Self storage units come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, as do their users. Our customers range wildly from university students storing their belongings between academic years, business owners storing overflow stock all the way to ageing parents storing their belongings when they move into care, ready for their loved ones. The one thing that brings them all together is the struggle to make the most of their storage space. The biggest complaint we hear is that there is a lot of vertical space that ‘can’t be used’, or that customers feel they never have enough storage space. So today we wanted to share some of our tried and tested storage hacks, to see if you can make the most of your self storage unit.
In the hierarchy of storing things, soft furnishings, clothes and bedding all come under the ‘annoyingly bulky’. They tend to take up a lot of space even if they don’t seem that big, and IT can often be awkward to find a space for them if you want to keep them in good condition. But you have a secret weapon – a vacuum cleaner. Grab yourself some vacuum pack bags and your hoover, and pack your textiles into the. If its clothes, try to sort by season, as this will make it much easier for you to find them later on. Suck all of the air out, and you have a secure, flat-packed bag of clothing that can slot into any space in your unit. It’s always best to label these bags since the vacuum process can make the contents a bit hard to identify from the outside. But these bags will keep your textiles clean, free from dust and bugs, and safe.
If you won’t be going to your unit regularly, it can be easy to forget where you’ve put everything. This means spending lots of time pulling everything out of the unit and opening every box until you find what you need. Instead, when you first pack the unit, take some photos. Not of everything stacked up in the unit- but of what’s inside every box. Tape these photos to the top or sides of the box, so you know at a glance what’s in each one. It might add a little time to your initial packing time, but it will save you hours of searching down the road. It’s also worth keeping similar things in the same box or stored close together to make things easier to find. For example, keep all of your kitchen bits in one box, or in several boxes, all stacked together in one area of the unit.
Believe it or not, the type of boxes you choose for your unit can have a huge impact on the amount of space you can use, and how much you can store. We will always recommend sticking with one type of box for everything, as this means they will stack together properly and be more secure. Even if you use different sizes of the same style, it means they are much less likely to bow or break when stacked. And by choosing the same boxes throughout, you can maximise your useable space because there won’t be lots of gaps where odd boxes don’t really fit together. The exact type of box you choose is up to you, but whether you like Really Useful Boxes or the classic cardboard, stick to the same brand and style.
If you’re storing anything with a chain, whether it’s a necklace or a box of bike spares, this little trick could save you your sanity down the line. Rather than just putting them in a box with some bubble wrap, try this. Spread some clingfilm out on a work surface, and lay the jewellery on top of it. Then take another piece of cling film of the same size, and lay it on top of the jewellery. Press down in all the gaps, and you’ve created a seal that keeps each item separate. This is a brilliant way of making sure that the chains don’t become tangled during transit or storage, making life much easier for you when you want to take them out again!
Finally, we really can’t stress the importance of a good label enough. Many people when storing will write what’s in the box, or at least the room the box belongs to, on one side before putting them in the unit. This is great in theory, but when you’re stacking boxes up, those labels can get lost easily, which makes it difficult to find things again. So if you want to avoid that, you need to up your labelling game. There are many different ways you can label your boxes, including:
Whichever method you choose, remember to label your box three times. Once on the top, and then on two separate sides. This means that you will always be able to see at least one of your labels, no matter which way you store your boxes, and will make life a lot easier for you.
At Blue Box Self Storage, we are always happy to answer questions, give tips or even lend a hand organising your storage unit. We want you to get the most value possible out of your storage space, which means knowing how to maximise every inch while still keeping your belongings accessible and safe. If you’d like to know more, or want to talk to us about renting a unit of your own, just get in touch with the team today.