Even if you purchase an adequately large storage space on the front end, you will probably add to your collection of stuff over the years. So the time may come when your storage unit is maxed out on space. One option is to upgrade to the next larger size. Of course, we’re more than happy to accommodate that. But another strategy to consider is to do some decluttering of your storage unit. Storage is there in the first place to help you declutter your house, but when your storage gets too full, it’s time to go to work.
First, do a little planning on the front end. Realize that it’s going to probably take you more than just a few minutes, so try to estimate how long it’s realistically going to take, and then incorporate that time into your schedule. It may take working a couple of hours a day on weekends for several weeks until the job is done. Also, this might be a good time to accumulate garbage bags and boxes for hauling things away and to enlist the help of some family or friends, in case you need an extra hand. You might also need a truck for hauling, so if you don’t have one, make plans early to borrow one.
Next, take notes about everything you have as you go through your unit. That will help you make decisions about what can stay and what should go. Then, just as you would if you were decluttering your home, separate your unit’s contents into three piles: a keep pile, a trash pile and a giveaway/sell pile. (You could separate giveaway and sell, for a total of four piles.) You’ll want to keep the things that you anticipate using or that have sentimental value. Trash things that are broken, unsalvageable or useless. Consider recycling items that qualify as such. As for the rest, you could set aside a pile for a yard sale or private sale, or you could haul a bunch of things off to a local charity like Habitat for Humanity or Salvation Army.
Finally, once you have made your piles, you may want to sweep out your storage unit, assuming you’ve removed everything. Get rid of any cobwebs that may have accumulated in corners. Then put back only those things you’re keeping. Clean items first, whether with a wet wipe, towel or dusting cloth. Then use organization tools like totes to help you store items and keep them protected from moisture or being smashed by falling objects.
You may even consider leaving some cleaning supplies behind in your storage unit, so that next time you visit, you can wipe down items and totes to prevent them from becoming dirty, damaged or infested by pests.