Do you know how dreadful and chaotic it can be to clean out a self-storage unit? Regardless if you have inherited it from a relative, won at an auction, or if you simply have not had the chance to visit for a long time, cleaning out a self-storage unit will always be a daunting task.
Let us show you a practical way of cleaning out your self-storage unit, deciding which items can go to charity, and how to do away with the rest.
Tips for Efficiently Cleaning Out Your Storage Unit
Do you know the most efficient method of getting rid of junk in your self-storage unit? You can exploit these tips to make deep cleaning and filtering clutter in your self-storage unit a success without breaking a sweat.
Have an inventory of the stuff inside the unit
The first step you should take is to quickly scan the inside of the unit and make an inventory of its contents. You must perform this step regardless of how you come upon the self-storage unit. However, it is okay to not go into full details if you won the unit at an auction.
Here are some tips in assessing the unit:
List what you see
Have a paper and pen handy, so you can make a list of the bigger things that you immediately see. Make a tally of all the boxes so you would know how many you will need to go through and make a rough estimate of how long it will take you to cleanout. Will you require an extra pair of hands? Having an inventory will answer that question for you.
Prepare some open space
If you do not have enough space, find a way to clear out at least a small corner where you can process everything. However, if there’s no way you can create even a small space inside the unit, you can set up a temporary booth outside. Just keep in mind that you must do the cleaning out of your self-storage unit within business hours. Also, try not to block the entrance of the other units with your things.
Peek what is inside the boxes
Check as many boxes as possible and quickly list down as much of their contents as you can. You may skip this step if there are labels outside the boxes. You can also make a quick note outside the box if the contents are something fragile, valuable, or possibly important.
Preparing an inventory before you begin to sort through everything will give you an idea of how much work to expect.
Allot ample time and ask for help for decluttering
To reduce the possibility of getting overwhelmed, it is crucial to be prepared for what may come. Pick a day and allow ample time to go through the actual cleaning out. Prepare some moving supplies like labels, garbage bags, and sorting totes.
Before you can start cleaning out, however, keep this in mind:
How long do you think it will take you?
It’s better to overestimate and have more time than rush things and not be able to do a proper cleanout. It’s okay if you think it will take you more than an entire day to do everything. Plan correspondingly so you can go through the task without worrying about the time.
Self-storage unit auctions rules and regulations
Figure out if there is a rule regarding how quickly you need to vacate the unit if you won it at an auction. If you only have limited time to empty the unit, you may go through its content at a different venue.
How many people will it take to get the job done?
It would be helpful to have someone help you through the process. The more aid you receive, the faster and less stressful the cleanout will be. Ask for assistance ahead of time and make sure you have all kinds of support that you may need. Emotional support if you are clearing out a loved one’s unit or physical support to help with the heavy lifting.
Are you emotionally attached to any of the items in your self-storage unit?
Keep in mind that going through things that may hold a sentimental value to you can be an arduous process. It is natural, so do not feel bad about getting emotional when you come across things that remind you of someone that means a lot to you.
Sort the items into toss, sell, and keep piles
The process of sorting clutter into four piles is highly effective if you are trying to clearing out a room on a large scale. The basis of this method is to have four boxes ready to be filled by items you would like to keep, sell/donate, store, and toss.
These are the things you would like to take home with you from the self-storage unit.
Items that are still in good condition but you no longer have a use for can either be sold at a yard sale or donated to people in need. It is totally up to you to decide which route you want to go with these things.
These are the items you would like to remain in the self-storage unit.
Things that are broken and can no longer be fixed should go into the toss pile. There is no use keeping these items, for they will only serve as clutter.
Focus on the task at hand
The biggest mistake you can commit while cleaning out your self-storage unit is not meeting the deadline you set for yourself. If you find yourself stuck even after following the tips mentioned above, consider enlisting a professional organizer’s help. Someone who sorts through the clutter for a job will help in keeping you focused and less distracted. Even the most task and goal-oriented people may get sidetracked.
Professional organizers are most helpful when you are sorting through inheritance. Since they have no attachment to the estates, they will make it much easier and quicker for you to make reasonable decisions on which pile to put the items in.
Here are some key reminders:
Don’t start with a large area
Take on smaller areas one at a time. Make sure that you have sorted through everything in that area before moving on to the next one.
Prepare a space for everything you are taking out from the self-storage unit
If you are vacating the unit permanently, make sure that you have a prepared space where you can relocate the items you are planning to keep.
Let go of the things that no longer serve you
Keep the things you will be bringing home to a minimum. Consider permanently getting rid of the items you no longer need instead of just transferring the clutter and mess somewhere else.
Be creative in getting rid of things in your self-storage unit
If there are a lot of things that are of good value, it would be better to keep renting the unit for another month while you try to sell them off. If you have been following the tips we have stated above, then the contents of your unit should be sorted into four categories (keep, donate/sell, store, and toss). When you are done organizing, it is time to remove everything.
Consider following this order when moving items:
Throw away all the trash
If there is an excessive amount of trash to fit in the dumpster they have in the storage facility, you may consider hiring a professional junk removal company.
Contact someone that can receive the items you will be donating
The items that are no longer of use to you might still serve someone out there. You can contact the charity of your choice to let them know you will be making a donation, or if you know someone in need, you can personally deliver it to them.
Load your car or truck
Load the things you will be bringing back home with you into your vehicle.
Place the items you would like to sell in one place for further assessment
If you still have remaining time in your rental contract with the storage facility, you may leave them there. Otherwise, find a location where you can temporarily store the things you would like to sell while you go through the process.
Start the process of selling
There are various ways of selling the items from your self-storage unit. The option with the least hassle is to sell all the contents of the unit through an auction company, or for better pricing, you can choose to sell each item separately. You can use popular platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Craiglist. However, if your items are considered valuable, you can try Etsy or Ebay.
If you prefer taking the traditional route, you can also opt to host a yard sale.
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