Acme Moving Labor

How to Make the Best Use of a Storage Unit

Imagine this: it’s a perfect summer day, the sun is shining, and it’s the perfect time to get in a little tan. You make the trip to your local storage unit, and start digging through boxes to find your swimsuit.


Before you realize it, most of your boxes have tipped over and spilled all your items on to the floor. Everything’s a mess—and you still haven’t managed to find your swimsuit. It’s a nightmare.

The last thing you want to do is excavating your storage unit for items that you need frequently. A little bit of planning and effort can easily save you a whole lot of headaches later on. Use these helpful tips to get your storage unit organized.

Inventory Time!

Before you begin to organize and pack your storage unit, you need to determine exactly how much space you have. We mean, nobody wants to start packing only to realize that even half their items won’t fit in their storage unit.

To avoid such fiascos, you need to start by taking inventory. This means that you’ll have to list down on all your belongings. Although bigger pieces of furniture such as sofas are easy to remember, you might forget smaller trinkets and items such as your electronics or your artwork. Create a list of all the furniture that you’re going to placing in the storage unit, and an estimate of the number of boxes you’ll be needing. This way, you’ll be considering the space that these items and boxes will take up, and avoiding overfilling your storage unit.

For an efficient inventory list, you’ll want to take a picture of model numbers brand logos, and the likes. Write down a little description of the items that you’re storing, and remember to note down whether or not they’re slightly damaged or defective. You should ideally also write down which boxes or bins you packed your items in, and note the storage facility. For expensive items such as jewelry, you should also list down its value in case of theft.

If you find that you have too many items and not enough space, you can consider selling or donating them. Host a huge garage sale to get your items out, and earn a little bit of cash on the side that you can add to your budget. You can post on your neighborhood Facebook community, list your items on online sites such as Etsy, eBay, and depopp, or use online apps such as OfferUp. You’re likely to get a good deal if your items are in good condition.


A person wearing yellow gloves and cleaning a wall with a rag


Scrub It Out

Next, you’ll want to check if your storage unit is climate-controlled since it’ll change the way that you pack your items. If your storage unit is inside and climate-controlled, you won’t have to worry about maximum protection since mildew and mold won’t be such a huge issue. If your storage unit isn’t climate controlled, you might have to wrap up your expensive items and clothing in such a way that they’re protected from damage.

After this, you’ll want to clean up your storage unit. Ensure that it’s completely clean with no damage. Check the walls and ceilings for cracks, chips, and leaks. Clean the floor and walls using detergent and in extreme cases, bleach.

Next, clean the items that you wish to store. If you store dirty items, they’re just bound to get dirtier. So, make use of your washing machine and dry cleaner and get all those stubborn stains out of your clothes. Wax down wooden furniture, use a leather cleaner for leather furniture and items, wash your sofas with a fabric cleaner and wipe your appliances!

A couple labeling and packing cardboard boxes for storage


Packing Tips

Now it’s time for the heavy lifting. Packing is super tough and detailed, and if you don’t pack your items properly, you can potentially damage them. First thing is that although there’s no problem with using cardboard boxes for storage, you should consider using plastic bins. Plastic bins will allow you to keep better track of what you’re storing inside your unit since you can easily see what’s inside them, without having to open them. It’ll make it much easier and efficient for you to locate your items when you’re searching for them.

In terms of furniture, you should avoid plastic wrapping materials except for bubble wrap since it can result in the formation of mildew due to moisture. To ensure maximization of storage space, we recommend disassembling your furniture before storing them. You’ll need to take your bed frames and headboards apart, take down your tables, and more. Place these items vertically at the end of your unit on the side, since it’ll allow for more space for other items. Drape your furniture with old sheets, and don’t tape the coverings of your other items on your furniture since it could lead to paint chipping off.

For your appliances and electronics, you need to make sure there are no fragile pieces that can be harmed such as glass, and no liquid remaining in your appliances. You can even sprinkle a little bit of baking soda to eliminate any odor from the mechanical bit of your appliances. Also, cover them properly since they may be susceptible to rust. Your electronics should ideally be stored in their original boxes and wrapped in packing paper to avoid damage.

In terms of your clothes, use plastic containers with clip-on lids to avoid the growth of mildew, moisture, and the accumulation of dirt. Use cedar balls to protect your clothes from moths and funky smells. You can fold or roll your clothes for more space, and make sure you’ve washed them before storing them so they won’t be super dirty when you choose to access them again.

A man placing blue jeans inside a cardboard box



A general rule of thumb is that you should be placing all the items that you don’t need immediately at the back. Place your larger, heavier items such as furniture and big boxes at the back on the bottom. It’ll help create a stable base for lighter boxes that you can place on top.

Put all the boxes that you want frequent access to in the front. This includes seasonal clothing like your heavy winter coats and boots or your summer swimsuits and flip-flops. Although you won’t need these for half the year, you’ll have to visit your storage unit at least once a year to retrieve them or put them back. These items must be placed at a reachable spot in the front and labeled properly to ensure easy access.

While organizing your storage unit, you should place your items vertically. Your furniture needs to be upright to avoid any potential damage, and boxes must be high. Make use of any bookcases you might be placed inside the unit for storage space. Alternatively, you can also install shelves to increase storage space for smaller boxes and items.

Lastly, you should absolutely label everything clearly. Although you might think that it’s not a big deal, and your memory is super sharp—chances are, when the time comes, you’ll probably forget where you placed your items. To save your future self a lot of time and effort, label everything, especially those items that’ll be in there for a long time. Use a permanent marker or label maker, and place the labeled part at the front so that you can see it easily.

If you’re on the lookout for a good local moving company for container storage or to help your move into your new home, ACME Moving Labor is a Seattle-based residential moving services Seattle that can help you out. Acknowledged as one of the best local movers in Seattle, WA, we offer budget-friendly professional moving help and services for short and long distances. Our loading and unloading services are unmatched, and our skilled and experienced movers ensure a hassle-free move in Seattle and Kent, WA.

Contact us at (253) 653-8635 for more information.

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