By Vince Mancuso, Storageunit.com
Whether you’re using a 5×5 or a 10×30 storage unit, you’re going to want to make the most use out of your space. Rather than cramming your stuff in a Tetris-meets-Hulk style, there are a number of products you can use to help you better organize your storage unit and maximize your square footage.
If you’re wanting to better organize your unit, here are some products you need to check out:
True, some storage facilities do provide in-unit shelving, but in case yours doesn’t, there are a number of shelf products you can purchase. For smaller boxes and items, you can use typical wire shelving that you have to assemble—just be sure to find the kind that includes wheels for easy mobility.
If you’re storing quite a few larger plastic storage bins, you can also build your own shelving for fairly cheap by using PVC pipe, which is strong enough to handle heavier loads.
2. Stacking Bins
If making shelving big enough for your bins seems like too much, perhaps you should change your bins. Some brands offer stackable hopper bins, which will stack on top of one another while still allowing you easy access to the contents inside through a flap in the lid.
Much like shelving, stacking bins allows you to make the most of your vertical space, which could be the difference between staying in a 5×5 instead of bumping up to a 5×10.
3. Vacuum-sealing Bags
One of the most common reasons for self storage is seasonal clothing. A vacuumed-sealed bag is designed to suck all the air out of the bag and condense your clothing—including your puffer vest collection—into much tighter, easier-to-store items.
Essentially, vacuum-sealing bags make it possible to squeeze every possible inch of usable space within a unit when storing clothing or other fabrics.
4. Portable Clothing Rack
Of course, there are some pieces of clothing that you’d rather not vacuum seal, like your formal shirts or dresses that you may be temporarily storing while relocating. In such a case, find a portable clothing rack. Much like the wire shelving, these wheeled clothing racks are easily movable to fit perfectly into place while allowing your clothes to hang.
Clothing racks also allow for hanging shelves, which can be perfect when storing shoes, books, or other small personal knick-knacks.
5. Your Phone
That’s right, something you always have can help you stay organized. One of the most important things when using storage is remembering what you have in there and where it’s at. There are many smartphone apps such as Home Inventory or Sortly that allow you to take inventory of your belongings. These help you know what is where when using self storage.
While there is a large number of apps out there that range in price and features, Forbes has composed a list of the best home inventory apps that are worth checking out when using your phone to help you stay organized.
Masking or duct preferably. Tape has a two-part benefit to storage, the first of which is really simple: making labels. The best way to be organized is to know what is where, and that is accomplished with clearly marked labels. All you need to do is tape the box and write what’s inside.
The second benefit is allowing you to create zones within your unit. This is especially useful when moving the contents of a house into storage. Tape off certain sections of the floor to create a specific area for your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room, and so on, to make it easy to find certain items you may need quick access to while in storage.
While basic storage equipment such as boxes and bags are useful, utilizing some of these organizational tools you didn’t know you needed will allow you to make the most use of your space with the least amount of hassle.
All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.