How to Maximize the Space in a Small Storage Unit

Jon Fesmire | June 14, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

When it comes to maximizing your storage space, a little planning goes a long way. Once you’ve picked a self storage facility you like and a unit size, it’s time to store whatever you don’t currently need at home. When done right, you should end up with a tidy storage unit in which you can get to anything you need while still making the best use of the available space.

If you’ve opted for a small storage unit, here’s how to get the most out of the available space.

Purchase Standard Boxes

When you purchase boxes in which to store your things, get those that match for each task. You should have one box size for all your books, one for foldable clothes, and so on. Grocery store boxes won’t cut it if you want to maximize your space. (On a side note, boxes contaminated with food can attract pests.)

Make sure the boxes are also sturdy and right for stacking. Chances are, your self storage facility will have exactly what you need, but if not, hardware and home improvement stores may have a good selection.

Keep an Inventory

Make time to pack everything you plan to store. That way, you’re more likely to keep them well organized, a good start for using your space wisely. As you go, keep an inventory of what’s in each box. This will serve two purposes. First, it will slow you down and help you properly load each box. Second, when you need to retrieve a specific item from storage later, all you’ll have to do is consult your inventory to know exactly where it is.


Is any of your furniture made to fold down? If so, take advantage of this feature and do so to make space. Clean your furniture pieces as well before you bring them to storage.

Computers and Electronics

I admit, I’m guilty of putting computer and monitors in a self storage unit without first boxing them. Now, I know how to properly store electronics. Put each computer in a sturdy box, along with its mouse, keyboard, and monitor, and fill the space with packing peanuts. Not only will this give the computer some protection, it will make it easier to stack.

As for your cords, roll each separately and bind with a cable tie. Those that go with your computer can go in the corresponding box. Others can go in a separate box. Again, remember to inventory everything!

Loading Your Self Storage Unit

On the day you bring your stuff to your self storage unit, the order in which you load the unit is important.

Start with your heavier, bulkier furniture. Desks, bookcases, and the like should go against the back wall. You may have room for smaller boxes on the shelves. If so, put them there in an organized fashion. The same goes for under and on top of any desk.

If you’re storing a couch that can safely rest for long periods of time on its side, that will help save valuable floor space. Consult the company that manufactured the couch for advice.

Cover your furniture with blankets to keep it relatively free of dust.

Place similar items together. That includes things that don’t go in boxes, like chairs, and boxes with similar items. On that note, stack like-sized boxes. They will not only support each other better, but will make neat, space-maximizing columns.

Finally, make sure to leave an aisle within your unit that allows you to get to all your items, or at least most of them. The fewer boxes you have to move around to retrieve one thing, the better.

These tips should help you use the space wisely. For additional tips, including how to store a wide variety of things, check out other posts in the StorageFront blog. Always remember to keep an inventory of your boxes and unit, and follow the above instructions to store them well.

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