Take the time to organize your items before storing them in your NYC storage unit, and you’ll feel as organized as Martha Stewart when you locate that punch bowl and matching set of 12 cups for your holiday party without rummaging through box after box of Halloween decorations. Although it may seem all this planning and preparing is a huge project, the upfront effort is well worth it, especially if you are considering long-term storage and plan on accessing your storage unit frequently.

Here are ten tips for organizing your storage unit efficiently and safely:

  1. Try to create a walkway or aisle so you leave enough room to access the back. You can either leave aisles between your stacks of boxes and furniture, or line up all your furniture and boxes against the outside walls of the unit to form a “U” shape, leaving the inside of the U as open space.
  2. Same-size boxes help with stacking and accessibility.
  3. Use a permanent marker, such as a Sharpie to label all boxes.
  4. Write the category of the contents in large letters on at least two sides of each box. Ideally, use white stickers as labels instead of writing directly on boxes.
  5. Make sure to stack boxes and containers so that you can see the labels you put on them.
  6. Take advantage of all available space. Anything that can be filled, such as wardrobes, drawers, washing machines and fridges can be used to store small boxes.
  7. Largest items should go in the back while items that you need frequent access to should go toward the front of your unit.
  8. If you’re stacking boxes, put the heaviest boxes at the bottom to avoid damage.
  9. Keep some distance between your items and the walls to ensure adequate air flow.
  10. Take a photo inventory and list of everything in your unit. Keep it at home in a safe place.

While these steps may take some time at first they are well worth your effort. You will save yourself a lot of time and energy in the future and can breathe a huge sigh of relief as you open the right box the very first time you’re looking for something.

Need help organizing your storage unit or need packing and moving supplies? Make sure to contact one of the storage experts at Gotham Mini Storage (the leader in Manhattan mini storage).