Spring Cleaning: How to Clean Out a Storage Unit

Warm weather is for fresh air and fresh starts. After spending all winter cooped up at home, a deep cleansing can open your space and give you peace.

Before you clean every room of your house and box up personal belongings to shove into storage, you might want to tackle that unit first.

Storage units are a great solution for decluttering your home, but the more you add into the space, the more disorderly the unit itself becomes. When you plan to spring clean, start by going through your items in storage and getting rid of what you don’t need. Then, you can make room for newer possessions without making more of a mess.


5 Steps to Cleaning Out Your Storage Unit


1. Take Inventory

Opening the door to your storage unit and seeing a massive pile of items haphazardly laying around can be overwhelming – where do you start? Before you go throwing things away willy-nilly, it’s better to get an idea of what’s in your storage space.

If you don’t already have an inventory list (or one that’s updated), start by opening up boxes and seeing what you have. Take stock of what you see and organize everything into categories. Family heirlooms should be separated from common household items, which should be separated from clothing.

Write down everything you have and create a system to help you find them later on (for example, numbering boxes).


2. Unload and Declutter

Once you create an inventory and know what you have, take everything out of the unit until it’s bare. You may need to take your possessions to a secondary location depending on the storage facility you house everything in and how much time it’ll take you to sort through every box.


3. Keep, Sell, Donate, Toss

The best, most effective method to sort through and clean out your pile of possessions is to organize them into different groups:

  1. Items you need/want to keep
  2. Items you don’t need and are large/valuable enough to sell (ex: furniture, artwork, etc.)
  3. Items that can get donated for others to use (ex: clothes, appliances)
  4. Items with no value that you don’t need and can get thrown away 

Once you’ve gone through every box and bin, make a plan on how to enact these decisions.

Depending on how many belongings you’re throwing away or how large they are, you’ll need to locate an on-site dumpster or coordinate a trash removal pickup service. Then, you need to load and haul off the other items to their designated places. You should be returning to your storage unit with less than you left with. 

4. Clean Your Entire Unit

Before putting everything back in your storage unit, clean out the space so it’s nice and tidy. Sweep or mop the floor and wash out any stains or clutter that might have spilled in the unit when you were moving things or as the items had been sitting there (packing peanuts are really good at making a mess).

Keeping the space neat will help preserve your precious belongings and avoid ruining fragile material.


5. Organize What Goes Back In

The main purpose of cleaning out your storage unit is to get rid of unwanted belongings and keep your unit accessible. As important as it is to get rid of the items you don’t want, you also have to make sure you take care of the items you decide to keep.

Create an organized strategy of how you want to put everything back in the unit so it fits and is easy to reach everything of importance. That way, you can avoid future clutter and confusion.

For tips on how to organize your storage unit, read one of our articles


Tips for Decluttering

Sounds easy – right? Well if this is your first time sorting through a unit, each step can seem like a lot of work. Here are a few tips to help you effectively declutter and clean your unit:

  • Set goals for every step. This will help you stay on top of each task and not get distracted. It also helps you see your progress.
  • Enlist friends and family to help you. They can be a voice of reason with the items you don’t need but have an emotional attachment to.
  • Avoid bringing unnecessary items back inside your home – the whole point of your storage unit is to keep these objects somewhere else.
  • Contact local thrift stores ahead of time to see what donated items they take.
  • Don’t be afraid to make multiple trips. If you have a lot of furniture or boxes in storage, it may take a while to sort through everything. Don’t rush and miss something. Take your time and visit the unit over a couple of days.
  • Have a truck available to transport items to their next destination (thrift store, landfill, etc.). If you don’t have a truck, consider renting a U-Haul.

Self-Storage Units Available in Martinsville, VA

Is this the first time you’ve done spring cleaning in your home and are in need of a storage unit to keep your extra belongings?

Have you gone through your old unit and realized you can downsize?

Storage Center has solutions for all of your storage needs in Martinsville, VA. We have several storage facilities throughout downtown with units of all sizes to hold your various possessions.

Check out what we have available and contact us to start your storage journey.

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.

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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.

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Rosalind | 2022

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

Brad | 2018

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