10 Tips for Using a Storage Unit Efficiently

September 10th, 2019
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Convenient Vancouver Storage Units

There are some things you can do to be more efficient about your use of storage units, whether it's for long-term or short-term.

Here are our top ten tips for you.

1. Cull your belongings before putting things in storage.

Don’t save items that you’re going to throw out next year. Carefully go through everything that you are considering putting into storage before committing to packing things up. There may be quite a few items that you could live without.

2. Create a master list of what is in storage.

Keep a copy of the master list inside the unit where you can find it easily, and also keep a copy at home. This will save you a lot of grief when you’re looking for something and don’t remember whether it’s in storage or not—like Aunt Bertha’s toaster oven that you want to bring home for when she visits. A detailed master list is also important if you ever need it for insurance purposes. Also take photos of anything valuable and keep the receipts.

3. Label what is going into storage.

Label boxes on a side, preferably the side facing the front. Labeling on top of the box doesn’t help you if you’re stacking boxes. Either write on the box or write on some masking or painters’ tape applied to the box or item. Either mark carefully what is inside each box, or number the boxes and have the “key” to the numbers on your master list.

4. Cover clothing racks or furniture with sheets or plastic.

This will protect them from the dust that will inevitably settle. No matter how clean the storage facility is, your possessions will gather dust in their closed room.

5. Pack boxes carefully and fully, especially if you’re going to stack them.

It’s easy to crush boxes that are not fully packed. Pack “like” things together. You’ll be sorry if your child’s toys are packed with kitchen utensils, when you’re looking for something like Aunt Bertha’s toaster oven.

6. Stack boxes appropriately.

This means putting heavier and larger boxes on the bottom and progressively lighter boxes on top. You don’t want super heavy things on top that could fall when you’re not there or crush lighter boxes underneath.

7. Be safe.

This means bringing an extra person or a stepstool or both when you are arranging your unit. Boxes full of items like books can be extremely heavy and awkward to lift and move around.

8. Tape boxes closed.

Taping your boxes closed keeps everything neater and prevents dust creep—see #3. We carry a full line of supplies needed for packing if you’re missing anything.

9. If you’re coming to your unit to look for something bring a pocketknife or X-Acto knife to open boxes and tape to reseal them.

A sharp instrument will make quick work of opening boxes when necessary. Don’t use your car keys or break all your fingernails. Seal up boxes again when you’re done.

10. Periodically assess what you have in storage.

If you go through your master list regularly you may find things that you no longer need to keep. These are the possessions to get rid of. Don’t pay for storage for items that you will never use again.

Yaletown Mini Storage offers brightly lit, clean, affordable storage units in downtown Vancouver. Most units have 9-foot ceilings, and there are no access fees or limitations. There is very little storage available in downtown Vancouver, so if that's what you're looking for, here we are! If you have any questions about this article or our downtown Vancouver storage units, contact us at (604) 603-5885. 


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