You are moving in a smaller home with significantly less storage space. You have a baby on the way and are losing the room that serves as a huge closet. You have decided to finish your basement and make it a home theater. No matter what is happening, you have a lot of stuff and nowhere to put it. Your husband mentions the self storage units down the street, but you have always been skeptical of paying hundreds of dollars for a room to store your junk.
However, space is tight and you have no choice but to rent out some personal storage space. Here are five tips on how to make the most of even the smallest of self storage space.
Decluttering your home is easy by scanning in your papers. Boxes and boxes of photos. Vital records like birth certificates and hospital bills. Recipes. Receipts. If you have tons of papers eating up your valuable storage space, it’s time to invest in a scanner and convert paper to electronic records, then shred it or recycle it. If you are limited on computer space, an external hard drive is an excellent place to keep your records and and photos that were once on paper. Plus, if your computer crashes, your records will still be safe.
Utilize stackable storage. Yes, you can stack cardboard boxes, but they weaken over time and are not weatherproof like plastic totes. Depending on the level of climate control in your self storage facility, the self storage units might be vulnerable to extreme cold, heat and humidity, and even cardboard-eating pests, all of which will weaken cardboard boxes over time. They are also susceptible to crumble and buckle when stacked more than two layers high, resulting in damage to your valuables. Plastic, sealable totes are sturdy enough to be stacked to your unit’s ceiling and will keep your possessions safe from the elements.
Keep the items you retrieve from the unit most frequently towards the front. This may seem like a no brainer, but you will be endlessly frustrated if you visit your storage unit for something you need and it is three quarters of the way towards the back. Seasonal business items that you have to pull out four to six times a year should be in the front, your great grandmother’s furniture that you may pass on to grandkids some day can wait in the back.
Even as precious as space is, it is wise to consider leaving even an extremely narrow path from the unit door to about halfway into the room so that you do not have to pull out or climb over things every time you visit your unit. The more you have to move things around or play gymnastics on your storage, the more disorganized and broken things you will have.
Self storage units can make moving or remodeling hassle free and keep your valuables within easy access. Just make sure you choose a reputable storage company and ask about security add ons to keep your possessions safe.