. Having a map will help keep your storage unit organized and tidy. If you share a unit with family members or if it has to be accessible to employees or colleagues, a map will ensure people can get to whatever they need easily and without inconvenience.

Utilize the Nesting Method

Once you have your item categories and master list ready, and your map is good to go, you have a proper idea of where you are going to store which items. Now, it is time to pack stuff into boxes. Getting the right type and size of boxes is important, too. For additional packing options, you may find that many of your items have some hollow space in or around them, like drawers, compartments, and shelves. These spaces can be utilized by storing other smaller items in them. This strategy will help you save space and maximize your storage unit.

Label Your Boxes

You have packed your stuff into boxes and they are now ready to go into the storage unit. A very underrated but useful tip is to label the boxes. Label the boxes with serial numbers or item categories that correspond to your master list. Make sure that the labels are easily readable. Put the labels on the top and the sides of the boxes, since labelling in this manner not only ensures that your storage unit is organized well, but also that your belongings are easy to find when you need them. You won’t have to open every box and look for the item you need, so this step will help you save time. Alternatively, or additionally, wherever possible, you can even use clear bins to store your items for ease of access.

Use an Efficient Stacking Strategy

Stacking the boxes might seem obvious, but it works better if done in a systematic way. Place the heaviest boxes or items at the bottom, so that these can act as an anchor for the rest. It is best to keep your stacks manageable, so don’t stack so high that you have difficulty reaching the top. The stacks should also not be so dangerously high that they can topple over.

As far as possible, use boxes of the same size for ease of stacking. Alternatively, or additionally, you can group and stack boxes of the same size together. This is in the scenario where you are using different sizes of boxes. A novel approach to stacking boxes is to lay them out like you would lay out bricks. This could be the right strategy for you if you want to store things for long periods of time and your key consideration is stability.

Think of All the Storage Unit Dimensions

The usual way people tend to use storage space is by paying more attention only to the floor space. Instead, you can make maximum use of your storage unit by taking into account all of its dimensions. Most storage units have high ceiling clearance, so stand items up vertically where possible to take advantage of the unit height. You could also make better use of the storage unit by adding or using free-standing shelves, on which quite a few items can comfortably fit. You can also hang up some tools on peg boards and prop them against the walls. Once you start thinking of all the dimensions of a storage unit, you can come up with many creative and innovative ways to maximize the unit.

These were a few tips to get you started on your storage unit organization journey. Think out of the box to maximize and organize your boxes and your storage space!


Written by Moriah West

Moriah West is the head of sales at Next Modular. She has an extensive background in urban planning and 4 years of experience in modular home construction. Mixing the two skills together, she's an expert in helping clients find the home of their dreams while answering any pending questions.