Storage Blog


5 Clever Ways to Use Every Inch of Your Self-Storage Unit

When you rent a self-storage unit, you want to make sure you’re using it as effectively as you can be. This can be tricky for first-time renters; after all, how do you know which mistakes to avoid if you’ve never made them before? We’ve put together our top five hacks for using every possible square inch of space in your unit, and most of them don’t require anything more than a little extra planning.

1.      Use Only One Box Size

Want to make stacking – and retrieving – super easy? Use the same box size for everything in your self-storage unit. Large boxes can hold a lot of light items, like pillows or bedding, but they’re not necessarily the sturdiest for stacking and can be even harder to yank out when you need them. We recommend medium or small boxes, as these tend to hold up better and can be easily rearranged. This will also keep your unit looking neat and tidy. As a bonus tip, remember to write the contents of each box on the outside, and store the boxes with their labels facing out. You’ll know exactly where everything is and where it goes when you unload again.

2.      Shelves and Pegboards Are Your Friend

If your items are going to be in storage for a while, a shelving unit will be your best friend. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – plastic garage work shelves will do just fine. Not only will the shelves allow you to stack higher than you’d normally be able to, but they’ll also make it easy to retrieve anything you need. Remember to place heavier items lower than lighter ones, especially if you’re stacking high.

If your self-storage unit is lined with pegboards, use them! You can keep tools, art, or small bags above the rest of your belongings. Just remember to leave a ladder easily accessible for when it’s time to unpack.

3.      Disassemble Everything and Store It Vertically

If it has screws, bolts, or nails, it can be taken apart, and you should seriously consider it. Bed frames, tables, and headboards can all be disassembled and stored vertically, taking up a fraction of the space that they’d otherwise occupy. By stacking up, you’ll maximize the amount of storage space you can use.

You might not be able to take a couch apart, but many can be stored upright, resting on one end. For mattresses, store them upright along a wall and use boxes or heavier furniture to keep them propped upright. Don’t forget to cover your items with a sheet or drop cloth to protect them against dust and dirt while they’re in storage.

4.      No More Space? Make Some!

Your furniture’s all loaded in and nicely accessible, but you have lots of smaller items that still need to go somewhere in that self-storage unit. Resist the urge to panic: you probably have tons of unused space right in front of you.

Small boxes can be put inside larger furniture, like armoires and refrigerators, or underneath furniture with legs, like chairs and tables. If every conceivable drawer is occupied, go up! Light items can still be stacked on top of heavier pieces of furniture. Linens and towels can be used as padding for mirrors or picture frames.

Still need more space? All right, let’s get serious. As you were packing, you (hopefully) left aisles or pathways open to easily access your items. If space is at a premium, it’s time to fill those in. Make sure that nothing at the back is anything you’ll be needing until move-out day, and once you’re sure you can still get at anything you’ll absolutely need, begin filling in the aisles. Stack high, with heavy stuff on the bottom and lighter stuff on the top. If you stumble across a space you didn’t realize you had, fill it in.

5.      Make a Map

Like a pirate’s buried treasure, it can be hard to remember where you put something without a map. If you’re the planning type, make a map of where everything goes (graph paper works especially well for planning on a foot-by-foot basis). You’ll be able to change the arrangement around before you ever set foot in the self-storage unit, and if there’s unused space somewhere, you’ll be able to figure out what would fit. Plus, when you go to unpack, you’ll know exactly where you left everything.

A self-storage unit can be an invaluable resource, no matter whether you’re moving or you just need a little extra space for a while. We have a free online storage calculator you can use to pick a unit that’s perfectly sized for you, and we offer everything from small lockers to large rooms with climate control.

For more information about our self-storage units, daily specials, or our move-in incentives, just give us a call at (973) 345-0080.

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