how to organize a storage unit

How To Organize a Storage Unit

Is your self-storage space disorganized, cramped and messy? It’s time to learn how to organize a storage unit and turn it into what it was always meant to be – a clean and well-organized space, with everything neat and properly organized.

How To Organize a Storage Unit To Limit Mold

It can be tempting, especially if you have a small unit and a lot of objects, to utilize every inch of your storage area by putting boxes right up against the wall. It may save you space, but it can harm you more in the long run. Without a small gap between your boxes and the wall, you restrict airflow and risk the buildup of mildew. Speaking of mildew, one other thing to avoid is packing things away in plastic bags – that also can lead to a mildew infestation.

Plastic boxes are great for packing, however. Unlike cardboard, plastic doesn’t absorb moisture, so it’s less likely to get moldy. Plus, they’re sturdier than cardboard and won’t rip apart if you’ve overstuffed them.

If you use cardboard boxes, it’s a good idea to keep them on top of plastic sheeting or raised pallets. Plastic sheeting will help prevent the bottoms of the boxes from being damaged by a leak or any condensation and they don’t require any extra room. Raised pallets will keep your boxes slightly above ground, allowing for greater air circulation and reducing the likelihood of water or bugs getting into your stuff.

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Save Your Back the Extra Work

When figuring out how to organize a storage unit, it helps to reduce unnecessary lifting. One way to keep your boxes above ground is to purchase shelves on wheels. Not only does this help with airflow, it also saves you backbreaking labor. Rather than carrying your boxes in and out to find what you need, just roll out a few shelves, find the box you were looking for and then roll them back when you’re done.

It also makes reorganizing your storage unit a piece of cake. If you decide to keep your winter clothes in the back and your gardening tools in the front, rearranging the shelves is as simple as wheeling the shelves into the order you want.

how to organize a storage unit

Using the Brick Wall Method for Storage Unit Organization

If you don’t plan on purchasing any rolling shelves, there is another storage unit organization trick to save you from having to dig through all your boxes when you need to get something out.

First, make sure all your boxes are the same size. Then, rather than stacking your boxes one on top of the other, lay them as though they were bricks in a wall. This way, it’s possible to gently tug out one box in the “wall” when you need it without the entire structure collapsing. (Make sure not to jam the boxes in too tightly next to one another – otherwise it’ll be tricky to fit your hands between the boxes to pull one out.)

Label Boxes Clearly

You’ll have your work cut out for you if you need to open every box in your unit to find a single elusive item. Grab a marker and label each side (even the bottom and top) of all your boxes so you know what’s inside. To make things easier, always make sure each box only contains items of a single category.

Storage Unit Insurance Coverage

According to Ray Eng, vice president of insurance sales at AAA Northeast, most homeowners and renters insurance policies cover the content of an off-premise storage unit, but you always want to double check with your insurance agent in case any particular kind of item isn’t covered. In some instances, your storage unit may have a limit of 10% of your total personal property coverage, so again it’s best to consult your agent on the specifics of your policy. Depending on your circumstances, liability coverage may also be a good idea, especially if you’re storing flammable materials.

Learn more about AAA homeowners, condo and renters insurance options, or get a quote at

If you have any useful tips for how to organize a storage unit that we might’ve left out, don’t hesitate to share in the comments. 

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