Is your New Year’s resolution to be more organized this year? While you might be gearing up to clear your closets, tackle your garage, and finally get on top of your guest room, don’t forget about your storage unit. 

Performing a storage unit cleanout can free up more space to add new items, which will help make your home less cluttered. Decluttering your storage unit is also a great way to inventory your possessions and get rid of anything you no longer have a use for. 

Not sure how to get rid of your storage unit stuff? In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to a successful storage unit cleanout

Recruit Friends and Family Members

You can probably handle a small storage unit cleanout on your own, but for medium, large, and extra-large units, it helps to have extra hands. So call in some favors and bring along a few friends and family members to help (bonus points if they own trucks or SUVs they don’t mind getting a little dirty). Usually, a promised pizza at the end of the day will go a long way toward persuading people to your cause! 

Create a Workable Space in Your Storage Unit

Before you begin cleaning your storage unit, you’ll need space to work, including pathways that allow access to all parts of the unit. That may mean stacking or removing things to free up space. Be careful not to block the road outside your unit; it may be helpful to stack items in your vehicle if necessary.

Take an Inventory of Your Possessions

If your past self was kind to you, you’ll already have an inventory of all your storage unit possessions. If not, it’s time to make one. Knowing what you have is a critical part of the decluttering process.

Use your phone, tablet, or pen and paper to list all your possessions. Start with the large items you can see, then begin digging into your boxes. While performing your inventory, try to group like items together for easier processing (e.g., clothes, sports equipment, or books).

This process can take a while, but the inventory will come in handy during future storage unit cleanouts.

Divide and Process All Your Possessions

Now we get into the meat of the decluttering process: Once you’ve created your inventory, it’s time to decide what to do with every item in your storage unit. 

We suggest creating the following categories:

  • Keep in storage
  • Bring home
  • Sell
  • Give away
  • Trash

Of course, your categories may need to be different. For example, if you’re completely clearing out your unit, you won’t have a “stay” category.

It usually works best to create a space in the storage unit for each category and move items into those spaces. Work your way methodically through the unit, making a clear decision for every item. 

Be ruthless in moving out items that no longer serve you. If it’s been more than five years since you’ve picked up that tennis racket, it might be time to find a better home for it!

At the same time, be aware of items that might have sentimental value to other family members. For example, you might want to call your kids before giving away their old toys or check with your spouse before tossing their old clothes.

Now is also a great time to check the condition of all your stored items. Is your glassware intact? Is your old clothing free of mold? Check your boxes and containers for cracks and tears as well.

Haul Away Your Trash

Ideally, you’ll want to give away as many unwanted items as possible when you declutter your storage unit, but you may still be left with things you have to toss. Haul out your trash first: This will help free up extra space and make the cleanout easier.

Search for the nearest landfill and double-check its hours of operation. Be aware that you’ll need to pay a fee to unload your items. Alternatively, if you have a lot of heavy things to toss, you may want to consider hiring a junk removal service. You’ll pay more, but it might be worth the added cost for the greater convenience and time savings.

Give Away Items

Why not give away the things you no longer need? Something that’s just taking up space in your unit could be exactly what someone else is looking for. Start with offering items to friends and family members. If no one wants them, check to see if any local charity organizations are accepting donations. Some organizations will even pick up large items at your storage unit. 

A Cleaner Storage Unit and a Cleaner New Year!

Cleaning out a storage unit is a wonderful way to start the new year with only the things that truly matter to you. A more organized storage unit will also be easier to navigate and will free up space so you can add more items over time as your life changes. 

All of us at Price Self Storage wish you a wonderful new year! If you’re looking for flexible and competitively priced self-storage in California, visit your nearest Price Self Storage facility.