I knew a couple who moved almost once a year for four consecutive years. Because of this, they had at least three storage units filled with stuff that they didn’t want to get rid of but wasn’t important enough to bring into their current house.
Occasionally, the need for some obscure item would arise; a Scrabble board game, a lighted reindeer yard decoration, a certain borrowed quilt. Pandemonium would ensue, because not only did either of them have zero ideas where in the storage unit the particular item was located, but they didn’t even know which storage unit it was in. Inevitably, arguments arose, shoulders shrugged, and replacement items were purchased (and then stored as well). There is an easier way that not only saves arguments but time and money too.
How to Organize your Self Storage Unit in 3 Steps:
STEP 1- Label the Box and Make a Master List
Whether you prefer plastic or cardboard boxes they are hard to see through, especially when Tetrised ten feet deep into a storage unit. Load your box up and then write a list of everything that’s in it, and then label the box, A sharpie or stickers will do fine. For instance, for a box of board games, you could label it as “Boardgames 1, 2, 3, etc…” Then, a year later, when you’re looking for that certain Scrabble game you can refer to your master list and see that indeed it is located in the box labeled “Boardgames 2.”
STEP 2- Make a Map
Ok, so now that you know what box the Scrabble game is in, where exactly is that? As you’re loading and stacking your storage unit, draw up a map of quadrants along with North, South, East, and West symbols, and write in what boxes or items are in each quadrant. When you refer back to this map, you will discover that the Scrabble game is living in Quad 3, and not Quad 1, because that’s where the lighted reindeer is staying with the holiday decorations, which will be good to know come December. Obviously, if you have more than one unit, make more than one map and label them UNIT 1, UNIT 2, etc.
As you’re loading and stacking your storage unit, draw up a map of quadrants along with North, South, East, and West symbols, and write in what boxes or items are in each quadrant.
STEP 3- Make an Aisle or Two
Because we’re paying for storage units by the square foot, it’s tempting to just stuff that sucker full to the brim, floor to ceiling, front to back, until there’s not an inch of available airspace. This may be an okay strategy if you are only for storing short-term. But if you’re like my friends, they occasionally needed to dig through some boxes to retrieve something. If you can make at least one aisle down the middle of the unit, you will be able to access the things in the back without having to unload everything in front of it. It doesn’t have to be a very large aisle, just big enough so that you can walk through it. For extra points, see if you can make a horizontal aisle as well, like a cross, so your unit is subdivided into easily accessible sections.
If you do these 3 Steps and nothing else to organize your storage unit, you will be much happier with your storage unit. And you won’t annoy your elderly mother when she wants to make sure you still have that quilt she gave you and that you didn’t give it the Salvation Army.
Here is a tutorial video on how to register yourself as a Storage Host & add your garage space as a unit: