How to organise a self-storage unit

How to organise a self-storage unit

Self-storage units can be an absolute godsend when trying to keep a cluttered house under control. Unfortunately, attempting to store a large number of items in a plain concrete room tends to lead to more clutter than you started with at home. How do you manage to keep things organised and be able to find anything in storage?

Having all the right storage supplies as well as a bit of a plan for your unit is the way to go. You can get your self-storage unit in ship shape with just a few tips.

Different sized seld-storage units

Right sized space

Before you can start planning on organising your unit, you really need to be sure you get one that’s large enough for your belongings. Trying to jam too much stuff into a tiny space makes organising almost impossible. Before renting space, make a list of what you want to keep in it and make some realistic estimates. Perhaps even gather everything up in one spot first and measure how many square feet it all needs.

Stack of banana boxes

Proper containers

Don’t resort to the hasty (and cheap) solution of jamming things into big garbage bags. They are very difficult to manage in terms of organisation because they don’t have a rigid shape. You can’t pile or stack bags, and they’re notorious for tearing at the wrong moment. The best option is plastic totes with lids, but even sturdy cardboard boxes are better than bags. Not only are boxes easier to label than bags, they are a lot more secure for your belongings. Moisture, dust, insects or even rodents can get into your stuff if it’s not well protected.

Labelled files on shelves in storage

Label and list

This is probably the biggest key to keeping your self-storage unit organised. Label everything in clear, large letters. Never assume that you will always remember what’s in certain boxes. Add more detail whenever you can as well. Labelling a box “Kitchen Stuff” is minimally helpful, so tape on a label or sheet of paper that has a quick bullet list of what’s actually in the box.

To be really on top of things, go one step further and put together a master list of the contents that you can keep at home. Knowing what’s in your unit without having to go back and paw through boxes can (and will) save a lot of time.

Shelves with numbered boxes


If you’ve taken our earlier suggestion and stored your stuff in boxes or totes, it can be really tempting to just stack one on top the other. That can work if you are storing things you don’t access much. In situations where you do need to get at things periodically, having to move 4 or 5 boxes around because what you need is invariably at the bottom can be irritating and difficult. Having your boxes organised on shelves means you can pull out the one you need without having to shuffle everything else around.

So, taking these ideas into account, you should be able to put your storage unit to better use and have your important belongings right to hand when you need them.