5 Tips for Cleaning Out Your Storage Unit

Many think that cleaning out their storage unit is something that only needs to be done when you are vacating the unit. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Cleaning out your storage unit periodically can help you get the most out of your storage unit.


How’s that you ask?


If you have a self storage unit that is full of random items that you haven’t looked through in years, you could be storing items that are broken, damaged, or obsolete. They may no longer hold any important value to you or your family, so why keep them.

Don’t waste any more time, or money, and start cleaning out your storage unit on a quarterly or semiannual basis.

It’s also important to clean out your storage unit regularly so you don’t waste time and money purchasing items you already have. If your storage unit isn’t cleaned out regularly, how will you know what you have inside it?


Don’t waste any more time or money! Start cleaning out your storage unit on a quarterly or semiannual basis.


It may not seem like it but cleaning out your storage unit regularly can help you save time and money.




Well, think of it as a you would the attic or a basement. When you continually pile things into a space without really noting what is there, you have no way to account for what is there.


This can cause you to buy unnecessary items when you already have them in storage.


Also, cleaning your storage unit out regularly can save you time. Many who utilize self storage units do so for multiple purposes or multiple household items. If your unit isn’t clean, you can waste several precious hours looking for the items you need.

You may also need to clean out a storage unit won at auction.


Some storage units are won at an auction. These units can be full of numerous items. Once you take ownership, it is your responsibility to clean out and vacate the unit within the given timeframe.


Following the provided tips can help you prepare and clean out the self storage unit efficiently.

tips to clean out your storage unit

Cleaning out your self storage unit when vacating can be just as tedious as moving.


When you are ready to vacate your storage unit, it can be an overwhelming and tedious task. Just as it is when you move from an old home to a new one.


It takes time and a lot of lifting. Following these tips, can help you save time, and will save your back.


Whether you are moving out of your storage unit or going through and cleaning it out to make sure it is staying organized, you will need to make sure you are well prepared for the work ahead.


5 Tips for Cleaning Out Your Storage Unit


To help you complete this chore swiftly, we have developed a list of ___ tips to help you ensure your storage unit is cleaned out properly. Following these tips can help you ensure you’re getting your unit cleaned, organized, and can also make sure your items are continuing to stay in good condition.


1. Make a list.

If you are cleaning out your current self storage unit, you will want to create an inventory of the items you have. Hopefully, you’ve already created a list. If this is the case, you’ll want to make sure you bring your current list along with you to make sure you update it as needed.


There is also the possibility that you’ve won a storage unit at auction. In this case, you will need to make a list as you go to create an inventory of the items inside the unit.


You can determine how you create your inventory list, but here are our suggestions to help you get started:

  • Create categories to put items into as you go versus just writing them all down together.
  • Only inventory the items you plan to keep or sell.
  • If you plan to sell items, create a separate inventory for these items.


2. Get help from friends or family.

No matter what, you will need to get a little help from some friends or family for the day when you are cleaning out your storage unit. As mentioned, you will have a lot to move and sort through.


Enlist help from those willing to spend the day going through this process with you. To be safe, be sure to ask for more help than you think you’ll need. The more people, the faster it will be.


This isn’t just true for vacating a unit or going through a unit after an auction. Though these can be a lot of work, it is also necessary for you to get help if you are cleaning out your current storage unit.


Either way, we suggest you follow these few guidelines when getting your “team” ready to help you:

  • Plan for it to take all day!
  • Get more help than you think you’ll need.
  • Bring water and snacks to keep everyone hydrated and energized.

Get help while cleaning out your storage unit

3. Set aside plenty of time for the day.

Though mentioned above, this is a key component that many miss. You may think that cleaning out and organizing your self storage unit will only take a couple hours. In fact, it could take 6-8 hours.


If you have a self storage unit that you haven’t cleaned out for years, going through it may take 3 – 4 times longer than you expect.


This can cause some issues, especially if you are vacating or looking to clear out a storage unit won at auction.


To be sure you are well prepared, follow these guidelines when planning your day ahead:

  • Confirm with the self storage facility what time you must be vacated or how soon an auctioned unit needs to be cleaned out.
  • Add a couple hours onto your expected timeframe.
  • Get it all done in one day. If you try to do this over a few days, you will waste more time than necessary.


4. Have a plan in place for sorting your items.

Sorting through your items is an important part of cleaning out your storage unit. Go through and sort the items you have and get rid of what you don’t need. It’s a must.


This is especially important if you are going through a storage unit that you won at an auction.


Also, if you have a storage unit that has been sitting for a long period of time only to be opened to toss more things inside.


Either way, if you’re going to get your storage unit cleaned out and organized, or cleaned out so you can vacate, sorting through your items is a must.


To do this effectively, you should have boxes or bins to put each item, that will fit of course, so you know where it should go. If necessary, you should have piles, boxes or bins so everything can go into one of these categories:

  • Keep. These are the items you’re keeping either to take come or to put back into the storage unit.
  • These are items that you no longer need or want but are in good enough shape to still be of use to someone.
  • Trash. These are items that are no longer useful and are broken belong in this pile.
  • Sell. These are the items that are worth selling. Whether you choose to have a garage sale or put things up on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or some other online marketplace, you want to be sure to know exactly what you must sell so you can take pictures and price the items. This can be especially important if you’re going through an auctioned storage unit.

sorting boxes

5. Get Creative.

This might sound like a no brainer, but if you’re looking to clean out your storage unit to make room for other things, or if you’re sorting through and cleaning out an auctioned unit, you will want to get creative with the things you sell, donate, and choose to keep.


You may choose to keep somethings that have potential to be turned into something else. On the other hand, you may choose to donate to a local thrift shop or to a relative’s garage sale instead of taking things to the Goodwill.


Or you may choose to find other avenues to sell items.


Either way, no matter how you choose to get rid of the things you don’t want to keep, it takes time.

An extra storage unit can give you the extra space you need in the short-term.

An extra storage unit can give you the extra space you need in the short-term.


One thing you can do to give yourself more time to do what you need to would be to reserve another storage unit for the items you are looking to get rid of. Having an extra unit for a month or two may provide you exactly what you need so you can prepare and sell the items you’d like. It’s even possible that you will make back the money you spend in storage costs and then some!


If you need some extra storage space, you can contact a Shield Storage location near you today for availability. For more information or if you have questions, contact one of our locations today!

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