Whether you are moving to a new house, looking for extra storage for your business, or are simply lacking space for all your possessions, renting a storage unit is a great way to ensure your property is safe and secure.
However, after months or years in a storage unit, your belongings can become covered with dust, out of date, or something you simply forgot you had and don’t want anymore.
Spring and summer are the ideal times to clean out and reorganize your storage unit. Here are a few tips to help you deep clean and expertly organize your storage unit this spring or summer.
Declutter Your Unit
Eliminating clutter is the first step to getting your storage unit clean. Take out all the items from your storage unit and place them just outside the door, or ask the staff if there is another place where you can search through the boxes. Divide all the items found in your storage locker into four simple categories: retain, throw away or recycle, sell, or donate.
You can recycle electronics through a local electronics store or a nearby recycling center. Donate or sell any items that are no longer your style, you haven’t needed, or you have forgotten were even in the storage unit. Examine your seasonal clothing. If the clothing smells musty, clean it before putting it back into the unit.
Take an inventory of your belongings as you go through your storage unit. Additionally, look for any mold, mildew, or insect damage. These items should be removed from the unit and cleaned before you place them back into storage.
Do not place your items back into the storage unit once you are done purging. Instead, leave them in a secure area while you deep clean the unit.
Clean the Floors, Walls, Shelving, Totes, and Furniture
Eliminate dust, dirt, and other debris from the flooring, walls, and the items inside your unit to help prevent further damage. Ask the storage facility if there are chemicals you are not allowed to use to clean your unit, such as ammonia or bleach. Often, the best option is to create an all-purpose cleaning mixture with a fragrance-free cleaning product or dish soap and water.
Clean the floors and walls with your prepared product. Allow the unit to air out before moving any shelving or boxes back in. Wipe down any plastic or metal shelving with the prepared cleaning solution. Wipe down the plastic totes, as well. Examine your furniture for any dust or mold growth. Any upholstered furniture or mattresses that are harboring mold should be removed immediately from the unit and cleaned by a professional.
Store items in vacuum-sealed bags or airtight plastic totes to help prevent any future mold or mildew growth.
Store your cleaning supplies inside the unit, and return every few weeks or months to wipe down the totes, shelving, and the exposed flooring and walls.
Create a New, More Efficient Layout
Take your inventory list and create a more efficient layout for your items inside the storage unit. This will allow you better access to your items. Here are a few tips to help create a storage unit layout:
- Divide your items into categories. The categories could include seasonal items, kid’s clothing, toys, documents, and kitchen items.
- Purchase shelving or pallets. In addition to making it easier to organize your boxes and totes, shelving or pallets keep your items off the floor. This can help prevent pest damage.
- Purchase a clothing rack. Hang your winter coats, dresses, or more expensive items on a clothing rack for added protection. Place the items inside breathable garments bags instead of plastic. Plastic bags do not allow the clothing to breathe and can cause mold to form.
- Label all the boxes and totes. Labels allow you to more easily access exactly what you’re looking for.
Place your items based on their size, weight, and how often you will need to access them. For example, your furniture, mattresses, and items you won’t use often should be placed at the back of the unit. Construct the shelves in front of the bigger items and stack the boxes and totes for easier access.
Arrange Your Clean Storage Unit
Finally, arrange your storage unit based on the layout you created earlier. When you arrange your shelving, pallets, and clothing racks, make sure to leave enough space that you can easily move around the unit. Leave some space for future use. If you are not able to create space for new items in the future, consider renting a larger unit.
Clean, declutter, and reorganize every spring or summer to help keep your items safe and ensure that you’re not storing items you no longer want or need. If you have any further questions, contact the professionals at Sentry Mini-Storage Inc.