Once you finally made the decision to get a storage unit, regardless of the reason, you probably haven’t regretted the decision. And even if you did, you can simply stop renting.
In any case, if you continue to rent, the unit must be serving its purpose. Sometimes it works so well that you realize you need more space. That’s where your love affair with the space can come to an end. You want more space, but you don’t want the extra cost.
After decades in the business, our experience has shown that there are three levels of contents in storage spaces: way too little, way too much and way too unorganized. Of course, if your storage space isn’t very crowded, you should be able to squeeze in a few more items. If it’s so packed that you can’t squeeze a sheet of paper under the ceiling, then you definitely need more space.
But it’s that third ‘state of being’ for storage units that’s the most wasteful. An unorganized space will always have extra room, but you won’t know it.
That is at least until you get the space organized. Here are five things you can do to better organize your storage unit.
A primary source of disorganization is not having a place for everything in the unit. That starts with using storage bins to keep similar things so they aren’t strewn all over the unit. Presuming you have an idea of what’s in the unit, get some cardboard boxes or plastic containers to suit and sort the contents of the unit into them. If you can, get transparent plastic containers so you can see at least some of the contents. Try to keep the containers to a few uniform sizes so they can be stacked.
One of the worst space sucks is clothes left in a pile on the floor of a unit. It tends to expand like a blob. Clothing takes up the least space when it is hung, which also keeps the clothing in better condition. Use a wardrobe box or clothing racks to hang your clothes and cover it all with a dust cover.
Shelves are just about the greatest space maximizer ever. They let you use almost every square inch of space from the floor to the ceiling. And they’re not difficult to build. You can either build your own or assemble pre-fab wood or metal shelving. Either way, try to design your shelves to best accommodate the storage bins you bought.
Even if you managed to get see-through containers, you should put a label on all your containers, and, if it helps, even on your shelving. If you have a wide range of items in each container, it will be helpful to create a list of them all. You can attach the list to the outside of the container, leave it in the container, or take it with you – remembering to make a note of which box each label refers to.
Most of the wasted space in storage units is above the first few feet of height in the unit. This is where the shelving really helps because it lets you take advantage of that space. You should try to use that overhead space whenever possible. For example, those skis that can’t fit in your shelves should be stored vertically, not horizontally. If you don’t have shelves, make sure the containers you use are strong enough to be stacked. Whether you stack, shelve are otherwise ‘build up’ in your storage space, remember to but heavier containers below and lighter containers above. It’s for your safety and the ease of moving the containers.
You should always try to use as much of the space you have before deciding to rent more. And if you rent a storage unit from us here at Vault, you get more than average height in your unit, offering up to 30% more space than competitors’ units, all for no extra cost.