Storage spaces offer the perfect place to keep belongings in the short term during a move or for a longer period if the items aren’t needed regularly. However, space is at a premium in storage units. Organizing the storage unit is crucial, no matter how long belongings will be stored in it. Use the following tips to make sure the storage unit is organized properly so anything that is needed can be accessed quickly and with as little hassle as possible.

Put Everything in Boxes With Labels

Other than furniture or appliances, everything that is put in the storage unit should be placed in a box. Organize the items as they go in the box, keeping like items together. Label all of the boxes clearly. Since boxes typically need to be stacked in storage units, label both the top and one of the sides of the box. Later, when something is needed from the storage unit, it will be easy to spot the right box as the label will be visible even if there are other boxes on top of the one that’s needed or something stored in front of it.

Labels can be as simple or complex as needed. If the contents of the box are organized, most of the time a simple label like “kitchen” is all that’s needed. It may be a good idea to number the boxes and create an inventory with what items are in which box to make it even easier to find anything that might be needed once the boxes are placed in storage.

Use Vertical Space to Store More

Since floor space is minimal in a storage unit, make sure to stack all boxes and use up the vertical space. Heavier boxes must be at the bottom to avoid damaging the items placed in lighter boxes. Larger boxes should also go at the bottom, with smaller boxes on the top so they’re easier to access. As the boxes are put in the storage unit, make sure to start at the back and then place boxes along the sides, stacking them as much as is safe. Leave the center of the storage unit open for as long as possible. This creates an aisle through the storage unit so it’s easier to access the boxes in the back and makes it easier to store the items that may be needed sooner right inside the door once the unit is full.

Organize the Unit Based on What’s More Important

When the boxes are being placed in the storage unit, make sure to put items that aren’t likely to be needed in the back. Frequently used items that may need to be accessed should be near the front of the storage unit. This will help minimize the need to pull tons of boxes out of the storage unit so a certain box can be found. When using the storage unit for a move, this helps make sure the items needed first will be in the front, ready to go, so they can be brought to the house first. Things that aren’t needed right away, like holiday decorations, will be in the back.

Renting a storage unit makes it easier to store items long-term or to pack up everything ahead of time for a move, but the items need to be organized so they’re accessible when needed. Use the tips here to make sure your storage space is organized and to ensure you’ll be able to find items when you need them.