How to Organize a Self-Storage Unit

Self storage is a great investment to make when you or your family are having difficulty decluttering your home from all of your personal belongings. 

One of the luxuries of self-storage units is that you are completely in charge of taking care of your assigned space and therefore the items inside. The downside to this is that you are also in charge of keeping it organized. 

You can use your storage unit how you want to, but the last thing you want is to have a disorderly mess in place of an actual solution. By keeping your space clean with a proper arrangement, you can fit more into the space, find objects faster and get the most use out of your unit.

Why It’s Important to Stay Organized

Storage units aren’t just a place to keep things you don’t want – if you had no use for one of your items, you’d just get rid of it altogether. Most of the belongings you keep in your unit you have plans to use again. As such, you need to be able to access them when the time comes.

If your storage unit is bursting at the seams or has boxes and bags placed haphazardly around the space, you’ll never be able to find where you put specific items. You’ll waste time searching or might not even find it at all. 

At this point you’re just wasting money. 

Organizing your storage unit and maintaining the system you put in place is the best, most efficient way to go about self-storage. That way you can keep your valuable possessions in a safe place while still being able to use them when needed.

Tips to Keeping an Organized Self-Storage Unit

1. Create a Storage Inventory

It’s easy to forget what you put into storage, let alone where you put it. The best way to keep track of everything that goes in is by writing it down in a storage inventory list.

When you put something into your unit, make sure to add it to your list. It may help to include numbers on boxes and then write down on the inventory sheet the contents of each box and how many of each item it contains.

There are numerous ways to keep a record for your unit. You can even make this a digital file. Just make sure you are consistent with your tracking and update the list every time you take things out or add them.

Inventory Sheet Examples

2. Label Each Box

If your unit includes several boxes or bins that look alike, labeling them will make it less confusing and much easier to find what you’re looking for. 

Make sure to label the top and side that you will be facing when you come across it.

Close-up of woman packing signed boxes with adhesive tape during relocation

3. Plan a Layout 

No matter how big or small your storage unit is, you should put some thought into arranging what goes in it. Create pathways or aisles throughout your unit so you are able to walk around and get to specific boxes.

Depending on what you’re storing, you could also plan out sections based on similar things. For example, you could keep all of your old furniture toward the back, and line the aisles with clothes bins.  

4. Use Shelves 

Installing shelves into the side of your unit can help protect smaller boxes and trinkets while making them easily accessible. Shelves will also give you extra storage space. By putting smaller objects and boxes up high, you clear the floor for other, larger packages to take up space.

storage boxes in corner at front desk of self storage center

5. Organize According to Size

When you pack up your possessions for storage, odds are you put them in different sized boxes depending on their shape, weight and quantity. This system should be continued when you place them in your unit. 

Larger, heavier boxes should be shifted to the back of the unit because they are harder to maneuver around. On that same note, smaller, lighter boxes should be in the front because they’re easy to move and shift when you’re looking for something. 

Similarly, if you plan to stack boxes vertically for more storage space, stack the smaller packages on top of the bigger ones. That way nothing breaks from the weight.

6. Deconstruct Furniture  

Furniture takes up a lot of space. Items like bed frames, headboards, tables and dressers may be easier to store if you disassemble them before putting them in the unit. This can give you more space to put other belongings and makes the furniture piece less awkward to maneuver. 

If it’s not possible to break your furniture down, consider how you can use its blank spaces for more storage. For example, beds have space underneath them that can fit small boxes and dressers have drawers you can fill. 

7. Keep Important Belongings Toward the Front

Depending on what you’re utilizing your storage unit for, there may be items you need to take out frequently. These can include seasonal clothing, children’s toys or power tools that take up too much space in your home on a regular basis. 

Since you plan to continue using them, it’s smart to keep them easily accessible by placing them at the entrance. That way you don’t have to sort from any of your other belongings or travel too far into the unit to reach them.


Self-Storage Units Available in Martinsville, VA

Now that you know how to organize it properly, make sure to get a storage unit that matches your needs.

If you’re planning to store furniture or even a car then you would want something closer to a 10’ x 20’ unit opposed to a 5’ x 10’ that’s more suited toward short-term storage for seasonal items. Even if you’re a master organizer, you still need some space to help you move around the unit.

Storage Center has several storage facilities in Martinsville that offer units of all sizes. We have both indoor and outdoor locations that are fully equipped with video surveillance and pin code access. You can trust our units to hold your most precious personal belongings.  

Features of Your Storage Unit


With keypad security only accessible with a personal PIN code, our storage units offer quality security to keep your valuables, collectibles and other property safe and secure.

Climate Controlled

Whether wood, metal, plastic, fabrics, clothing or other materials, our climate-controlled units keep your stored property protected and in the best quality.


As sealed storage spaces, our units come in a wide selection of sizes to cater to all your storage needs, no matter the amount you want in your unit.


Maintaining locations in Central Martinsville, our facilities are conveniently placed to make it easy for you to rent, pack and store any and all belongings.

“Love this place for Uhaul rentals and storage rental. Wouldn’t go anywhere else.”

Rosalind | 2022

“Very nice facility. Units are very secure which was awesome! Staff seems to really care about protecting my belongings and are very helpful. I will never use another storage facility again as long as the Storage Center is in Martinsville!”

Shelley | 2022

“Needed a unit in a hurry. They were very accommodating. Super clean facility and very secure.”

Brad | 2018

A Storage Center U-Haul truck outside of a college.

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