July 29, 2021 | 4 minute read

Tips For Organizing Storage Units


visual image of self-storage units

Self storage in Vancouver is the answer to a lot of life’s problems in the city — from too much clutter to not enough space. One of the things to be careful about though is to not let your self storage unit get out of control. Lots of people start off with a clean and organized self storage unit, but over time ends up being a disaster.

Whether it’s for a short while or long term, keeping a storage unit organized doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these simple tips so that you start and stay organized.

1. Pack properly

Use rubber totes or boxes that are the same size, and keep similar things together — winter clothes, electronics, holiday decorations, and summer toys each deserve their own box. Don’t overload the boxes so they are impossible to move, and make sure breakables are properly wrapped and stacked.

2. Declutter

Part of the packing and storage process includes getting rid of things that you don’t need. If there are things you think you will never use again, there is no point in storing them. Donate, sell, recycle, or ditch the things that are just going to cause clutter in your self storage unit.

3. Clean and Drain

During the packing process, it’s important to make sure that all of your items are properly cleaned and drained of standing water or other liquids before you store them in a self storage unit. Pay the most attention to appliances and power tools. If not cleaned properly they can cause problems like mold and bacteria growth, can cause corrosion, or become a fire/explosive hazard.

4. Add Labels

Once things are packed up, take the guess work out by adding easy-to-read labels that are descriptive — there’s no point in having cryptic labels that don’t make sense. You might want to include dates (if it’s paperwork) or the season (i.e. winter gear), and then store the boxes accordingly.

5. Install shelves

Before you pack it all in, installing shelves in your self storage unit in Vancouver or anywhere else is one simple way to keep your belongings organized. Shelves also make it much easier to retrieve things when you need them. Remember to keep the heavier things near the bottom and lighter things on top for easy access.  One of the benefits of storing with NationWide Self Storage is they will help you kit out your locker with shelving and hanging racks. Just let them know what configuration you want and they will order and set it up for you before you move in.

6. Plan ahead

When you are considering how to pack things into your storage unit, think about what you will need to access and what you won’t need any time soon. This way you can prioritize back to front. When you bring things in to store, bring the items that you will not need first so you can store those at the back, and then work your way forward.

7. Leave Room

Remember that you will likely need to find things in your storage unit at certain times, so to make it easier leave some room for moving around through the unit. It’s best to have walking lanes in larger units, otherwise you will constantly be moving boxes out of the way and creating chaos in the process.

8. Create an Inventory

This doesn’t have to be a complicated spreadsheet (though it can be) but listing your items in one place for your reference will be a great help in the long run. Tape it to the wall and take a picture of it on your phone so that you have a back up copy. Many people use self storage in Vancouver to store commercial inventory and business supplies and documents, but this step is also helpful if you are storing household goods. You may think you will remember what’s going in and where, but in time you will be glad you made a list of your belongings.

9. Follow the Same System with New Items

One common problem we see at the self storage facility in Vancouver is that people start with an organized unit, but then every new thing that is added is just shoved into any open space. To make life easier, follow the same organizational system you started with and don’t get complacent about storage organization.

It may seem like overkill, but we promise you that the extra effort that goes into keeping a storage unit organized pays off in huge ways. The difference between shoving things in black garbage bags and throwing those into the unit haphazardly and labeled, shelved rubber totes is clear as day.