Self-storage is a booming industry in the United States. About 10.85 million Americans rent a self-storage unit, and of those renting, 52% of people say they plan to rent for a year or more. If you are one of the many Americans planning to utilize long-term self-storage, you should consider forming a plan to keep track of what is in your storage unit. Keeping track of the items that are in your unit can allow you to utilize these items more efficiently, helping you to make self-storage a useful part of your life as opposed to an area to keep items that you never plan to use again. When making a plan, you should integrate these five tips.
Use Your Storage Company's Mobile or Desktop App
Many storage companies offer online services as well as mobile and desktop applications to make using their services easier. Using these apps you can usually pay your bill, reserve a storage unit, and complete other tasks that you would normally do in-person. Most apps also include either a place to take notes about what is in your storage unit or a table to keep track of boxes and their contents. You should become comfortable with filling this section out every time you change the contents of your units.
The benefit of these apps is that you can share your login with your entire family so you can keep track of the storage contents together. If your storage company does not offer a mobile app that you like, you can check out third party storage or organizational applications online.
Go Low-Tech When Necessary
Mobile apps are only useful if you actually use them. If you find it difficult to get in the habit of updating the contents of your storage unit on your phone or computer, then you may want to purchase a notebook and keep track of your belongings by hand. A good way to keep everything organized on paper is to dedicate each sheet of paper to a single box and then number your boxes accordingly. This gives you plenty of room to mark off items that you have removed and add new items to the notebook as necessary.
Practice Thorough Labeling
Having a list of all of the items in your unit will not do you much good if you cannot find the items when you need them. You should make sure that you consistently label boxes as you put them in your unit. You should label the top and sides, so the box number can be seen from every angle. You may want to print out a list of each box's contents to tape to the side and top of the box for quick sorting.
Divide Your Unit Into Sections
If you have a larger unit, you should consider dividing your unit into sections. For example, you can keep your seasonal belongings in one section, your spare or replacement items in a second section, and your keepsakes in a third section. This will allow you to easily access the items you need.
Set a Yearly or Quarterly Organization Day
Part of keeping a well-organized storage unit is regularly cleaning it out and getting rid of the items you no longer need. This allows you to rent a smaller space and have easier access to items you regularly use. Set a day each year on your calendar when you will sort through your belongings and update any errors in your records.
Knowing what is in your storage at all times can keep you from buying an item you already have and help you keep your storage costs down. Following these five tips will help you know what you have and where it is for easy access.
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