Taking Inventory of Your Storage Unit
Anyone who has had a storage unit knows it can be a lifesaver and a huge pain at the same time. Storage units are good because there are times when you just don’t have enough room in a temporary space or you can’t take everything with you when you downsize. A storage unit gives you the space you need to organize your home and office. However, they can also create problems if you aren’t smart about your storage. If you use your storage unit as a dumping ground for the stuff you’re taking out then you’re just creating a new issue to deal with. There are two main strategies for taking the inventory of your storage unit—depending on your situation.
Ideally, you will think about the organization problems your unit could cause and do your inventory in the beginning. In this case, a simple and easy documentation of everything you store in the locker is perfect. Your documentation should include when it was put there, and some information about the location of the item. For example, you could write that your extra desk was put into storage on December 12 and that it is located in the back left corner of the unit. This way, you have all the information you need about your locker and what’s in it. You can take the inventory by hand, but a spreadsheet program such as Excel or Google Docs will allow you to keep a digital copy in multiple places so you don’t lose it.
This process is the best one to follow because it gives you a real-time inventory of your stuff and how to find it. It also allows you to pack the unit more efficiently. You won’t load the items into storage faster with an inventory, but you can make the space more manageable for the future if you do it right. For example, all of the items you don’t expect to need for a long time should go toward the back of the unit. Typically, this includes large or heavy items that only need to be moved in special circumstances. Then you can save the front of the unit for smaller items that you might need to retrieve in the future. If you follow the process above, you’ll be able to get in and remove just the right item in no time.
The second option isn’t as appealing as the first. In this situation, you’ve already moved a bunch of stuff into storage but you have no idea what’s there or where it might be. In this case, you’re going to need to start from scratch. Remove all the items from the unit and take stock of what you have. As before, start packing the unit with the least likely to be needed items toward the back. Take note of the same information as before so you can use your inventory in the future. You should budget in some extra time for unpacking the unit if you need to take this route.
If you are technical and use QR Codes, you can easily document everything by using Box-Me-Up. It makes labeling boxes easy and hassle free!
Whether you’re taking inventory as you fill your unit or after it’s already full, you should be meticulous and thorough in the process. You’ll thank yourself later when finding your stuff is a breeze.
Working with self storage users all over the United States, Mike James helps customers store their stuff in places like the Cincinnati self storage facility on Hamilton Avenue and in the self storage unit in Cincinnati on Glencrossing Way. When Mike is away from the office, you can find him playing with his kids, hiking or working on the current home improvement project.