Storage units can sometimes be a necessity, but often they sit untouched for years. Not only does this allow for unnecessary clutter to build, but it can also be a drain on your bank account. Taking the time to review and cull the contents can save you money each month and help you break free from the physical commitment of storing items you rarely, if ever, use.
If you decide to organize your storage unit we recommend the following strategy. Set aside a day, or two depending on how big your unit is, and commit to using the time to thoroughly review your belongings. Once the date has been set, secure a few things to assist you in the process, including a friend, some gloves, a dolly, and a trash bin or truck to haul off the items you chose to cull. If you do not have access to a truck, there are companies you can pay to pick up the storage contents, but remember to book this ahead of time.
Start the project by going through each item, front to back. The contents will then be placed in one of 4 categories, including storage unit, home/alternate storage location, donation/sell, and trash. While reviewing the contents, make critical decisions regarding the item’s need, value, and frequency of use. If you haven’t used the item in years, much less thought about it, culling is likely the best option. If the item’s value has been far out weighed by the cost to store it in the unit, it’s time to toss. This is a particularly common issue overlooked by storage unit renters. If what you are storing could easily be sold and replaced for cheaper than one year of rental fees, it probably makes sense to let it go. After sorting through everything, load the donations/sale items, trash, and moving items into the truck. Review what’s left and make one more culling pass to ensure you’re only keeping the bare minimum.
The final step is to reassess your need for a storage unit. If you were able to cull most of the contents, perhaps you could move the remaining belongings elsewhere (home = free storage) or downgrade to a smaller unit. Often times, downgrading alone can save you hundreds of dollars a year. If you decide to keep a unit, replace the items in an organized fashion, grouping like with like. It’s also important to ensure that delicate or fragile items are stored in a manner that protects them. Space bags, mothballs, and locking, waterproof bins are great for protecting such items. If using cardboard boxes, write detailed content descriptions on the outside of the box for easy accessibility.
In general, we recommend conducting this process twice yearly to ensure unnecessary items are not held onto indefinitely.