I just finished loading our Christmas decorations into our storage unit. I love our storage unit and have a few tips for you.
Why do I assume you have one? Because Utah loves storage units. In fact, according to Selfstorage.com Utah facilities represent 25.5 million square feet of storage space. That's a lot of space. Also
Utah has 8.71 square feet of storage space for every man, woman, and child. That's greater than the national average of 5.4 square feet per person.
Here are some tips to help you maximize your storage space:
It seems like a lot of renters including myself sort of treat their storage unit like a necessary evil. A few years ago I decided that I would like our unit. It didn't seem to be going anywhere and it was also nice to have been able to use some of the space for a nonprofit that I work with. Just this mental change from loathing to liking has made a significant difference in how I use the storage unit. If you need help in liking your space, I focused on the convenience of freight elevators, carts to move bulky things and the ability to put stuff away, like a Room of Requirements in the Harry Potter series.
Once you start loving it, look for ways to maximize the space. One strategy I have noted, probably because I am tall, is the use of vertical space. I have seen solutions where careful stacking allowed overhead space to be used. if you store your ladder any way you can use it to get to the tall shelves. Don't forget about space under tables or cracks between stacks. Step back and try to envision space that is being wasted. I was surprised when I had to move some of our non-profit that, with some creativity, our storage unit was able to absorb all of the extras.
I know you have heard this over and over again, but organization is really key to happy storing. The more you can put like items together, the easier it is to see the contents of a box, the more clear the labeling, the easier it is going to be to manage your stuff. We put all of our Christmas stuff in red totes. Sometimes I leave items out of boxes on purpose so they can be seen. I make sure I have aisles so I can get to the things I need. I like it when my storage area feels like a mini warehouse or a little side street store.
One bonus tip that I stumbled on has to do with air-tight tubs. Yes, they are great for protection from water damage or outside dust, but I found that I loaded some things that needed to breathe in sealed storage and the items got moisture-damaged. Just be aware of the temperatures and humidity when you are stashing your stuff.
I know it sounds odd, but I try to visit often. I don't spend too long there, but just like leafing through your favorite boutique you might find something you could use, or have something in the car you can store. I try to make it an active part of our decorating and treasure-saving. Some days I de-clutter a little, or just look through boxes of things that I have put off making a decision over.
I hope that if you do join the masses of Utahns who have a storage unit this information helps you feel a little more friendly about your things and where you store them.
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Gallery Credit: Clay Moden