Storage units are a convenient way of keeping items when you don’t need them yet. Whether you’re storing off-season clothes, storing things for a move, or archiving business files, a storage unit is great for opening up more space at home. However, the unit isn’t unlimited, and it’s easy to run out of room if things aren’t organized properly. It’s vital you know how to pack your storage unit to store your items more efficiently. Try these tips to help maximize your space and get the most out of your storage unit.
Before you start, make a list of everything you’re putting in your storage unit. This will help you to keep track of everything in the unit. No more hunting down any lost coats and sweaters for you! Keep an inventory of everything you put in each box. The list can help you load your containers properly and avoid damage and overloading. Having a catalogue of your items makes it easier to arrange and categorize things for ease of access when you need to get them. Whenever you need something, you can consult the list to find which box you’ve placed it in.
Before loading anything in the unit, make a tentative map of where everything should go. Lay out the storage unit on a piece of paper and assign each box and item a spot. (Graph paper is a handy tool for this job.) This map will help you organize more efficiently. You may find that you don’t need as much space as you thought. Whenever you need to retrieve something, the map can also help you find them more quickly.
Maximizing your space includes having enough room for you to move. Clear pathways make it easier to move and retrieve items when you need them. Use your map and inventory to plan paths. Consider the size and shape of your boxes when making your aisles. Give yourself enough space to move boxes easily, without having to move sideways. Being liberal with your space also makes it more convenient when you have to take out boxes and sift through their contents.
One easy trick to maximizing space is using your walls. Use an “outside to inside” strategy to help you. Start by lining the walls with boxes and containers, then work your way inside to the centre. This approach can also make it easier for you to create paths to reach items inside your storage unit. This strategy can especially help you store more objects in a smaller unit. Placing pegboards on the walls will let you hang bags, tools, or art, leaving floor space for your boxes and larger items.
After arranging and categorizing all your boxes, it also helps to label them. Labelling makes it easier to find things when you need them, especially if you’ve also arranged beforehand. Read the labels when taking the boxes out to find things more easily. Use simple but specific tags to clearly identify the contents. For example, saying “knives,” “measuring cups,” or “pans” rather than “kitchen” would help you locate what you need in a hurry.
If you’re using your unit to store furniture you’re not using at the moment, consider dismantling them first. Large pieces like beds, desks, and dining sets can take up plenty of space and leave gaps. Disassemble your furniture before storage to avoid wasting any valuable space. After disassembly, pack the pieces flat to make them take up less space. It might take time to disassemble everything, but it pays off in the end.
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- Rethink Your Storage Containers
Users sometimes pile clothes and other items in an assortment of different boxes and plastic bags. Use uniform-sized storage supplies (e.g. cardboard boxes or plastic bins) instead. Plastic bags tend to rip and tear, spilling your items on the floor. They can also trap moisture and attract mildew, potentially causing damage to your things. Uniform sized boxes and bins are easier to store and stack, making it easier to keep the unit organized and clean.
- Use Vacuum-sealed Bags For Clothes
Clothes can take up a surprising amount of space (especially bulky things like blankets, winter coats, and thick sweaters). Store these items in vacuum-sealed bags to optimize space. Vacuum sealing comes with a ton of benefits, especially when it comes to conserving space. Sealing removes excess air inside the bags, which helps your clothes take up just a bit less space. Then you can store more bags inside bins and boxes, freeing up more space around the storage unit. As a bonus, this keeps your clothes fresh and clean when you unpack them later.
Take advantage of the storage unit’s height; this helps you store large objects in a relatively small area. Some units have high ceilings, which can help when stacking boxes. For example, stack mattresses on their ends to leave more floor space for other things. After that, you can use the tops to store pillows and cushions. Another thing to try is adding shelving. Use shelves to store small and medium objects without taking up more floor space. Storing those items like this lets you keep them organized for easier locating when you need them.
- Stack Your Boxes Strategically
Think about how to stack your boxes properly to save space and avoid damage. Stack the heavier boxes (e.g. the ones carrying books) on the bottom to give the rest a solid base. Then stack progressively lighter boxes, with the most fragile items on top. Consider stacking your boxes on pallets for easier and more stable vertical stacking. Pallets also keep your boxes elevated, keeping them more dry and protected. Make sure you’re using durable boxes that can take the pressure of being stacked on top of one another.
Your boxes aren’t the only way to store your possessions. You can store smaller objects inside larger ones to save even more space. For example, fill up old bags and suitcases with clothes and knick-knacks, then place the bags in boxes. Take a look at everything you’re storing in the unit and keep an eye out for empty spaces where you can stash more things.
Fragile items need extra protection, even if you’re keeping them in boxes. Pack your breakables (like mirrors and picture frames) with softer items like clothes or blankets for additional protection.
In Canada, the self-storage industry is booming, and now is a good time to take advantage of it. These tips can work great whether you already have a unit or you’re still shopping around. Storage units can free up more space at home and opens up more possibilities for your basements and garages. When you need safe and convenient storage, give Centron Self Storage a call at (647) 7491397. You can count on us to help keep your belongings secure.
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