a graphic showing a storage unit with the door rolled up and several boxes

(BTW: It’s Easier Than You Think!)

There are all kinds of reasons to rent a storage unit — you’re in the middle of a move, you need a place for seasonal items, you just have some things that don’t quite fit in your home — but there’s no reason your storage unit needs to be a mess. Avoid the classic storage unit chaos and keep things organized with these expert storage tips.

Use only one size for your boxes — two at most.

Wobbly stacks of boxes are no fun to navigate. When you stick to one or two box sizes, your stacks will be much more stable. This keeps things organized, makes it easier to access a box from within a stack, and generally helps you avoid any box avalanches.

Fill boxes all the way to the top.

Half-empty boxes can cave in or collapse when other boxes are stacked on top of them. Fill the boxes completely full or use filler (like packing peanuts or bubble wrap) to take up any excess space.

Have a Master Content list.

This may sound tedious, but it’s worth it! As you pack up boxes for your storage unit, label each box with a number. Create a list of your box numbers, and next to each number make a note of every item that is in that box. Keep a list at home, and tape one up inside the unit. No more digging through box after box to find what you need!

Group boxes together.

When possible, keep boxes organized by room or item type. For example, keep all the boxes with kitchen appliances grouped together, rather than spread out throughout the unit.

Put items you may need in the front.

Have anything in your unit that you know you’re going to need to access from time to time? Put it close to the entrance. Some examples may include seasonal clothing, holiday decor, or travel supplies like tents or kayaks.

Store sofas and large furnishings vertically.

This is a major space saver! Flip long items vertically and place them against a wall to access more floor space.

Dismantle your furniture.

If you’re not using it soon, take apart your furniture to save space. Even removing legs from tables and chairs can go a long way.

Leave aisle space for accessibility.

If at all possible, keep the middle of the floor clear so that you can get to everything in your unit. Otherwise you may find yourself scaling mountains of boxes!

Add shelving for long-term storage.

Planning to use your unit for an extended period of time? Consider adding shelving on the walls to utilize even more space and keep things organized.

Storage units don’t have to be chaotic! Utilize these tips and navigating your unit should be a cinch.