The (Premier) Storage Unit Organization Guide

It’s safe to say most movers plan to use storage for small stretches of time; maybe a month or two as the move date quickly approaches –and passes like a Mobile Attic truck on the freeway. The storage adventure ends here for most people, but there are outliers that exist in kind of a moving and storage limbo. Maybe the new place isn’t built yet or maybe you’re holding off to save money; your situation is unique, and not without a unique set of challenges. The problem of storage is solved (thanks to Mobile Attic) and with that, we also want to help you get organized so that you can deal with long periods of self-storage.

Worst case scenario, your family plans an impromptu skiing trip (that’s not the bad part unless your other word for skiing is ‘falling down’). You realize (after dealing with your intrusive thoughts about Sonny Bono) that the ski gear is inside your storage unit. No problem. You make a trek to the green and purple eyesore-of-a storage facility (apparently you didn’t rent with Mobile Attic in the bad scenario) to arrive at that large roll-up door. The inside looks like the warehouse at the end of Raiders, but you have a job to do. The problem becomes apparent as you tumble down your fifth cardboard box mountain, the slope robbing you of all excitement you had for the skiing trip. Fortunately, after 4 weeks trapped in the bowels of the disorganized container, you found a Van Gogh piece (from his cypress collection) and the blueprint for Nikola Tesla’s death ray.

What if I said you never had to encounter that scenario? (and no, it’s not because its infinitely unlikely). I have created three tiers of organization; just use the highest form of intensity with which you feel most comfortable.

Tier 1 – Organization Basics

The first tier of organization is fairly standard, in that the entire idea is to standardize how you pack things. First, consider the box size you will be using.  If the sizes vary too much, you will have a hard time stacking them inside the storage unit (plus the clutter will be difficult to parse, physically and mentally).  Stick to a medium sized box and adjust that size as needed. When you use both medium and large boxes, make sure that the larger, heavier ones go on the bottom. Drag a marker over the surfaces to label each one and try to work in an alley to make the unit easier to navigate.

Tier 1 is that simple. Remember, don’t go overboard with the boxes. Stick to one or two standard sizes (with plenty of labeling).

Tier 2 – Making Lists

This is where we step up your organization game a bit. For (almost) ultimate convenience, complete everything in tier 1 with the addition of a list containing items that may need to be accessed throughout the year. Think seasonal clothing, supplies for recreational activities, holiday decorations, etc. Record where each item is located inside of the unit (i.e. front, left side; 2 boxes from the back+, 1 from the floor) and note this on your list (preferably a multi-colored one created as a spreadsheet).  Tape an additional copy to the inside of the unit for easy access.

Tier 3 – Conceptualizing Organization in Three Dimensions

The ultimate form of organization is here. Not only will you complete the two preceding tiers, but you will also spend extra time and energy understanding your storage unit in the third dimension. Take careful inventory of all items (not just the important ones) and record the locations on a spreadsheet. From here, create a semi-detailed map that outlines the location for all items packed into the container. This requires drawing a simple box on a piece of paper with several boxes inside. Not the Van Gogh piece you found earlier (he never went through a box phase), but it is more than enough to help us visualize our collection of boxes. Pro-tip: break the boxes up into ‘zones’ and color-code each of them. This will help with quick recall and may be a lifesaver in stressful situations.

However you may decide to organize, Mobile Attic has your back with the most convenient (and dependable) solution for your moving and storage needs. Give us a call today!

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