How to organise a self storage unit

They say a tidy house makes for a tidy mind, and we think the same is true even for your storage unit. In fact, knowing how to organise a self storage unit might be even more important. While some people will need to access their unit regularly and will naturally benefit from a bit of organisation, everyone could benefit from a stress-free move out when its time to part from your unit. It’s during this time that you’ll be glad you got organised right from the start.

Why bother to organise a self storage unit

Maybe you’re storing long term and are only packing away the non-essential items you have no intention of needing, or maybe it’s a short-term stay and you just won’t need to get in there at all. Either way, you’re probably wondering why you should bother getting organised. The fact is, having an organised storage unit benefits more than just the people that need to access it regularly.

Found, not lost

Our first benefit is the fact that you’ll be able to get to what you need quickly and easily. While you may not think you need to get to anything, you never know when you suddenly need to find those old documents you haven’t needed in ages. When, not if, that happens, you’ll appreciate not having to unpack half of your crowded storage unit to do so.

You should organise a self storage unit to make sure your move is stress-free

Stress-free move out

When it does come time to moving out you’ll be surprised by how much easier the entire process is with an organised unit. When your boxes are labelled and organised by importance, it’s much easier to get everything in the car or on the van in the most organised way. It also means you’ll be able to unpack much quicker and easier too, and who doesn’t want to make life less stressful?

Save money

Maybe we should have started with this one. We’re pretty sure there isn’t a single person out there who doesn’t love saving money. Planning and organising your storage unit means you’ll have the right space for exactly what you need, and that means no overpaying for what you need. If you don’t need to access your unit, you can use the entire unit including the full height. A bit of added organisations means if you do need to access it, everything you need should be in the most convenient place and labelled clearly.

Get organising

Now you’re convinced that you could benefit from being a storage-organising pro, here are our top tips for getting your unit looking spic and span.

Make sure you declutter to help organise your self storage unit


No matter how well you plan the layout of your unit, if your belongings aren’t organised then your storage unit never will be. Having too many non-essential items is only going to clutter up your storage unit and get in the way of the stuff you really need. The fewer belongings you have and the more organised these belongings are, the more organised you’ll be able to be when it comes to grouping related items together and arranging by importance. It also means you’ll save money on storage space, which is always a bonus.

We like to declutter with the three-box rule: Keep, donate or sell, and throw away. Be strict with yourself and seriously think about what you’ll likely use and what is just wasting space.

Here are our tips for decluttering and organising to help you get started.

The right size

Getting the right storage unit size is pretty essential to having an organised unit. If you choose one too small everything will end up crowded and messy, making it difficult to figure out where anything is. If you get one too big, of course, you’ll simply be paying for more space than you need.

You can use our quick storage estimator as a rough guide to the unit size that you need along with our cheat sheet, but the key to this is simply to be clear and honest about how much you’re putting into storage. Make a list of everything you need to store and talk to your storage facility if you’re ever unsure; they should have the expertise to guide you to the right choice. Remember, if you do need to access your unit regularly, you’ll need to leave additional space for walkways and access.

For more help choosing the right unit size, read our quick guide.

Create an inventory to keep your storage unit organised

Create an inventory

It’s time to take the list of your belongings you used to decide on your unit size and put it to good use. Turn it into a complete inventory of all your items, labelling what is essential and might need to be accessed and what doesn’t. This should help guide your organisation process and will make it easier to find what you need later down the line.

Map it out

Plan a rough layout of your storage unit based on the unit size, whether you need to access anything and what you need to store. The list you made when deciding on your unit size should help with this, along with the inventory of items listing what you need to access and what you don’t. Based on this, plan out where it’s best to place certain categories of objects.

When mapping out, try and plan working from the back of the unit forward with more essential items at the front for easier access. Heavier items that you won’t need, such as furniture, can be placed towards the back of the unit. When you’re finished packing, you can keep your inventory and your map taped to the inside of the unit for future reference.

Pack properly

Make sure you pack smart. That means flat packing any furniture or large items, packing fragile items properly and out of harms ways, and grouping similar items together in appropriately sized boxes. If you’re going to be accessing your unit regularly, small and medium sized boxes work best as they’re easier to move around. Make sure to think about what it is you’re storing. If you’re packing winter items and it’s the start of summer, you can probably pack these items in larger boxes and place at the back of a unit or bottom of a stack.

As you’re packing be sure to label each box clearly, even writing an inventory on the contents on the outside instead of just a vague category. By combing this with your inventory list from your planning process, you’ll be able to find anything you need much easier and quicker. It’s also really handy to have when it’s time to unpack again.

If you need to access your storage unit use shelving to make things easier

Shelving and stacking

If you want to get super organised and you’ll be accessing your unit regularly you could also consider getting some sturdy shelving. This will help avoid the messy mayhem of stacked boxes and make it easier to get to anything you might need. If you think you might potentially need to get to everything you’re storing, shelving is essential.

If you think stacking will suffice then it’s time to get your Tetris head on and stack with importance. Put anything you might need to get to on the top of the stack, but don’t stack too high. With medium or small boxes that are all the same size, you can try stacking in a brick formation. While this might leave some spare space on either end of the row, it makes it easier to slip boxes out without taking down an entire stack.

Want some more help getting your storage unit organised? Talk to one of our team today about finding the right size unit for you and packing like a pro.

Packing Pug

I'm Percy the Packing Pug. What I don't know about self storage isn't worth knowing! Check out my latest blog posts for top tips on storage solutions near you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *