Organizing Your Storage Unit

Why do people (one in 11 American households) rent storage units? According to Wikipedia, industry experts often refer to the 4Ds of life (death, divorce, downsizing, and dislocation). Also, some homes do not have a basement or attic so a storage unit holds what homes with those attics and basements store there.

If you are one of those one in 11 American households that rent a storage unit, you will want to keep it organized and decluttered. Treat this unit like another zone in your house.

When organizing follow these steps:

  • Determine the purpose of the unit. Is it mainly to store seasonal decorations and party supplies? Is it storing items while your home is being renovated? Are you holding grandma’s items there until you can decide on what to do with them?
  • Have an inventory of what is in the unit. 
  • Label all boxes and if possible use clear bins.
  • Zone out the unit so like items are stored together. If you are using the unit for holiday decorations, have all Halloween in one zone and all Christmas in a different zone.
  • Use shelving so boxes are not stacked on top of each other. Boxes will crush if stacked too high. If you want something from a stack of boxes the odds are it will not be in the top box.
  • Have pathways so that you can safely get to each zone in your unit. If shelving is packed close together, have rolling casters on the bottom of the shelving units so you can move one out into the hallway temporarily to get to what you need.
  • At least annually reassess the purpose of the unit and remove all items that are no longer needed or loved.
Do not use storage units just to keep things out of your house. If you are paying every month for storage, make certain that you know the reason why it is important to you. Then honor the items in the storage by keeping them organized.





Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Less Stuff = More Money


Money, Honey! It’s that simple.

How does less stuff equate to more money?

First, know that every time you buy something you do not need or love, you are throwing away your money. Getting control of impulse buying can certainly save you money.

Next, if you have bought things you no longer need or love, don’t pay money to store them just to keep them out of your space. One in ten U.S. households rents a storage unit. It’s the fastest growing real estate segment over the last 35 years.

Last, you may be able to retrieve some money by consigning or selling items. The average woman has 27 pairs of shoes; the average man has 12. Men and women have on average 88 articles of clothing each. Of these clothing items, 25% are typically unworn. Clark Howard in today’s AJC talks about getting rid of stuff that you no longer use and making a profit. For clothing he suggests consignment stores, for furniture he suggests Craig’s list, and for antiques he suggests eBay.

There is an estimated $15 billion in unused tech gadgets in junk drawers worldwide according to IKEA. Clark Howard suggests the following sites for getting rid of electronics.

  • Glyde.com for gadgets and games
  • Gazelle.com for Apple products, plus Android, Blackberry and other phones
  • Gizmogul.com for selling old phones for cash and donating to charity at the same time
  • NewtonsHead.com for Apple products, even damaged iPhones
  • BuyBackWorld.com or BuyMyTronics.com for all electronics
  • NextWorth.com for phones, camera, tablets, and games
  • Swappa.com for Android devices

If you don’t want to go to the bother of selling your items, you can also donate and get a tax write off.

Not only will you make money by getting rid of your excess “stuff”, you will also feel so much lighter. Enjoy that extra space!

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer