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 An old hat, telephone, suitcase, and bat and ball make up just some of the items cluttering an attic.

A Checklist for Cleaning and Organizing Your Storage

It is all too easy for most people to fill up a storage container or attic and lose track of what they’ve decided to set aside. If you are storing your belongings indiscriminately in a storage unit, you may also lose or accidentally damage items over time.

If you are looking to keep your belongings safe and utilize your storage space as efficiently as possible, then there is a wide range of strategies you can employ. From creating an inventory list to installing vertical shelving, cleaning and organizing your storage is completely doable if you are willing to lay the groundwork for a long-lasting organizational system.

Create an Inventory List

A productive first step for cleaning and organizing your storage is to create an inventory list. You may need to start by removing the items in your storage unit and cataloging each one as you reorganize everything. Creating an inventory can help you when you are searching for specific items in the future.

If your goal is to reduce the number of belongings you have in storage, then creating an inventory list can help you to see all of your items written out in an organized way and provide you with a better way to identify what you might not need anymore.

Sell What You Don’t Need

One way to make a bit of extra money is to sell items in storage that you don’t need anymore. If you are holding on to a large DVD collection, but you don’t even own a DVD player anymore, then you might want to consider selling the DVDs you are no longer using. The same can be said for selling CDs. Your bookshelf may be in danger of overflowing as well. Sell off those used books to create some space and make some extra cash while you’re at it.

If you graduated from school a while ago, you can also consider selling old school supplies like calculators or selling your old textbooks that don’t cover important topics in your current field.

Install Vertical Shelving

Installing vertical shelving can help you to make the most of your storage space, providing a compact way to easily (and safely) access all of your belongings. Vertical shelving also allows you to create a better organizational system for your belongings. Depending on the number of items you have, you may need to put vertical shelves all along the walls, or you may need to expand to include vertical shelving in the form of aisles that run the length of the room.

Sort Items By Category

As you are cleaning and getting rid of different items, it is important to organize the remaining items using an easy-to-understand system. This can be done by designating different areas of the room for different types of items.

These categories can include:

Once you have identified the categories that work best for you, you can separate your belongings and place them into the appropriate areas of the storage space.

Store Sorted Items Appropriately

Items in different categories may need to be stored differently. These methods of storage will help to ensure that your items last a long time and remain safe while stored away.

Stay organized and keep your items separated and stored appropriately if you want them to stay protected while they’re stored away.

Use Plastic Containers

When you are choosing containers for your storage space, you should consider buying plastic containers. They are durable and less susceptible to the wear and tear that mold and mildew can cause in other kinds of containers such as cardboard boxes.

Plastic containers can also be transparent. This feature can help you to locate items you are searching for without pulling down several boxes off of high shelves.

Stick With One Container Size

If you are buying plastic containers, be sure to buy all of them in the same size. This will make them easy to stack. It will also help you when planning out the organizational system for your storage space. You will know exactly how many containers can fit on each shelf.

Label Your Containers

As you fill each container and place it in its designated area based on category, be sure to clearly label the outside of the container. If you have an area for clothing, labeling each box in that area with the type of clothing contained inside (winter clothes, shoes, etc.), can help you to keep track of what you have in storage.

Labeling your containers can also help you to make the right choice about where to place the container within the storage space. A container that is labeled with “electronics” can be put on a bottom shelf, while a container labeled “sweaters” can easily be placed on a top shelf.

Make a Map of The Space

Making a map of the space can help you and your friends and family to find needed items in the future. This is especially important if only one person worked to organize the space and make the layout. A map can help other people to find what they need within the space.

If you make a map of the space, consider leaving it near the entrance so that it is available to family and friends who enter the room.

Ensure There’s Room to Walk

Safety is an important concern in crowded storage spaces. Creating aisles that are wide enough to maneuver through can help you to stay organized and safe. You want to avoid precariously arranged piles of belongings, as these can fall and cause injury.

An organized space that can be easily navigated is essential to staying up to date with your inventory and checking on your stored items.