6 Ways to Create Space in Your Storage Unit

Jon Fesmire |

Getting a storage unit can be a big decision, especially if money is tight for you. One way to keep the price down is to make sure you don’t get a unit that’s too large for your needs. Getting a unit that’s the right size is the first step, and the second is organizing your self storage space efficiently.

Here are six helpful ways to create space in your unit.

Add Shelving

One great way to make space for a variety of items that don’t stack well is to add shelving on a wall or two. Often, facilities have their own shelving solutions designed to fit their units, so before you buy your shelves elsewhere, ask someone at the facility what’s available.

Shelving is especially good for odd-sized boxes and items you may need to get to quickly so that you don’t have to move boxes from the top of a stack to get to them. They make good use of vertical space, too, allowing you to put some things up higher than you otherwise would.

Self-storage walls can get colder than the rest of the room, and this can potentially damage items. We suggest getting a unit with climate control to make sure all your things remain safe.

Add Pegboards

This is another way to make use of vertical space. Put a large pegboard against one wall and hang things like tools and purses from it. This works especially well if you have certain tools or other items you use fairly often but keep in storage, anyway. You can easily stop by, grab what you need, and go.

Use Same-Sized Boxes

It’s a good idea to make sure most of your boxes are the same size. We recommend document boxes or those of a similar size. Not only are these ideal for storing and documents, but you can also fit most other common household items in them as well. They’re great for books, CDs and DVDs, foldable clothing, many kitchen items, magazines, and more. They’re also sturdy and stack well.

Why do same-sized boxes help save space? Think about it this way. If you put a large box on the floor, a few medium-sized boxes on top of it, and a smaller one on the very top, then stack additional boxes right next to them, you’ll end up with a lot of wasted space between those smaller boxes. With same-sized boxes, at every level, you’ll be able to have boxes right up against each other.

Boxes of other sizes are good for some items. For example, wardrobe boxes are ideal for suits and other clothes that need to remain upright, flat, and hanging, and glass pack kits are made especially for drinking glasses. Just try to limit the number of these odd-sized boxes, and put them on your shelves, if you have them.

Disassemble Your Furniture

Some furniture has to be stored as-is. The problem though is that some items, like couches, can take up a lot of room, are best stored sitting correctly rather than on their sides, and shouldn’t have anything stacked on them. The cushions on sofas and chairs can get out of shape when loaded down with boxes.

However, some furniture items can be disassembled. These include some chairs, tables, bed frames, and other items. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for taking them apart, and put the nuts, bolts, and other small parts into zippable plastic bags. Store each bag with the piece of furniture it belongs to. You can place a tabletop against a wall or a stack of boxes, and other parts, like table and chair legs, can go on shelves.

Don’t Forget the Ceiling

You should also consider hanging certain items from the ceiling. This is definitely something you’ll need to ask the facility about, and it’s a question that can quickly get escalated to the manager.

Items that can be hung from the ceiling include bicycles and some other outdoor items like kayaks and canoes.

Nest Items

Some things can be nested, one item in another. For example, you may have a set of pots that can do this. Put a medium pot into a large pot, and a smaller pot into the medium pot before you box them, thereby saving space. Other items can nest as well, so get creative. Try a few of these suggestions to clear up space in your storage unit. Done well, you should be able to create an aisle as well, allowing you easier access to everything.