We’ve all been there: your storage unit is out of sight, out of mind, but sooner or later, The Day will arrive. You know it: the day you have to tackle everything inside.
Maybe once-cherished items now seem like worthless junk, or perhaps you’re still attached to the contents and can’t bear to part with them. Either way, we’ve got a system that’ll give you peace of mind for this endeavor.
Read on to learn how to clean out and rationalize your storage unit – plus some great tips for parting with items of sentimental value.
1. Take a Full Inventory
Overwhelmed just opening the door? The best thing to do is take a step back and list everything you see. Once you divide items into different categories, the sorting process will become much easier. And as the unit clears out and contents reduce, you’ll feel better about managing this project – one step at a time. Next, we’re going to make a plan.
2. Make a Plan
Though tempting to grab items once you open the door, resist this urge. You’ll need a few moments to plan. Look into storage containers, trash bags, lifting dollies, and a second or third pair of hands to get the job done.
Strategizing takes time. As you do so, split each task across different times or days to minimize overwhelm. Are you going to clear and clean by section or work through groups of items? Plan it out.
Sometimes it’s easier and more time-efficient to group items into categories and then deal with each section individually. It’s up to you, but you’ll need to plan accordingly.
3. Prepare Yourself For What You’ll Find
If you haven’t been through your items for several months or years, this will be a real voyage of discovery. Factor in the extra time it may take to pick up an old stuffed animal or two.
However, the reality is that you can’t keep everything. Remember, if it’s been lurking in a storage unit for years rather than in your home. This is an excellent time to question its value in your life moving forward.
If there are items you know you shouldn’t keep but can’t bear to throw away, find a way to recycle them, you do-gooder!
There are many valuable mental health tips and resources supporting hoarders online. They can help you understand the psychology of not being able to throw items away.
Donate that old wedding dress to charity so someone else can benefit from its beauty. Anything remotely usable can be recycled or upcycled. And another tip: take photos of sentimental items you know you’ll have to part with. Your future self will thank you!
4. Get a Friend to Help You
Many hands make light work but do choose your helpers carefully. If you have personal items of great sentimental value, you may want to look at these on your own first.
A friend or family member will halve the work, and most people are happy to do it for the promise of a meal or a couple of bottles of wine. Be mindful of clashing schedules!
If you have heavier items to shift, find someone to help you. You may need to borrow that dolly we discussed earlier!
5. Allocate Some Free Time
This is surprisingly time-consuming work, so you and your loved ones may need several clear days to spread out the tasks.
Once you’ve made a start, it won’t seem like the arduous task it once was. Progress will be very satisfying, but you’ve got to allocate time in order to complete your goal.
It’s essential to remove any distractions. Don’t bring the kids, don’t scroll on social media – better yet, switch your phone into Silent Mode. Grab your favorite tunes – you’ve got this!
6. Strategy and Method
Your itinerary should have revealed the unit’s different categories of items. These are usually divided into keep, donate, sell and throw away. Still with us?
Follow this plan to ensure your progress is steady and smooth.
- Start with items you want to throw out; make sure you have boxes and trash bags to remove objects you don’t want. Once you make a start, it will be easier to reach inaccessible belongings.
- As you create space, place items into the above categories in separate parts of the unit – the more progress you make, the easier this becomes.
- Once the junk is gone, you should eventually be left with three categories – sell, donate and keep.
- Sort the items for donation into categories and get rid of these next.
- Selling things takes longer. They may need to be cleaned up, photographed, and loaded onto the right site.
7. Plan How You’ll Transport Items
Small items will fit in boxes or bags but larger goods like old fridges or washing machines may need specialist removal.
If your vehicle isn’t large enough, then hire a van or ask a friend who might have a station wagon or truck with plenty of room.
Delicate items and breakables will need to be wrapped in either newspaper or bubble wrap.
8. Consider Hiring a Junk Removal Company
If you can’t face this overwhelming task or the job is beyond your scope, why not consider hiring a junk removal company?
A professional team will give you an estimate of job length, and it’ll also have all the right equipment and vehicles to make an immediate dent in your project.
Best of all, you’ve got a whole team at your disposal!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Do I Start When Cleaning My Storage Unit?
How well was your unit initially packed? Ideally, there’s room to walk in and move around, but some units are packed floor to ceiling. We recommend creating a small space to begin your project, even if it means taking items out of the unit for the time being.
Stick to the categories you set out in your above plan and before you begin, work out where you will place things. Start with items for disposal, as this will create the most room quickly.
Need Help Cleaning Out Your Storage Unit? Get in Touch!
If you’ve lost the battle with your storage unit, raise a white flag and contact Nixxit Junk Removal to restore order to the chaos. We’re a certified green business, and we’re committed to sustainable disposal – so you can be sure our solution is clean, green, and efficient. Let’s solve your storage unit problems together!
Need Help with Storage Junk Removal?
Nixxit Junk Removal can help with your storage junk removal needs in the Bay Area, CA.
- Full-Service Junk Removal and Sorting
- We Do the Heavy Lifting and Loading
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Donation and Recycling
- Same Day Appointments Available!