6 Tips for Making the Most of Your Storage Units
Perhaps your apartment has run out of storage space, moving to a new neighborhood, or downsizing to a smaller home. Or, you might be planning some home improvements and need a safe, climate-controlled place to store your belongings until the project is over. Whatever your situation, you’ll find that renting a self-storage unit to keep all your extra stuff is your safest bet.
In particular, given the high apartment rent prices and low average salary in the Lake Charles area, it’s never a good idea to move to a bigger apartment or rent a room to store your extra belongings. Storage units provide a cost-effective alternative for keeping your surplus furniture and seasonal items safe without cluttering your home.
However, it’s important to pack, arrange, and organize your storage space so that you can easily locate anything you require when you need it. Use these helpful tips to ensure that your unit is well-organized while utilizing the storage space to its fullest capacity.
1. Use Professional Moving Boxes Available At The Storage Facility
While you may be tempted to use recycled boxes and moving supplies to pack your belongings, it’s always better to buy high-quality, durable moving boxes. When you book storage units in your area, like Lake Charles storage units, see if they also offer storage boxes. When you are packing up your home, you are going to require boxes of varying sizes, such as:
- Small cartons to hold small items like books, office supplies, small kitchen utensils, shoes, toiletries, photo frames, and decorative knick-knacks.
- Medium cartons to pack miscellaneous, medium-sized items, such as pots and pans, electrical appliances, lamps, vases, games, clothes, thin bed sheets, etc.
- Large cartons for objects that occupy a lot of space. These items can include seasonal gear and equipment, stuffed toys, duvets, and disassembled furniture pieces.
Remember to buy more small and medium-sized containers and only a few large ones. This is because, thanks to their smaller dimensions, small and medium boxes sag less and hence, are less likely to break. They are also easy to carry and stack, even if filled to the brim. Large cartons, however, are difficult to lift and do not hold up well, especially if they are at the bottom of the stack. Also, pick one box size for most of your items. Having boxes that are all the same size makes them easier to stack and move around.
2. Make An Inventory Of Everything You’ve Put Into Storage
When putting a large number of things into storage, it might be challenging to remember every one of them. Although large pieces of furniture, such as a bed or sofa, are simple to recall, smaller objects, such as decorative art pieces, photos, and clothing, are often forgotten after being stored for months. It’s best to create an inventory spreadsheet to keep track of everything as you start packing. If you’d rather keep everything digital, you can even use dictation software to save yourself the trouble of typing.
3. Label All The Boxes
It’s not ideal to have a building staff member stumble over unmarked cartons and incorrectly assume they’re garbage. It would be less of a hassle to unpack the boxes after they have been delivered back to your home if they were labeled and/or color-coded according to the room or contents. When putting a box into storage, turn its labeled part towards the door, so you can read it as soon as you walk in.
4. Arrange Your Things Vertically And Upright
Although it may seem obvious, the vertical dimension is often overlooked when maximizing the storage potential of a space. If you’re stacking things, remember to put large, hefty boxes or items on the bottom and lighter ones on the top. In extreme circumstances, you wouldn’t want to see smaller boxes broken under the weight of larger objects placed above them. In any case, keeping oversized items on the bottom establishes a solid foundation for placing lighter objects. Also, when arranging boxes, don’t stack more than four boxes at a time because if you do, chances are that they will fall over.
Though it’s an added chore, dismantling large pieces of furniture is a great way to optimize the available vertical space. Rather than laying them flat on the floor, you can also place them upright and to the side to make room for other things. For instance, if you need to store bed frames, mattresses, or kitchen cabinets, you may put them vertically against a wall instead of laying them flat.
However, if you’re worried that stacking boxes would cause damage to your belongings, rather than wasting vertical space, consider installing shelves to accommodate smaller items. If not, use dresser drawers or non-foldable tables to stack boxes and store random, odd-shaped items that don’t fit neatly into one container.
5. Place Frequently Used Things In The Front
You probably use some things more often than others. If so, you might want to place them towards the front, where you can find them quickly. Here are a few items you’d like to take out of your storage rather frequently:
- Seasonal apparel
- Children’s toys
- Electronic equipment
- Camping or hiking gear
- Seasonal décor and garden supplies
- Hobby and craft tools
- Important office or property documents
If you put commonly-used items in an accessible location close to the entrance, you won’t have to dig through piles of boxes every time you go to your storage unit.
6. Sketch A Layout For Your Storage Unit
You don’t have to draw up a scale model of your storage unit, but you should at least have a sense of where everything is. Just a rough sketch of how you’d want to pack the space will come in handy, particularly if you intend to access it frequently. Even if you divide the unit into sections and label each by room and category, the layout will point you in the right direction when searching for an item specific to a room.
It’s just as important to know how to pack and arrange your belongings in a storage unit as it is to have one. Keep these tips in mind to maximize space and achieve a more organized storage unit.
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