Tips for Downsizing Your Storage Unit

Your storage unit: it was supposed to be a temporary thing. You found a great location, packed up your stuff, and stored it—for a season, a semester or even a year.

And it was a great idea! Putting things in storage has given you the freedom to travel, to check out a new job on a trial basis, even to go on an extended honeymoon. Now, as you pay your monthly rental fee, do you ever stop to add up how many months it’s been?

When you think about how much time you have been paying for your storage unit, don’t be too hard on yourself. Sure, there are naysayers who will press you and ask, “How much are you paying for that every month?” If the answer is less than you would be paying for a bigger apartment or house, then you are consistently coming out ahead.

That said, there are a couple of reasons you may wish to downsize your unit. If you can sort, organize and clear out some things, you could move everything into a smaller unit and save money every month. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about selling some of your stuff to put some extra money in your pocket. Or maybe you just really miss playing the accordion that you packed away.

Here are a few tips to downsizing your storage unit.

Don’t try to do it all in one day!

Whether you packed up everything in one go or have been adding to your unit over time, there’s probably a lot of stuff in there. Cleaning out your storage unit is a bit like fixing a bicycle: it’s easier to take apart than to put back together. When it’s time to sort out your storage unit, schedule a few hours at a time on different days to maintain your energy and focus.

Have a goal in mind.

It’s very easy, when you come across a box of photos or books or gadgets, to get distracted. Having a goal in mind can help. Are you there to gather up things to sell? Are you looking for things that you can give away? Is your goal to cut the contents by half? Combining a time limit (above) and a goal (i.e., find 10 things you can sell on eBay) will keep you focused.

Bring boxes with you.

As you downsize, some things are going to have to go. Bring one box for donations and one for things you plan to sell. Drop the donations off on your way home—you’ll be achieving your goal of downsizing and helping others at the same time.

Label as you re-pack your unit.

If you labeled everything that you put into your self-storage unit, you are a champion organizer. If you are, like so many of us, a bit more haphazard in your storing habits, this is a good time to start labeling. Label every box you put back into the unit so that, next time you are there to work on your downsizing plan, you don’t have to re-sort the contents.

And you’ve done it! You’ve taken the first step in downsizing what you have in your self-storage unit. And you’ve set yourself up for success going forward.

Conna Shannon

Conna Shannon

Conna is a writer, editor and aspiring filmmaker. She's into DIY, upcylcing and macrobiotic cooking. She lives in Monterey, California, with a yellow lab named Daisy.
Conna Shannon

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