Thinking about renting/leasing a self-storage unit? Well, you aren’t alone. According to some reports, there are more than 58,000 storage facilities worldwide, 46,000 of which are located in the United States. Each year Americans spend more than $6.6 billion on self-storage — a number that’s expected to grow larger in the months and years to come. But if you’re going to spend money on a self-storage unit, it’s important that you use the space in an efficient manner.
So, what’s the best way to maximize the space in a self-storage unit? No, it doesn’t involve stacking your boxes up to the ceiling. When you first rent a self-storage unit, you should begin by consolidating your items and boxes before placing them in the unit. Doing so will make a world of difference in terms of how much spaces your items take up; thus, allowing you to fit more items into the unit. Go through your boxes to see if you can consolidate them, moving items from multiple boxes into a single box.
Instead of storing all of your items in cardboard boxes, you may want to consider using plastic bins. For about $10 bucks a piece (sometimes less), plastic bins offer a cheap and effective way to store your belongings. Unlike cardboard boxes, they won’t buckle under pressure, meaning you can stack them relatively high without fear of them collapsing and damaging your items. Furthermore, plastic bins are waterproof, making them particularly effective at protecting your items in storage.
Now let’s talk about how exactly to maximize the space in a self-storage unit. Because storage units come in different shapes and sizes, there’s really no easy answer to this question. However, the key thing to remember is that you need a “foot path” to travel from the entrance of the unit to the rear. Some tenants create an “I” shaped path, giving them access to all of their belongings while still being able to move in and out of the unit with ease.
A good rule of thumb to follow when using a self-storage unit is to place all of the larger, heavier items towards the back and then fill the voided space up front with smaller items. Regardless of whether or not you follow this rule, be sure to label all of your boxes, crates and plastic bins so you know what’s inside. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to find a particular item in a room full of unmarked boxes.