When thinking about renting out a storage unit, what often comes to mind is how much can fit in a specific area. We tend to forget about all the vertical real estate that comes with that space. You can still hang items in a storage unit along with placing them on the floor.
However, most people can solve their hanging needs with the following suggestions. Saving space is the end goal, and sometimes there are other ways to keep the items in an area without having to rent multiple storage units. Going vertical will save money and keep the garage open for projects. Keep reading below to find the method that helps you the most.
Does Your Unit Have Finished Walls Inside?
When you sign the lease for your storage unit, it will be apparent that you either have or do not have the authority to make structural changes to the storage unit. If the storage unit company allows you to hammer in a few nails to maximize that vertical space, then great. But usually, this is not the case. After all, who wants to rent a storage unit that looks like it was a part of World War 1?
Nonetheless, you may be able to sneak in a nail here or there depending on the storage unit itself; if there are no finished walls, maybe the manager on duty will allow a ceiling hook or a few nails to be placed in the walls. Using Wardrobe racks is recommended by some storage facilities where hanging nails are not permitted.
Usually, cold storage units and fully finished units do not allow any nails or hooks to be placed in their walls. Another alternative to using nails and pins are using Command® hooks. You can place these hangers virtually anywhere. Adhesive hangers tend to hold less weight but are perfect for just about anything you may need to hang above other stored merchandise.
Most of the time, the adhesive will rub right off after you take down the adhesive hangers. You can find these 3M brand Command® hooks to hang anything that is not too heavy. These adhesive hangers are perfect for hanging small to medium-sized odd, shaped objects such as:
- Picture Frames
- Peg Boards
- Oversized, lightweight items
Stretched Bars Resting in High Places
If you cannot even think about putting anything on their walls, it’s time to consider more creative options. Another easy solution would be to hang stuff off of bars. It saves space and time; also, most of the bars are strong enough to hold any weight that you can place on the bar without bending.
Shipping Bars Across Boxes
You can always use shipping bars or long poles to hang items between stacked boxes. To provide the maximum stability to your makeshift storage rack, you want to place the heaviest boxes on the ground first.
Building the stack from most decadent to lightest and most significant to smallest will provide an excellent foundation for the bars set across them. Think about building a closet where the walls are your storage boxes. Then secure the bars either inside the top boxes horizontally or on the top part of the package with some heavy-duty duct tape.
After securing the bars to the top box and making sure that they don’t move, you can hang light items on the bars, such as bags of clothes or accessories.
Cargo Bars or Extra Pipe
Cargo bars can be laid across the open rafters inside the storage unit to provide an almost hangable ceiling. The cargo bar sits horizontally across, connecting the two ends of the storage unit, and there is enough space between each bar to hang items from.
Having a few Cargo bars can help make use of all of the storage unit’s vertical space. You can hang just about anything from the bar with a hanger or an S hook, and they are strong enough to hold heavyweights.
If what you have is not as heavy, you can also string up PVC piping across the top of the Storage unit rather than Cargo bars. PVC Piping is available at any hardware store nationwide and is relatively inexpensive. You also can only hang lightweight things on PVC pipe.
Here is a nifty how-to video on creating storage devices from PVC pipe.
S Hooks Can Be Very Useful
S hooks are designed to balance a vertical item and a horizontal item without damaging either product. Typically, these Hooks are shaped like an S and are hung upside down to provide the more prominent space on the hook for the merchandise being hung. The S hook suspends the item in the air and requires no installation. S hooks will depend on a rafter or a pole to provide the support needed to hang up things like clothes, pots, pans, and even bicycles.
Hanging some S hooks from the rafters on the exposed walls is an excellent way to use them. Depending on what you are hanging, you can fit a lot of S hooks around the storage unit’s top.
Some of the more common things hung with S hooks in storage are:
- Pots and pans
- Seasonal kayaks
- Boating oars
- Ropes and cables
Peg Boards or Additional Shelving
Pegboards are great for storage; you can hang additional smaller items on the pegboards to save space. You may not even need specific pegs to hang things up. Some people can make do with just the pegboard and some old wire.
Adding extra shelving will help provide a shelf for those tough-to-store products, such as kitchen appliances or odd-shaped items. Frames are great for keeping knick-knacks or plastic containers. Make sure you get permission before drilling holes in the walls and hanging the shelves. Sometimes you can add the shelving right above the pegboard for maximum space savings.
Taking an old appearance board and hanging it across the top of the storage will create a lovely hanging shelf. The board’s edge will act as a shelf to support S hooks, ropes, or other items.
Hanging things from a portable storage shelf is another idea that can save much vertical space. If one is already inside the unit, set it up and use those shelf edges and rack tiers to hang items.
Other Ways to Save Space
Creating a storage plan is a great way to save some space. Just taking some graph paper and mapping out your area on a few pages does wonder. You can plan out your storage unit the way you like and even save time by organizing your trips based on your storage plan.
Disassembling oversized heavy items
Items that take more space when they are put together than when they are apart, such as furniture, has a considerable space-saving benefit. Just remember to put the screws and bolts in a storage bag and tape it to the side of the table. You could also use the furniture to store other items in or on to save even more space!
Divide The Interior Of The Storage Unit Into Sections
You could divide it up by seasons or by collection. Make it a rotating schedule if you need to where the next available space becomes the current storage place.
Get Creative With Your Storage Mastery
Placing your items together in a fashion that saves the most space is priceless. Getting vacuum-sealed bags and combine them with a good old fashion camping roll can keep almost an entire summer’s collection of clothes in one bag. Stacking closet organizers in a manner that helps maximize space can save a ton of empty air.
No matter which method or combination of techniques are chosen, you can save some space, saving time and money for future adventures. Turning the trip to a storage unit into a game itself is always a fun way to pass the time loading the storage unit, and it helps save space.