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The Best Way to Organize a Storage Unit so Nothing Gets Lost or Broken

organize storage unit

Preparing to organize a storage unit can be frustrating. You’ve got a limited amount of space to put a seemingly endless pile of boxes and furniture. How do you keep track of where everything is?

If you need to find something in a hurry, you can forget it if your storage unit is unorganized. You could be lost under boxes for hours trying to find the thing you need. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

If you’re not sure how to pack and organize a storage unit, keep reading. We’re going to break it down for you from packing your boxes to creating a simple map to help you when it comes time to unpack!

Preparing Your Storage Unit

Long before you start putting boxes and furniture away in your storage unit, doing a little work to prepare it will go a long way towards keeping it organized. Make sure you clean the unit thoroughly. Sweep and mop the floors, wipe down the walls, and check the area for any cracks or leaks.

Once you’ve done that, you can start to install shelving units. Shelves help you make the most out of the vertical space without having to stack boxes on top of each other.

Invest in Shelving and Plastic Storage Boxes

Instead of using cardboard boxes, opt for sturdy plastic bins. Clear plastic storage bins are larger, sturdier, airtight, and they allow you to quickly figure out what’s inside of them without having to remove the box from the shelf.

They also tend to last longer and they can be stacked a little easier.

Plastic bins are also better protection against pests, dirt, and water damage.

How to Pack for a Storage Unit

Different items have different packing requirements. If you’re not careful when you put the items away, they may be damaged when you get them back out.


Clean all of your furniture thoroughly before storage. Use a high-quality wood cleaner on all of your wood furniture. Vacuum out cloth and leather furniture.

Break down furniture as much as possible to create extra space in the storage unit. Take apart anything that can easily come apart. Table legs, bed frames, desks, and couch legs are all easily disassembled so you can store them.

Cover up the furniture with sheets, quilts, or towels to keep dust and moisture at bay.


Make backup files of all information on computers, laptops, phones, and tablets. Remove the cords and cables and put them in waterproof bags.

Wipe down all of the equipment and cover them with sheets to keep dust and moisture out.


Wash all clothing items before you store them. Consider using vacuum bags to compress and protect bulkier items like winter coats and bedding.

Fold clothes and place them in sealed containers. Add oxygen and moisture absorbers to prevent mold from growing. If you have expensive garments that require extra care, hang them in garment bags on a garment gart.


Give all of the appliances a thorough wipe down before you store them. Drain all the water from hoses and tanks to stop freezing damage or mold. Make sure everything is dry before you store it.

Keep the fridge door open a little bit to allow air to circulate and keep everything fresh.

Delicate Items

Glass, mirrors, dishes, and antiques require extra time and effort to keep safe in a storage unit. Wrap them each in their own protective bubble wrap and store them with lots of packing material in plastic bins.

These items should go on a sturdy shelf to ensure they’re not crushed or knocked over by accident.


Allow your books to air out in a dry room before you pack them. Wrap them in acid-free archival paper and pack them flat. Remember to store them in smaller boxes so they don’t become too heavy to lift.

Let these boxes sit at the bottom of the shelving unit or stack of boxes.

How to Organize a Storage Unit

Once you’ve got your items packed away safely, you can move on to organizing the storage unit itself.

Prioritize Access

Put the things that you’ll want in the near future towards the front. Anything you don’t think you’ll touch should go in the back. Make the things that you need more frequently easier to grab so you don’t have to fish through a pile of things to find what you want.

Use Labels

Even if you use clear plastic bins, make use of labels to tell you what’s on the inside of a box at a glance. Be specific!

Store all boxes with the labels facing outwards so you can see them at a glance.

Keep an Inventory and Map

Keep a record of what you put in your storage unit and where you put it. This is especially true for things like important documents, photos, and other things you may need to grab quickly.

Consider taking pictures of your organization and keep them in a spreadsheet so you can easily track where your things are.

Leave Walkways

As you’re storing your furniture and boxes, make sure you leave a walkable path to all of your items. Think of it as a clothing store. Organize the aisles so you can get to anything you need.

Use Furniture Space

If you are storing dressers or desks that have drawers, use that space for small items that you don’t want to lose. This is a good place to keep the plastic bag full of cords for your electronics!

More Storage Unit Organization Tips

You’ll want to organize a storage unit to ensure you get as much use out of it as possible. A well-organized storage unit will help protect your belongings and make it easier for you to unpack when the time comes! As long as you follow these tips, you’ll have an organized storage unit that you can count on.

If you’re looking for a storage unit in the Kingston, WA area, contact us today!