How to De-Clutter and Get Rid of Your Junk

By Laurel Brown
Special to Vanlines.com

What do you do when you have no place to keep your belongings in the middle of the moving process? How do you organize all of your items in your house with less space than you had before? One trusted and easy solution is to place your items in a storage facility. Figuring out exactly where and how to store your things may seem difficult; but by learning all about the storage process you’ll be on your way to store your belongings away with ease.

Your first task is to determine what to store. Figure out how many boxes of belongings and how many rooms of furniture you want to put into storage. By organizing and planning ahead, you can figure out exactly how much storage space you will need. A typical 25-square-foot storage area will hold a few pieces of furniture or a room’s-worth of boxes, while the contents of a typical five-bedroom house (including furniture, boxed items and even appliances) can fit into a storage area of 200-square-feet.

Find a Storage Facility.
Once you know what you will store, you need to find a storage facility. Storage facilities vary greatly in terms of what is available, but there are three main types. Open storage areas are secured gravel or paved areas for vehicle storage. Drive-up storage units consist of a large garage area with a roll-top door. Often the largest of storage units, drive-up storage allows for easy access and sometimes climate control. The final type of storage facility is an indoor unit. These are usually for smaller storage needs, often offer climate control and have the added security of decreased access to the unit.

Fill Up Your Unit.
Filling your storage unit will take time and effort. Be very careful to clean appliances and other belongings so as not to leave food products that can rot or attract vermin. There are certain items that you can not store in any public storage facility. These include combustible, flammable, hazardous or toxic materials (including gasoline, oils, biological waste, fireworks and weapons); unregistered vehicles; more than four tires (due to high disposal costs); and any plant or animal products.

For the items that you can store, you should pack any smaller items in boxes to avoid breakage and dust. It is best to store valuable items toward the back of the unit for increased safety in case of theft. If your belongings include delicate items (including photos, antiques and important documents), consider a storage unit with climate control. Items that you expect to need or use while keeping the storage unit should, in contrast, be placed toward the front of the unit, where you can access them at any time. Be sure to leave a path through your stored items so that you can reach what you need, and label all boxes so that you can find items quickly.

Insure your Items.
Security and insurance are important to successful storage. A good storage facility should allow for strong locks on all units: use either your own lock or one provided by the storage facility. For added security, you will usually have the only key to your storage unit. Check on access hours and whether a manager is present when the facility is open. No matter how good the security, you should consider taking out an insurance policy on the items in the unit. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will not typically cover items in storage, and the facility’s insurance covers only the structure of the unit itself. For a standard and often small fee, you can add insurance to your storage rental costs that will protect against fire, water damage and theft.

Storage is often a necessary situation when moving homes or altering some items in your household. By doing your research and learning more about storage, you will be able to store your belongings with ease.