Learn How To Store Like A Pro

We’ve previously talked about the merits of self-storage and how picking the right self-storage unit can save you plenty of headaches and tears later when it comes to size. After you decide upon a self-storage unit that works for you and your items, what’s the most effective way of storing those items? It’s important to pack your items in a way that makes the most out of the unit you’ve got. Below are some ideas from your team at U•STORE•IT on how to maximize your space in a self-storage unit.

Use The Room

Most self-storage units tend to have high ceilings. Take advantage and stack your boxes vertically, making sure your boxes are sturdy enough that the bottom box can withstand the weight of other boxes stacked on top of it. Your heaviest items should stay at the bottom and your lightest boxes at the top. Pack them tightly to maximize the use of space and wrap up any fragile valuables in bubble wrap, paper or towers, and linens.

Stay Organized

Keep an inventory and let that dictate how you move items. Larger items you won’t be using should be stored at the far back and items you predict you’ll go back to should be kept somewhere closer to the door. Place your items in a U leaving enough room between your boxes and packages to create aisles to walk through and make sure all your items are labeled so you know exactly what to look for and create easy access to your belongings. Using your inventory list to create a map plotting where your belongings are in the U. Tape this map to one of the front boxes for you to reference whenever you need to grab something from your storage unit. If you add anything to the unit, make sure you add it to your map.

Think Creatively

There is a good chance that your items may not Tetris together inside your self-storage unit. There’s nothing wrong with that; it means you’ll have to be creative and think about how to best maximize the storage unit’s space to your advantage. Disassemble everything to reduce future moving headaches and stack chairs vertically seat by seat. Avoid creating any inaccessible pockets of space. If you have big furniture packed, you can use their hollow areas to create more space opportunities. You can store boxes inside of wardrobes, refrigerators, stoves and washing machines. Be sure to add this to your storage map and if at all possible, do not store anything in front of these items if you know you will need to access those boxes on a regular basis. Place your tables against the wall and use covers on all your items to keep them looking pristine.

How To Determine What Size Of Storage Unit You Need

The storage units we offer at U•STORE•IT are made to solve any challenge you have with storing the things most valuable to you. Self-storage units have housed it all: from furniture to boxes of archival materials to personal vehicles and more. So the question arises: what size storage space do I need? For the uninitiated, this can be challenging. Fortunately, when it comes to looking for the right self-storage unit size, we have a few tips to find the right storage solution for you.

1. Make An Inventory List

Before you undertake a task as monumental as packing a storage unit, it’s essential to make a list of all the items you’re planning on storing. Organize your items into two categories: items you intend to access on a regular basis and items that need to be sealed away as that will affect how you approach packing. Start visualizing your items in boxes, make notes as to whether you need to take apart anything. Disassembling furniture can help you pack units flat and could be the key decision in deciding what size unit to use. Make sure to label everything. Keeping labels on your belongings will make going back to your self-storage unit a whole lot easier.

2. Do Your Research

Size matters. It’s important to measure out the larger items you need to stow away in a self-storage unit. It’ll save you time by focusing on storage units that meet your needs. It can be difficult to assess how much space you will actually need, especially if you haven’t used storage units before. Once you’ve created an inventory and know just what’s going into storage, you can use that to better determine the size unit you need. We’ve taken some of the guesswork out of the equation by detailing the specs of our available storage units with our unit size guide. Our smallest one is a 5×5 unit, roughly equivalent to the size of a personal closet. Perfect if you were just looking to store some boxes or some other small household items. If you need something bigger to store your furniture, a 5×10 unit or a 10×10 unit would have enough space for the large appliances and furniture in your life. If that’s not enough, upgrade to the 10×30; it’s big enough to house the contents of a five-bedroom home.

3. Check Out The Unit In-Person

This step is one often overlooked by people but visiting the storage facility in person can immediately answer questions you have about what items can fit. U•STORE•IT offers tours of our facilities so that you can find the perfect size to fit your needs. Besides getting a good understanding of how to move your items in, you’ll also be able to make appropriate measurements and see if you will be able to take advantage of the unit’s height by stacking your boxes. Our staff is always on hand to answer any questions you have that can help make your storage experience a smooth one.

These steps can eliminate some of the challenges and risks involved in picking a self-storage unit with adequate space and get you much closer to having your belongings properly stored and accounted for.

Are Your Winter Clothes Hogging Too Much Space In Your Home?

Alberta winters are rough and demand plenty of you and your wardrobe. But as the snow melts and the weather warms, what is one to do with their bulky winter clothing? If you haven’t already, store your winter wardrobe elsewhere: in a storage closet in your home or in a self-storage unit. Here are a few pointers on how to make the most of winter storage with the help of a U•STORE•IT self-storage unit.

1. Clean, Clean, Clean

Should you clean your winter clothes before you stow them away for months? The answer is a definitive yes. Dirty clothes will only get harder to clean with time as stains and odours further settle in. That’s not all, you also have to make sure your clothes are dried out before they’re packed to avoid mould and mildew build up.

It’s a must to create an inventory of your items going into storage. Make sure to label everything and pack like items together so you’ll have an easy time finding them later. One benefit of cleaning your entire winter wardrobe now – they’ll be ready to wear when it’s time to take them out in the fall.

2. Store Effectively

One great way to save space is to pack your winter clothes in vacuum-sealed bags. Compressing your clothing with these bags is a handy way to maximize your storage space, not to mention you’ll know exactly what you have going into storage thanks to clear packaging. The key to using vacuum bags is to make sure your usage is strictly short term: less than six months is the recommended amount of time. The longer you keep clothing in vacuum bags, the longer you risk having the fabrics and materials damaged due to the lack of air present. If you know your items need to be stored longer than 6 months or you are storing natural fibres such as wool or fur clothing, or fluffy items such as down jackets or leather, we don’t recommend vacuum sealing. Instead, pack these items in boxes or breathable bags.

3. Climate Control

One major reason people elect to store their clothing outside of their home is to avoid sunlight damage and damp basement spaces. Clothes can become susceptible to mould, mildew or discolouration from simply sitting in damp spaces. When dealing with winter storage, it is recommended to use self-storage spaces with climate control – much like the ones U•STORE•IT offers – that work to reduce the risk of heat and moisture damage.

These tips can make a lasting difference in how you feel about your home and how your winter clothing takes up space during the spring and summer months.

Top Ways To Declutter

Nobody enjoys having to deal with clutter in their home. Clutter can keep you from relishing in a space that’s truly clean and it can make it hard to feel productive. We can all benefit from a proper decluttering in our homes – the less mess we have can make a big impact on reducing our overall stress. Here’s the lowdown on how to best organize your home with some decluttering tips.

1. Don’t Think, Just Clean

Start by cleaning your surfaces. Take everything residing on your desk or other similar surfaces off, wipe all of your flat surfaces down and remove dust buildup. Wipe all of your items and only return the most essential items. Removing excess clutter early on will help you define what you need to keep and what needs to leave your home. Start small and work your way up to the larger, more difficult piles taking up space in your life and home. For the non-essential items that you still need to access, organize them in a drawer, or decorative storage box that can be placed in an out of the way but accessible location.

2. Sort Everything You Have

Take your teeming piles of documents files, clothing, books, and other non-essential or needed items and sort through them, one pile at a time. Be merciless, we can’t stress this enough. If you can easily access it elsewhere or you don’t think you’ll be using it again, throw it out or donate the item.  Once you’re left with smaller piles, designate them to a home. Put them in a basket hidden from sight or keep them tucked away in a box or a file cabinet. Sorting through everything is a great way to make an inventory of your belongings. It’s important to find homes for everything out of place – otherwise, they’ll be free to take up space elsewhere and clutter up your world.  

3. Continually Purge

We tend to associate times of purging with seasonal changes like spring cleaning. The reality is we should be cleaning and purging on a consistent basis. Preventing build-up is essential to reducing clutter and that can be done by regularly taking your clothes and other items to a secondhand shop or clothing swap, slowing down purchases and giving away things that you no longer have a use for. The thought of having to purge and declutter your entire home can also be daunting! Start one room at a time, set a reminder in your calendar every two weeks to purge and organize your home and you’ll be surprised at just how many things you’ll be getting rid of. 

4. Set Up Decluttering Systems

If you don’t use systems to immediately take care of clutter, it can grow in ways you won’t be able to control later. Clutter has a tendency to set in, so it’s important to devise systems to help keep it to a standstill. If they’re set up properly, these systems can help you purge clutter with ease. For instance, paperwork should be divided immediately into filing storage or shredded and recycled when you’ve gone through them so they don’t take up space elsewhere. Keep magazines and books out of sight if they’re not being read. 

5. Integrate More Storage Options

More often than not, clutter is the result of a lack of space of storage to house them.  Where are your items going? Where can they go? Create storage spaces like vertical wall shelves or racks that go up or use baskets and hooks to maximize your storage opportunities and make your home feel less cluttered. If possible, build cabinets that sink into your walls instead of stick out. Use those cabinets to build multiple compartments to organize and store items and keep your place looking clean. 

Adding more storage to your home is not always possible. When you have items that are cluttering your space that you need to store but do not have room for, consider renting a storage unit.  Clutter can wreak havoc in your everyday life, so taking a few of these tips to heart and working to eliminate clutter in your home will leave a big impact in your daily mood and help you save more time in the long run while allowing you to enjoy the space in your home. 

Looking for more space to store your beloved belongings? Contact our experts at 780-469-7867 for a tour of our storage locations.