How-To Organize A Storage Unit for Frequent Access


April 13th, 2022


Storage units can be useful tools when living or working in a small space. If this sounds familiar, you may access your storage unit frequently. Maybe you store seasonal gear, business equipment, or household items. Nevertheless, if you are accessing your unit regularly, it is important that the unit is organized well. Continue reading for tips on how to organize your storage unit for frequent access.


Make a Master List of Everything in Storage

One of the most common problems people have when they first get a storage unit is forgetting what all they have in storage. Instead of waiting until you can’t find something you need, it’s better to create a detailed master list of everything in storage. Detail is critical for this list. It’s not usually enough to just list ‘bakeware’ for instance. Instead, list the individual pans you’re storing, and any other utensils or accessories that go with them. If you’re storing something like books or crafting supplies, it’s best to individually list those too. That way you can always check the master list if you can’t find something. Lists also make it a lot easier to see what’s currently in storage if you’re rotating items in and out. Keeping track of a rotating list is especially important for people who store certain items, like clothing or furniture, seasonally.

Use Similar Sized Boxes

A lot of storage units look a little bit like a 3D game of Tetris, filled with boxes in different sizes and shapes. Unfortunately using a lot of a different box sizes can make it a lot harder to access items and keep your storage unit organized. Instead of using odd boxes try to get everything into boxes of the same size. If you can’t manage that, or some items are just too heavy for a large box, try to limit yourself to 2-3 box sizes and shapes. If you need to have 1 large box size and 1 small box size, try to make the small box an even fraction of the larger one. That way you can stack 2 smaller boxes on 1 large box and have it take up the same amount of space. Keeping everything in similar size containers makes it a lot easier to stay organized and know where your items are in storage. That way, when you need to get something out of storage it’s easy to find and easy to reorganize around the missing boxes.

Label Everything

Box labels don’t need to be as detailed as your Master List in most cases, but they’re still important for finding your stuff as quickly and easily as possible. Make sure every box is labeled, preferably on at least two sides. That will make it easier to organize everything so that the labels are visible, which will make it easier to find anything you need. Written labels or label stickers are both great for labeling. Usually, we recommend hand-labeling boxes that don't need a lot of detail but use a sticker or a label maker for more complicated labeling.

Use Durable Boxes and Containers

Cardboard moving containers are great for a lot of kinds of storage, but they aren't as good for anything you need to access frequently. Every time you open a cardboard box you'll cause a small amount of damage. It's not too noticeable the first few times, but eventually, the cardboard will wear out and may even break down in storage. For anything you’re likely to move around a lot, or that you need to access frequently, it’s better to use more durable boxes. Rubbermaid storage containers are great for storage units since they also help protect your belongings from the elements, especially if you aren’t using climate-controlled storage. But just about any re-usable plastic container will work just as well. Plus, if you use plastic containers you may be able to get clear plastic that makes it even easier to find specific items and keep your storage unit organized.

Consider Getting Shelving or Other Storage

Many people get storage units and fill them to the brim with furniture and boxes, and then leave them like that. That’s fine if you don’t need to access the items in storage, like if you’re a college student for instance, but it’s not ideal if you need to get in and out of your storage more often. Getting some shelving or other organization tools can help make your storage unit easier and safer to navigate. Just remember that adding any kind of shelving adds to the amount of space you need and plan accordingly. When it comes to storage units that need to be accessed regularly, larger isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, you need enough room for everything you keep in storage and enough room to move and maneuver inside your unit. If you do decide to use shelving in your storage unit, it’s also important to stack the largest or heaviest items at the bottom of the shelf. As you move up the shelf the boxes and other stored items should get lighter or smaller.

Need A Storage Unit?

If you’re in the market for a new storage unit,  Reno Gulch Storage in Hill City, South Dakota has you covered. We offer a variety of sizes. Make a reservation over the phone or online. Remember organization is key if you want to be able to access your Hill City, SD storage unit more frequently. Keeping everything clearly labeled and neatly stacked doesn’t help much if you can’t tell where anything is in your organization.