The whole idea of a storage unit is to place your clutter somewhere else and forget about it, right? So you might not be aware of how often you should perform a storage unit audit or even how to audit your storage unit. This can be a long process, but it’s essential to assess your storage needs each year. Here’s what to keep in mind during your annual storage audit.
Is your storage unit organized accordingly? – The arrangement and tidiness of your storage unit can make the difference between a minutes-long trip and an hour-long ordeal. It’s typical for storage unit renters to organize their unit when they first begin storing things away, but as they continue adding items, they arrange those items around their existing layout. Gradually, your previously organized storage unit turns into cluttered, disorganized chaos. As you add increasingly more belongings to your unit, plan to reorganize your storage unit once every year. Start with your largest belongings, such as furniture, which will clear some space and allow you to store more items. Keep in mind that if what you’re storing away is different from what you used to store, the way you store it should probably be different as well.
Cut down on possessions by selling or donate them. – Much of what is put in storage units are things that are only used occasionally. And it’s easy for people to leave their clutter sitting in their unit until they have to move it. However, you can be more proactive than that. Whenever you’re ready to conduct your audit, prepare to review your items as you’re organizing them and decide what you should sell or donate. Save belongings with the most emotional significance for last, as those items will be the most difficult and time-consuming to decide on. This will free up more space for storing more necessary items. Once it’s time to move, you’ll be glad you sold or donated some of your items because you won’t have to deal with them during your moving process. Plus, you’ll have fewer things to move and more space.
If you find that you still have a lot of belongings left over (to the point that you will need 2 or more storage units), consider hiring a professional organizer. While this can be a substantial up-front cost, if it helps you reduce the size of the storage unit(s) you need and/or reduce the number of storage units you’re using by at least one, it might be worth it financially. You’ll save on the amount you pay for storage, especially if you end up storing away items long term.
The National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals has resources available for finding and hiring a professional organizer. We suggest speaking with several organizers before deciding whom to go with.
What should be placed in your storage unit? – When you initially acquired your storage unit, you probably did so because you had collected too many things for the space you were living in (or going to live in). So you opened up some space with a storage unit. But sooner or later, you’ll probably fill that space up again and will need to move additional things over to your storage unit. If you’ve sold some of your belongings in your unit, you likely have some open space available now in your unit. If you do this yearly, it also means that you can remove unnecessary items from your home every year and use up your storage unit space again (if necessary).
Note that when you’re ready to complete your storage unit audit, although you can do this whenever you want, we suggest doing it at the start of spring. Review the way your unit is arranged and see if any of your belongings are damaged or covered in dust. Doing a basic yearly audit can keep your stored belongings safe and keep both your living space and storage unit neat and junk-free.