Guidelines for organizing your storage space

Published on 7/1/2020

Guidelines for organizing your storage

A properly organized storage unit.

There is a common misconception among those with no experience in the matter that using a storage unit requires no preparation or forethought. A surprising number of people believe that they can simply pack up their items and stack them up in a storage unit without any planning or prior research. Well, if you want to make the most out of your storage space, you need to know how to prepare your items for it and how to organize it efficiently. With this in mind, we are going to take a closer look at how to tackle organizing your storage space.

Preparing items for storage

Organizing your storage space starts before you even put your first items in it. In order to be able to store your items safely and have easy access to them, you need to prepare them properly. So, before we start tackling the layout of your unit, we are first going to go over the necessary preparations for storage.

Packing materials

While there are numerous ways in which you can deal with packing for storage, in essence, you will have to pick between two: whether you will use cardboard boxes or plastic bins. Cardboard boxes are the usual choice since they are inexpensive and easy to handle. Just make sure that the boxes you get are of good quality. The biggest downside to cardboard boxes is that they are usually not reusable. After one or two uses, their integrity quickly deteriorates, and you cannot safely use them for storage. So, if you plan on storing your items for a long time, make sure to get top quality cardboard boxes.

On the other hand, plastic bins can be reused as many times as you see fit. This is why they are often used for storage when you need to take your items in and out of it. The main downside to them is that they can be expensive. But, if you consider that quality plastic bins can last you for years, you will easily see that this is a worthwhile expense. Plus, since unlike cardboard boxes, you won't be throwing away your plastic after a couple of uses, they are also the eco-friendlier option.

Packing procedure

As we've already covered packing boxes in a previous article, we won't go in much depth here. The only thing that we'll mention is that you need to get proper padding and wrapping supplies,  especially if you need to store fragile items. Avoid "crafty homemade padding" as it is often unreliable.

Proper labeling

In order to tackle organizing your storage space with ease, you need to label your boxes properly. This includes using a fluorescent, waterproof marker, and writing in big, easily noticeable letters. Remember, it is not just you who will handle your boxes. If you hire movers to help you, they will also need to be able to easily observe what it inside your boxes. This is especially important to remember if you want to relocate hassle-free from another state. For such long-distance moves, companies sometimes use multiple moving teams, which makes having clearly labeled boxes paramount. You also need to ensure that items that are heavy and/or fragile have a clear notification on the box.

How to organize your storage space

With your boxes properly packed and labeled, you can finally start organizing your storage space. The first thing to do is to figure out how you are going to use it. There is a big difference between storing your items for a long-term, uninterrupted period, and storing them for dynamic use, where you will regularly take items in and out. You will have a much easier time categorizing your storage once you figure out how you are going to use it.

Dynamic storage use

The main thing here is to organize your items according to the frequency of use. The more frequently you plan on using certain items, the easier they should be to access. So, try to sort them out before putting them in storage, and simply place the most necessary items last. Also, you want to have a clear path in the middle of your storage unit so that you can easily access numerous boxes. To do so, you need to place boxes on both ends of your storage unit and slowly fill up space as you come closer to the middle.

For this dynamic storage use, your best choice is to use plastic containers. They can be reopened multiple times without compromising their sturdiness. Also, with them, you won't have to worry about weight distribution, and you can simply keep the accessibility of your items in mind.

Long-term storage

For long-term storage, you need to organize your storage unit so that you don't have to check up on your items often. The best thing to do this is to prepare properly and work with a good storage company. But, there are a couple of things you can do to further ensure the safety of your items.

The first thing to do is to either put something between the bottom layer of the cardboard boxes and the floor, or use plastic bins for your bottom layer. Accidents do happen, and your storage unit can become flooded. If this happens, you'll be avoiding a definite catastrophe by ensuring that your bottom layer of boxes is safe. So, either lift them from the ground or use plastic (waterproof) bins.

The second thing to keep in mind is weight distribution. Cardboard boxes are a good option for long-term storage since they are cost-effective. However, they don't do well with a lot of weight. You can mitigate this with metal shelves, but they can take up too much space. So, you need to ensure that the heaviest boxes go on the bottom. After that go the second heaviest, until the lightest ones go on top.

A final tip about organizing your storage space

The final piece of advice we have for you is to be attentive. A small oversight can cause you a lot of hassle, which is why you want to organize your storage space with due care. Ensure that your boxes sit safely and that every label is facing you for easy identification. Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions about storage use.