An organized self-storage space is more than a place to safely store possessions, it’s a place to retrieve what you need quickly and efficiently. As with a packed closet or apartment storage locker, nothing is more frustrating than digging through stacks of boxes only to realize what you want is in the very farthest corner. That’s where having a plan before the storage unit is full becomes a critical asset.
Organized Self-storage Space is efficient
No matter the shape or size of the space you’re about to fill, it is wise to create a floor. Draw a quick diagram of where you want things to go. Once you’ve designed your self-storage unit layout there are
some basic tips for getting started:
- Keep things off the damp, concrete floor – use pallets, 2×4 boards, plywood flooring, etc.
- For smaller items, use free-standing shelves – you can make your own from lumber, boards and cinder blocks or buy a plastic version.
- Invest in tubs (by Rubbermaid and others) in an assortment of sizes. Their tight-fitting lids protect contents and they are designed to stack securely.
- Invest in moving pads or other protective coverings to keep valuable pieces from getting too dirty, scratched or marred.
Planning an Organized Self-storage unit before move-in
Once you’ve taken into account the need to protect your things, you’re almost ready to move in. Before you begin the packing process, consider:
- Label every box on every side – this makes it easy to see what’s in it from all.
- Don’t over-fill boxes, making them too heavy to handle.
- Don’t concentrate heavy items in the biggest boxes. Big boxes can be difficult to move even when fairly light. Don’t make it worse by adding too much weight.
- The heaviest boxes should always be stacked on the bottom.
Follow your guide
Follow your floor plan. Use your floor plan as a guide and label it as boxes and items go into the storage unit.
If at all possible, leave a pathway down the middle of the storage unit. When you need to get to that far corner, a path allows movement without rearranging dozens of boxes.
Whenever you can, store the most frequently used items near the front – and they should be the last ones put in the storage unit before the door closes.
Well organized self-storage includes all seasonal items in a group so you don’t have to search the entire space when the season changes.
Special tips for special items
Depending upon your storage unit, there are likely to be special items that don’t go in a box or tub. Items like furniture, appliances and sporting equipment for example. With these in mind, consider:
- When you can, disassemble furniture. Not only will you save space, it will be easier to protect each piece. Label each and put all the hardware in a well-marked bag so you can find it when it’s time to reassemble the pieces.
- To store electronics with multiple cords and wiring it’s critical to mark each connection and each cord. Color-coded stickers on the cord matching a similar sticker on the connection works well.
- Delicate electronics should be stored on shelves, away from as much dust and moisture as possible.
- Appliances like washers and dryers should be clean and as dry as possible to prevent mildew.
- Mattresses and box springs should stand on their longest edge. They should be securely wrapped and kept off the floor.
- Apply a light coat of machine oil on metal tools, bicycles and other metal equipment to guard against rust.
- Invest in wardrobe boxes for clothing so items can be stored on hangers to retain their proper shape.
It might seem like an unnecessary detail, but the longer your belongings are stored, the more important and organized self-storage space becomes. Being able to get a stored item without wasted time and effort is worth the advanced planning.
An organized self-storage plan is more important the longer you will be using your self-storage unit, and the more you have to store. A+ Storage has units of all sizes available at three separate storage facilities in the Madison WI area. Two locations include climate controlled units. All are readily accessible to for Dane county residents in Waunakee, Middleton, Verona, Fitchburg, Oregon, McFarland, Monona, and Cottage Grove.
Call A+ Storage at 608-837-5113 in Sun Prairie or 608-442-7339 in Madison or email us for details on how a self-storage unit can protect your possessions and for tips on how to create an organized self-storage plan in the Madison WI area.