If space is an issue, or you just want to keep things at home neat and orderly, renting a storage unit is a great way to maintain a clutter free, organized home.

However, even your storage unit, needs a system of organization. Organizing your storage unit is as easy as categorizing and labeling everything and then documenting that information into a storage inventory. It may take a little longer to fill your storage space, but ultimately being organized will increase your efficiency. That way, you won’t spend hours rooting around your unit to find things you need.

It is important to know what you are storing. If you use storage bins you should label them with the contents enclosed. However, you also need to go the extra mile and actually keep a physical storage inventory list. This is a more thorough way of organizing things. Think about a company’s warehouse. In a warehouse there is usually a labeling system in place, but there is also an inventory list–usually a digital one. This is organization on a large scale, but the same methodology can be applied to any organization project–like your storage unit.

Write Everything Down

Your storage inventory list can be as basic and simple as a spiral notebook, or as complex as an inventory ledger book. A simplistic inventory should at the very least include a list of all the items and their general location. For a more complex inventory, a numbering system is a great way to make a detailed list of what you have in your storage unit–especially if you have items stored in boxes and plastic bins.

If you use a numbering system, first number the totes or boxes with a permanent marker. Next, on your inventory sheet, write the number on the box in one column and the contents in the description area. In the last column note the location of the item. Another possibility for an inventory list is to take photos items in the storage unit and label the photograph. You can also create a reference list with details about the contents of the boxes and containers.

Digital Inventory

For the more computer savvy folks, a digital database might be the best solution. A simple spreadsheet is easy to configure for use as an inventory ledger. Make columns for the general description, location and detailed contents of totes and boxes. You can also use a numbering system for your digital list. If you do, be sure to include a column for the numbering. A digital storage inventory is beneficial for many reasons. It’s easy to search and update your list and it is easy to keep multiple copies of your inventory list as a file on your computer, a removable storage device, or even in the Cloud.

Planning Ahead

Hopefully you plan ahead and take your storage inventory with you as you are loading your storage unit. If not you may have a little work ahead of you because the easiest way to make an accurate inventory list is to remove everything from the unit and make a list as you restock the items. Another tip is to place larger items in the rear of the unit if you are less likely to be removing them anytime soon. This will give you easy access to boxes and bins you may need to retrieve items from on a more regular basis. Developing an inventory of your storage items gives you a better idea of what you have in your unit.

Topics: Self Storage Tips, Self Storage Organization