Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Storage Unit

Person wearing gloves holding cleaning spray bottle.

Storage units are a fantastic invention since not everyone has enormous houses with plenty of storage space. And the truth is that even if you’re lucky enough to have that, over the years, you still manage to collect a lot of stuff that you have nowhere to put. Plus, think about those times when you have to move or renovate and how useful it can be to have a place to store all or some of your belongings, at least temporarily. The only problem here is that you get used to having enough space for almost anything, so you keep piling on until you can’t even step into that unit, not to mention finding something you need. So here is a helpful guide to spring cleaning your storage unit and introducing some order in it.

Prepare yourself in advance

If you’ve been using a storage unit for some time now, you probably have accumulated a lot of things, so doing a thorough spring cleaning there will not be an easy task. Therefore, you should be mentally prepared and schedule an entire day for this. You can even ask some of your family members or friends if they would be willing to help because there’s always strength in numbers.

Develop a system and buy supplies

Before even thinking about getting your hands dirty, you should create a sorting, organizing, and labeling system, because otherwise, you might feel overwhelmed by the task at hand. Once you have a plan in mind, go and buy the necessary supplies, such as boxes, shelves, plastic bags, etc.

Don’t leave anything out

Regardless of how much stuff is in there, spring cleaning your storage unit means going through everything because there’s a big chance you forgot about many of those items. You can even use this opportunity to create a list of the things you have in there, making it easier to look for them in the future.


While you sift through your belongings, place them in piles of different categories. The best system here would be to have four piles:

  1. Garbage. These are the items that are broken, cannot be repaired (and are not even worth repairing), or items that are extremely worn out.
  2. Donate. Just because you no longer have any use for or no longer like some of your belongings, it doesn’t mean that they won’t make somebody else extremely happy. Just avoid donating excessively worn-out items.
  3. Sell. Why not recover some of the money you’ve spent over the years by selling some of the things you own? Of course, these items should be in good condition. Otherwise, you won’t get any money for them. But you could get inspired from some of those TV shows where they auction off storage units – maybe you will find a treasure in yours, as well.
  4. Keep. Spring cleaning your storage unit doesn’t mean throwing everything out, so you have to have a pile with the items you want to keep.

Clean up the storage unit

Yes, spring cleaning involves some actual cleaning. After you’ve taken everything out of there to sort it, you’ll have enough space to dust off the shelves and sweep the floor, which will also help you get rid of any unpleasant smells. Also, keep in mind that you should air the storage unit every once in a while.

Organize and label

Once you’ve cleaned the place up, return to your four piles and concentrate first on what you want to keep. You should first pack them in boxes or bags and add large, visible labels. Don’t forget about the system you developed before starting this process because if you throw things randomly into bins, you will never find them.

Create a map of the storage unit

Once you have organized and labeled all the items you want to keep, it’s time to bring them back into the storage unit. But again, you need to have a strategy. For example, you should place large appliances and pieces of furniture somewhere in the back to avoid blocking your entrance. Then, as you start bringing in the boxes, draw up a map of the storage unit and write down where everything goes. Of course, this map should only include the general categories of items, not everything inside the boxes (e.g., clothes, household items, toys, sports equipment, etc.).

Pack up and go

That’s easier said than done because once you’ve finished with the spring cleaning of your storage unit, you are left with the other three piles: garbage, donate and sell. Let’s say that you can manage with the garbage part because that pile might be smaller, but what do you do about the other two? Well, it mainly depends on the types of items and their size: 

  • For example, if it’s only clothes, you can make several trips by car or ask another friend to help you with the transport. 
  • However, if the items are large or fragile, things get a bit more complicated because they might not fit into your car or they might break during transport. This is where you should rely on neighborhood experts and hire a team that provides professional packing services. This way, you will know that all those things will reach their destination safely, regardless of whether it’s a donation center or your home. Plus, if you have belongings that you want to sell, a bonus is that they will already be properly packed, and once you have a buyer, you will only have to call the courier to pick them up.


Every once in a while, it’s good to dedicate some time to spring cleaning your storage unit because we all tend to keep many things we don’t use when we have enough room to store them. The problem here is that when you need something from that storage unit, it’s almost impossible to find it. So it’s important to be well-organized during this cleaning process and once you’ve finished, try to maintain the new layout of the unit.

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