Storage units may have their many uses, but there’s a reason many of them get auctioned off so often. While we all understand the point of a good storage unit, we also know that we’re usually not putting our best stuff in them. This leads us to forget about whatever we put in these lockers, or at least leaving the problem to deal with later on. These units can’t sit around forever, though. Eventually, you’ll need to address the elephant in the storage unit.
Cleaning out a storage unit can be quite the project, especially if you have large and bulky items clogging them up. You don’t need to feel discouraged should your unit be a bit of a mess. We’re going to give you a few tips for efficiently cleaning out your storage unit. These should lessen the burden on your shoulders and remove one considerable annoyance from your life.
Take a Full Inventory
The first thing you’ll want to do is go through everything in the storage unit and make notes of whatever is in there. This step is crucial because if you don’t know what you’re working with, you won’t be able to tell if you’re about to toss something you would rather keep. The chances are high that there is something in there that you’ve forgotten about. Keeping a list of everything in the unit will help you keep track of all your items.
Strategize and Compartmentalize
Once you’ve got your list all set up and you know about everything in the unit, you can start to tackle the task of making a strategy. Sure, you could dive headfirst into the mess and begin randomly throwing things away. However, by creating a plan of attack, you can keep yourself on track. Break down the cleanout into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Don’t Be Afraid To Say Goodbye
One of the best tips for cleaning out your storage unit is to be okay with leaving some things in the past. Letting go of old things that may have meant something to us at one point is never easy, but it’s for the best. They weren’t doing you any good sitting in a storage unit anyway, which means it’s probably time to let them go. This is also important because the more things you can be okay with getting rid of, the simpler it will be to sort through everything in the unit.
Even the smallest of storage units may need a few extra hands to get everything cleaned out. The personal nature of storage units may make you want to clean it on your own, but this will only make the process more difficult. Ask for help when you need it. As long as you’re sincere and maybe promise a few favors on top just for good measure, your friends and family can be a big help in lightening the load from your shoulders. Just remember, the more of you there are, the less work each individual has to do!
Set Aside a Day for Decluttering
Cleaning out an entire storage unit isn’t going to be a one-hour process. You can bet on the whole thing taking a few hours at the very minimum. To ensure you have enough time to get the whole thing done, you may want to plan a specific day for the cleanout rather than doing it whenever you feel the urge. This has the bonus of keeping you motivated throughout the cleaning process. When you’ve blocked out an entire day for a cleanout, you’ll have fewer distractions.
Create Sorting Categories
Whether you’re working alone or with assistance, it’s going to be extremely useful to have specific boxes or areas that designate the end result of each item. Here are a few of the valuable categories that work best:
- Keep – put everything you plan on keeping and bringing back home here.
- Donate – anything useful that you no longer want can go in this category.
- Sell – reserve this category for items you believe will sell.
- Throw away – everything that you can’t sell or donate goes here.
You want to make sure that you go through your storage unit in a systematic manner; this can mean whatever you want. Maybe you want to start from the back moving forward. Maybe you’d prefer going from one side to the other. Whatever your preferred method of cleaning, a methodical approach is going to leave you much less discombobulated when it comes time to sort everything you’ve just moved. Take a slower, more measured approach and you’ll find that you actually get through more items quicker than if you had rushed yourself.
Plan Out Transportation
The last thing you want to deal with when you finally finish cleaning out your storage unit is to find out that you don’t have the space in your vehicle to move anything. You can’t donate boxes unless you get them to the donation center and you can’t bring home keepsakes if they won’t fit into your car. This is something that you’ll want to plan for early on in the process, so you don’t get blindsided by this problem later on.
Use a Junk Removal Company If Necessary
If the mess is more than you can handle on your own, there’s no shame in calling in a junk removal company to remove all the garbage. You should still ensure that anything donatable or useful is removed and safely tucked away before they arrive. Junk removal experts can really speed the process along if you don’t have the ability or energy to deal with cleaning out an entire storage unit.
Cleaning out a storage unit may be a bit of a hassle, but you never know what you might rediscover inside one. GreenDrop loves storage units for the plethora of donatable items that we receive from their cleanouts. If you’re looking to donate something, say a clothes donation in Saratoga, VA, the GreenDrop clothing donation site is ready and waiting to accept your donation.