11 Great Storage Tips for Storage Units

Storage units are great for storing your extra belongings when you are short on space, but it can be difficult to know how best to utilize the space. Here are some storage tips to help you make the most of your unit.

Did you know that an average household has around 300,000 items? That is a lot of stuff–and it’s challenging to keep everything organized. Some people find themselves with too much stuff to store at home, and they need to rent a storage unit for all those extra belongings. If you are one of these people, then this blog post is for you!

So, what are some of the great storage tips for storage units you need to know? Well, you must always ensure that you use clear containers so everything is visible, label items with a marker if possible, store furniture on its side or upside down, and make sure there’s sufficient room in front of the door, so nothing gets blocked as you go in and out. You should also keep frequently used items near the entrance, so they’re easy to access and store boxes upright instead of flat since this takes up less space.

Read this post to learn more on how to store your items in a self-storage unit to save on space.

Why Do You Need a Self-Storage Unit?

Before we dive deep and start discussing some of the storage tips, it is essential to highlight some of the reasons you need to consider renting or purchasing a self-storage unit.

Self-storage units are a great option because they offer you an opportunity to store your belongings at a low cost and without taking up valuable living space.

This is especially important for people who are in-between homes, have too much stuff to fit into their home temporarily, or need temporary storage before moving their items into the new place.

Self-storage units also provide peace of mind because everything is securely locked up and monitored 24 hours a day.

Tips for Storage Units

The following are some of the top storage tips you should know before storing your items in a self-storage unit:

1. Use Clear Containers So Everything Is Visible

It is always a good idea to use clear containers for all of your belongings so you can easily see what is inside. This will make it easier to find specific items and also helps you keep the area tidy.

Clear bins are available at many self-storage facilities, or you can purchase clear storage boxes from retailers near you.

Just make sure that the containers are big enough to hold your items but not so large that they take up all the space in the unit.

For example, if you’re storing a few sweaters, use a sweater box or storage bag rather than an entire closet organizer.

2. Label Items with Marker If Possible

It is also important to label any boxes with a marker as well as any furniture that you are storing in the unit.

If possible, label items with a marker, or use painter’s tape to cover all surfaces, so they do not scratch easily when moving them around and while stacking boxes on top of each other.

You can also purchase pre-made labels from stores such as Office Depot, but it is essential to remember that these labels have adhesive on the back and won’t work with cardboard boxes.

A "Kitchen" Label box.
Always label containers to easily find them whenever needed.

3. Store Furniture on Its Side or Upside Down

It is always a good idea to store furniture, such as couches and dressers, on its side or upside down, so it does not take up unnecessary space. This also prevents any items from falling out as well.

If you are storing furniture, such as a couch or dresser, place it on its side or upside down, so it does not take up valuable space and become damaged from being stacked horizontally.

If the box is too large to hold upright, use painter’s tape to secure all sides of the container to ensure nothing falls out.

A woman with a plastic wrapped furniture.
Store your furniture on its side or upside down to maximize space in the storage unit.

4. Leave Enough Room in Front of the Doorway

Ensure there’s sufficient room in front of the doorway, so nothing gets blocked as you go in and out, especially if your unit does not have a ramp or elevator.

Make sure that any furniture items are pushed up against walls or doorways to create more space for walking.

Check on the organization of the items and group similar items together to make the retrieval process faster.

5. Store Items on the Bottom Shelf

To save space, it is best not to stack your boxes of belongings onto shelves in a self-storage unit.

Instead, place all items on the bottom shelf so you can put additional boxes and other large storage containers on top without having them block access to the lower shelves.

It is essential to keep in mind that you may need a step ladder for this, so make sure you have one on hand when moving items into your unit.

If possible, try not to stack boxes of belongings on top of each other as they will take up more space and be harder to reach if you arrange them side-by-side.

6. Use a Waterproof Unit

Homes and buildings are prone to water damage, so it is always essential that you use a waterproof storage unit or have high walls, where leaks will not seep inside easily. This way, your items can stay dry if there happens to be flooding in the area.

If you are looking for a self-storage unit that will protect your belongings from water, be sure to check out recommended units with high walls or those which have been certified as waterproof by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) or the equivalent body in your country.

A storage unit facility.
Select a storage unit that will protect your stored belongings from water damage.

7. Keep Frequently Used Items near the Entrance, So They’re Easy to Access

Frequently accessed items such as suitcases, car seats, or bicycles should be stored near the entrance of your unit. This way, you can quickly pull them out and take them with you when leaving without having to do any heavy lifting.

The last thing you want to deal with is lifting heavy objects when you are in a hurry. Therefore, the closer the frequently accessed items are to the door, the better.

8. Store Boxes Upright Instead of Flat Since This Takes Up Less Space

If you are using cardboard boxes, make sure to store them upright instead of flat on their sides or top, so they don’t take up as much space.

For example, if the box is too large to hold upright, use painter’s tape on all four corners and seal it tightly before stacking another one on top, just like a real-life puzzle.

Do not store boxes flat on their side, as it will take up more space and make the storage process more complicated.

A pile of boxes.
Always store your cardboard boxes upright and use painter’s tape on the corners to seal them tightly.

9. Pack Items Neatly to Save Space

It’s essential to pack your boxes neatly so you can save space and not have them take up all the room in your storage unit.

If possible, use smaller shipping containers for packing fragile or lightweight objects. Keep in mind that they come with styrofoam on the bottom, so you don’t have to worry about items getting smashed.

If stacking boxes, make sure to stack them neatly in order of size and weight; with light objects on top and heavy ones at the bottom.

Do not place heavier objects like appliances or furniture near a wall, as it will cause damage over time when they are constantly being moved.

10. Add Shelves to Your Storage Unit

If you use a storage unit that doesn’t come with shelves, it is essential to add your own. This will help organize everything and make the space more efficient for storing different items like clothes or books.

You can use metal shelving units or small plastic crates if you don’t have enough room for long wooded ones.

The most important thing is to ensure that the shelves are strong enough to hold the weight of your items.

11. Invest in a Storage Unit with Lockers

If you are storing costly and delicate items, consider investing in a storage unit with lockers instead of regular cubicles or rooms.

This way, only those who have access to the key can enter without having to worry about someone else going through your things.

A wooden digital locker.
Consider investing in a storage unit with lockers instead of regular cubicles or rooms.

You can always find storage units with lockers in many different sizes and styles, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find the perfect one for your needs.


The key to storing items in a storage unit is knowing how the space will be best utilized. There are many ways you can store your stuff, but it’s vital that you ensure there is enough room for opening doors and walking around inside your unit.

You should also consider if all items are clearly labeled so they’re easy to find when necessary. If not, consider using clear containers or labeling items with a marker before packing them up for storage.

Although this may seem like common sense advice on what to do during storage, these tips could help save time and frustration by making sure everything is organized properly from the start!

We hope we’ve been helpful and would love any feedback or questions in the comments section below.

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