How to Organize Your Self-Storage Unit

Have you been wondering what is the best way to organize your self-storage unit, so you can find your items when you need them? Are you wondering how to layout the unit and how to stack the boxes? The best way to organize your space is the plan ahead, before you even start packing.


Use strong boxes, not bags, and pack heavy items, such as books, in smaller boxes. Label each box with a thick marker and include "Fragile, This Side Up" where appropriate.

Plastic Containers

If you have plastic storage containers in your garage, use them to micro-sort your smaller items. This works well for Christmas and Halloween decorations, photo albums, arts and crafts projects, and baby clothes. Use masking tape or paper to label the containers.

Packing the Moving Truck

Whether you rent a truck or use a friend’s, taking time to pack it well will save you time and energy later on when organizing your self-storage unit. First, place lighter boxes in the back of the truck, so they will be pulled out last. Place the heavier boxes, furniture, and equipment in the truck last. This way, when you arrive at your unit, you can place the heavier boxes on the ground and the furniture in the back. Lighter boxes are stored on top of heavier ones, to keep them from falling and to keep them from crushing the boxes below.

Leave an Aisle

Leaving a path down the center of your storage unit will allow you to easily retrieve items later and will keep you from tripping over boxes. Having to rearrange a section of heavy boxes isn’t fun and can prove detrimental to your back.

Storage Shelves

Metal or plastic shelving can be used to provide easier access to individual boxes, without having to move them around. This is handy if you will be looking for certain items on a regular basis. The shelving will take up additional room, so only consider this if it will make your life easier and the unit is large enough to accommodate them.

Sheets and Towels

If you plan to stack furniture on each other, use towels to keep the surfaces from getting scratched. Don’t stack them too high, to avoid them from tumbling down on you later. Sheets can be used to cover furniture to keep out the dust.

Create a Diagram

Creating a chart of which boxes are where will help you find your possession easily the next time you visit your storage unit. You can use graph paper, MS Excel, or just draw it out on a napkin. Anything is better than attempting to remember the contents and location of each box six months from now. Another trick is to number each box and indicate the number on your chart. Then, leave a copy of the chart in your unit, as well as, one at home.

Oh, and before you start packing, read our Self-Storage Packing Tips and Tricks article. Then, call our helpful managers in Fountain Valley at (714) 964-1607 and in Riverside at (951) 735-0211, if you have questions about our units.

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