Learn How to Effectively Declutter Your Home and Store Items
Whether you’re new to self storage or simply want some tips to store items more effectively, U•STORE•IT is here to help. Here, we share our best tips for effective storage and home decluttering.
Storage Tips and Tricks
Follow our guidelines to ensure your stored items remain in top condition:
- Prepare your storage space by placing a pallet on the floor. This, along with leaving an air space around the unit’s perimeter will aid in ventilation and help prevent condensation. Cover all your stored possessions with a light plastic sheet to protect them.
- Use boxes! We like to say, a box for everything and everything in a box. Boxes are the best protection for your goods. Use uniform size boxes and stack them shoulder height to maximize use of your storage unit.
- Pack stereos, cameras and other high value items in unmarked boxes toward the rear of the storage space.
- Place frequently used items near the door and remember to leave a walkway to the rear of the space.
- Always use a good quality lock on your storage space.
- Wedge appliance doors open, and always clean your stove before storing.
- Pack books flat to protect their spines, and pack them in smaller cartons to ensure they will be easy to lift. Line all book cartons with plastic—garbage bags make good liners.
- Store mirrors, windows and screens on edge, not flat. Crate them in a mirror pack if possible or package them individually with strong cardboard. Mark them so they won't accidentally be bumped.
- Take time when packing dishes and glasses. Place a layer of packing paper inside the bottom and top of cartons. Plates and glasses should be wrapped individually. It is best to stack plates on edge.
- Wipe the surface of bicycles, tools and other metal items with a slightly oily rag to prevent rusting.
- Save holiday decoration boxes that contained delicate ornaments, and pad the ornaments with packing paper or newspaper.
- Protect furniture and mattresses with specially designed plastic covers. Place a pallet or cardboard mat on the floor and stand sofas and mattresses on end.
- Store records on edge. They are quite heavy, so be sure you don't pack too many in one box.
Helpful Hints to Deal with Clutter
If you’re getting your home ready for a move or readying items for storage, these are excellent times to sort, organize and dispose of items you don’t use. Our tips will help you make the most of the time you spend decluttering.
- Set aside specific blocks of time to declutter, which will help you focus and maximize your time.
- Choose one room or area to tackle at a time. Decluttering can be daunting, so choosing one space and finishing that space will help keep you focused and encouraged.
- Create a sorting system to help you decide which items to keep and which to discard. We recommend the following categories:
- Keep (for items you love, need, that work well and are useful)
- Donate (for items you don’t love or need)
- Sell (for useful items you don’t use)
- Toss (for the broken/useless)
- Enlist the help of a friend. A friend can be more objective, helping you see what items should stay and go.
- Celebrate when you’re done! No matter how small, take a moment to reward yourself for the good work you’ve done decluttering your home.
Helpful Supplies for Decluttering, Storage and/or Moves
Whether you’re boxing up a few items for storage or packing your entire home, have these items on hand to make the process easier:
- Tape/tape dispenser for boxes
- Markers to label everything
- Brown paper or plain newspaper to protect delicate items
- Stretch wrap to hold together items with multiple parts
- Inflatable bags to fill empty spaces
- Foam peanuts to fill empty spaces
- Blank labels to provide info about the boxes' contents, e.g., 'Fragile', 'Kitchen'
- Box cutter to cut through tough seals and textiles
- Mattress covers to protect mattresses from punctures and rips