Storage Tips: Maximize Your Storage Container Space
When it comes to storage, space tends to be the number one stressor. Storage unit prices are dictated by size, so using every available square inch of unit space helps you avoid overpaying for extra space you just don’t need.
This principle sounds great in theory, but when you’re standing inside an empty storage unit staring out at a sea of boxes and oddly-shaped bags, figuring out how to efficiently use your storage unit can seem like an uphill battle.
At Mobile Mini, storage tips and tricks are our thing. While we think that all storage questions are created equal, space utilization is one of the things that we get asked about most, and for a good reason! Figuring out how to best utilize storage space makes life much easier.
When you use your storage unit square footage efficiently, you:
- Save money instead of paying for extra space you don’t need.
- Are better able to find your possessions when you need them.
- Save yourself the hazards of unorganized storage, such as broken valuables, smushed or ruined items, and other damage.
Yes, using your space correctly is critical to a happy storage experience. That’s why we’ve compiled these self-storage tips to help you make the most of your storage unit:
- Map Everything Out Before You Start: Mapping out your storage space and storage plan allows you to visualize where your things should go, avoiding the stress of showing up to your unit unprepared. These maps can also help you easily locate items where you need to grab a few things during your storage rental. If you’ve ever stared blankly at rows of uniform boxes trying to locate a blow dryer or toolbox, then you can fully appreciate how valuable well-organized storage space can be.
- Pack From the Ground Up: While we all aim to be at the top of our game, sometimes peak performance starts from the bottom. When arranging items in your storage unit, put your heaviest and bulkiest belongings on the floor. Once you have a foundation, you can start stacking lighter items on top, which will protect your lighter, more delicate items from being crushed. Make sure you leave an aisle to walk through your unit or you’re going to end up getting a real-life education in what the phrase “boxed in” feels like.
- Use It or Lose It: When you’re bringing furniture from a home or office into a storage unit, you might assume it should be empty. While this is true for transport, once you get the items to your storage unit, use them to help you save space and keep things organized. For example, put a chest of drawers in your storage unit and fill it with things like small boxes, clothes, and other personal items, ensuring that you are truly using every inch of available storage space. If you go this route, make sure you save whatever bags or boxes your smaller items were transported in so that when it’s time to move everything back to a more permanent space, you have what you need on hand.
- Use the Ceiling: If you’re storing things like bikes, lawnmowers, or other equipment that lends itself to hanging, we suggest breaking out some S-hooks and hanging these items from the ceiling of your unit (before hanging any hooks, make sure your storage facility or rental agency allows this sort of thing). Hanging these items protects them from damage and saves valuable floor space for your other belongings.
- Get Shelves: Shelves are the MVP of storage maximization. Shelves provide a way to organize your possessions vertically, saving floor space and adding to your usable square footage. Here’s a hot storage unit tip: Save the shelves for fragile and delicate items and for things that you may need to easily grab and/or take in and out of your unit throughout your rental period.
- Rent an Extra-Wide Storage Unit: An Extra-Wide storage unit gives you an ample amount of space that you can really take advantage of. They not only give you more space for supplies, but are also wide enough to create aisles that allow you to maneuver through your unit and easily access any of your belongings.
- Turn Planks Into Shelves: This one may sound strange, but by placing boards on top of each layer of boxes you create more stability when stacking. While cardboard is a great material, one wrongly placed crease and your tower of boxes can go from Taj Mahal to rubble in the blink of an eye. Wooden boards stabilize each layer of boxes and also adds to your usable stacking space by creating flat surfaces around oddly shaped boxes or items.
- Take Apart Furniture: Whenever possible, disassemble furniture before bringing it to your storage unit to ensure everything is easily stackable. For example, if you’re storing a bed frame, by disassembling the frame you end up with some planks and a headboard that can be stashed in various places, rather than a large piece of furniture that isn’t stackable or mobile.
- Use Clothing and Bedding as Cushioning: One way to save space is to use every item you have in as many ways as you can. Bedding and clothing make great buffers or protectors for delicate items, furniture, or equipment you don’t want scratched or dented. Using these items as a cushion helps you save space by decreasing the number of boxes needed to store your items and by helping you to avoid purchasing blankets or other storage items that would serve the same purpose as your clothes and bedding.
- Take Regular Breaks: The number one mistake we see people make when it comes to storage unit organization is that they try and push through without mental health/food/water breaks. When people get overwhelmed, they stop seeing situations for what they are and tend to cut corners and just get things done as quickly as they can. Take it from us: storage unit organization is not the place or time to cut corners. To give yourself the time and space you need, plan to take a break every hour or so to decompress, breathe in some fresh air, and take a momentary pause from trying to fit your old guitar into the space between your dresser and baseball card collection. We promise you will get things done faster and better with a few breaks than you would if you tried to push straight through.
Mobile Mini: A Leader in Creative Storage Solutions
Mobile Mini is here to help you find the best storage tips and solutions for all your needs, no matter how big or how small those may be. From standard and extra-wide storage units to storage unit shelves and other organization tools, we have everything you need to store with confidence.
When Mobile Mini was founded almost 40 years ago, our goal was to simplify storage and to give our customers an experience that would shift their perception of storage from stressful to serene. Well, a few decades later, and we are proud to say that we have helped countless customers learn to love the storage process.
From stress-free storage unit delivery and pick-up to 24/7 customer support, our team is here to help you reclaim and reshape your storage experience.
Life is stressful. Storage doesn’t have to be. Contact us today and see how simple storage can be.