Clearing Out a Storage Unit: A Step-by-Step Guide
A storage unit is a great asset and the perfect place to store excess items. You may need more room for old furniture, holiday decorations, or other items in the house. But eventually, the time comes when you have to clean it out. Use this step-by-step guide to clean out your storage unit!
Start With a Cleaning Plan
Diving straight into things when cleaning out the storage unit can be tempting. After all, the faster you start, the quicker things should go, right? Wrong. Cleaning without a plan increases the risk of getting off track or becoming disorganized as you work.
You may need help clearing out the storage unit, especially if you have a lot of items. The longer you wait to ask for help, the harder it can become to enlist the assistance of friends and family.
When developing a cleaning plan, you should also create a timeline and goals so you don’t draw out the process. Most of us don’t enjoy a major project like this, but cleanliness keeps you organized and helps you take inventory of the things you own and want to keep.
Ask for Help
You should ask for help even if cleaning isn’t a big deal. With many hands, getting everything organized becomes much easier. Give everyone a task to do so no one feels like they’re standing around or focused on someone else’s job. And, of course, remember to thank your wonderful friends and relatives for offering their assistance.
Create a Goal-Oriented Timeline
Your timeline is another important part of your plan because it helps keep you on track and prevents things from dragging out. Create goals surrounding your timeline, such as when you want specific areas cleared out. Cleaning is a time-consuming project; having specific objectives prevents you from rushing through things or going too slowly at any point.
If you have difficulty staying on task, set a timer in hour-long increments so you dedicate that time to cleaning. When you find yourself distracted by items or reflecting on memories, set those belongings aside and move on to a different cleaning task.
Move in Sections
No matter where you are, diving straight into the mess and sorting through things isn’t helpful, even when you have a plan. Section off your storage unit so you can divide and conquer with your team of helpers. Alternatively, you could break large areas into smaller ones you move through together. Going this route may be easier because those helping you can ask your opinion on whether items can go into a donation pile or if you want to keep them.
Label Piles of Belongings
This step to cleaning out your storage unit is one of the most important and will prevent you from making a new mess as you try to empty your storage unit. Everything shouldn’t go into a single pile that you’ll have to sort through again. Instead, create piles for the following:
- Items to donate
- Things to take home
- What belongs in the trash
- The things you’ll keep in storage
To keep things even more organized, you can categorize belongings according to item type within each of these categories. For example, in the donation pile, have a box for clothing, one for décor, and one for old toys. This way, you can take inventory of everything you’ll keep and get rid of.
Donating Old Belongings
Sorting your belongings makes the donation process easier for you and the charity. These types of organizations don’t take every kind of item, as most have a specific area of focus. Project B Green happily accepts a wide range of charitable donations. We take items like books, clothing, accessories, housewares, and more! Let go of the things you no longer need so you can help your community.
Deciding What To Keep
If you’re a sentimental person, deciding what to keep versus part with feels like a dreadful challenge. To make things a bit easier, ask yourself the following:
- When did I last use this?
- Would I miss this item if it were gone?
- What makes this belonging special?
Answering these questions helps you decide what’s truly special and which items you’ll miss far less than you fear. If you have an old dress your grandmother sewed for you, then wanting to keep it despite it no longer fitting makes sense. But if it’s simply a dress you bought from the store because you liked it, you may not need to hold on to it. Parting with old things makes room for new items you may like more.
Taking It Home vs. Leaving It in Storage
As you sort through everything, you may come across old furniture, decorations, or clothing you forgot about wanting at home. If you have a purpose for it in your house, take these items home or swap them out for something currently in the house to save space.
Deciding What’s Trash
The final category is your trash. These are items that you no longer want but also can’t donate. Worn-out clothing or damaged furniture can’t usually go to a good home. However, that doesn’t mean it belongs in the regular trash either. Search out the appropriate disposal centers so items get recycled and don’t waste space in our landfills.
Keep It Tidy
Once you’ve donated and disposed of everything you don’t want to hold on to, it’s time to tidy up so you can create a bit of order. Invest in shelving units and storage bins so you can place things inside of them according to the type of item. All your indoor fall decorations can go in one box while winter items go into another; you can also put outdoor décor into its own area.
Keeping everything organized makes it easier for you to take inventory the next time you clear out our storage system and decide what to get rid of. The easier tasks become, the more likely we are to do them, especially if we can break them down. Rather than go through your entire storage unit, you can solely sort through winter items.
Why Clean the Storage Unit?
Why bother cleaning out the storage unit? After all, the only people that go in there are you and other household members. Plus, it’s just a place to store extra belongings. Going through your belongings allows you to declutter and rent a smaller unit. Or you could use that extra space for other belongings from the house.
There’s no point in wasting space on items you don’t want. Cleaning the area makes using your space wisely much easier, and you can donate all those unwanted, gently used belongings. Donate to Project B Green today so you can make a difference in your community.