Anyone who has had a storage unit knows it can be a lifesaver but also a huge frustration at the same time. Storage units are ideal options because there are moments when you just don’t have enough room or temporary space when you are moving home, or perhaps renovating. A storage unit gives you the space you need to organize your home, your office, your workshop or even your clubhouse. However, they can also create problems if you aren’t smart about how you store your items. If you use your storage unit as a dumping ground for the stuff you’re taking out then you’re creating a new issue that has to be dealt with.
Ideally, you need to think about the organization problems your unit could cause. So it makes sense to create an inventory in the beginning. In this case, a simple and easy documentation of everything you store in your unit is perfect. Your documentation should include when it was put there, and some information about the location of the item. For example, you could write that your extra desk was put into storage on July 15 and that it is located in the back right corner of the unit. This way, you have all the information you need about your unit and what’s in it. You can take the inventory by hand, but a spreadsheet program such as Excel or Google Docs will allow you to keep a digital copy in multiple places so you don’t lose it.
This process is the best one to follow because it gives you a real-time inventory of your stuff and how to find it. It also allows you to pack the unit more efficiently. You won’t load the items into storage faster with an inventory, but you can make the space more manageable for the future if you do it right. For example, all of the items you don’t expect to need for a long time should go toward the back of the unit. Typically, this includes large or heavy items that only need to be moved in special circumstances. Then you can save the front of the unit for smaller items that you might need to retrieve in the future. If you follow the process above, you’ll be able to get in and remove just the right item in no time.
If you’ve already moved a lot of items into storage but you have no idea what’s there or where it might be, then you could face problems retrieving items efficiently – you “could” be there all day searching for that prized vinyl record player! In this case, you’re going to need to do an audit if you are going to stay on top of things. If possible remove all the items from the unit and take stock of what you have, being aware of others users and units nearby make sure you do things in a safe and sensible manner. As before, start packing the unit with the least likely to be needed items toward the back. Take note of the same information as before so you can use your inventory in the future. You should budget in some extra time for unpacking the unit if you need to take this route.
If you are technical and use QR Codes, you can easily document everything by using Box-Me-Up. It makes labeling boxes easy and hassle free!
Whether you’re taking inventory as you fill your unit or after it’s already full, you should be thorough in the process. This sort of approach will make utilizing your unit a much more enjoyable experience and less of a chore!