Are you looking to declutter and organize your home? A storage unit is the perfect way to clean out your garage and basement without breaking the bank. In addition to saving space in your home, you’ll be able to keep all of your personal items safely secured. Using a storage unit can be a positive or a negative experience. Use the following “do’s” and “don’ts” to help make your storage experience stress free. Do: Pick the right type of unit Storage units come in different shapes and sizes, so finding the best type is vital. There are many types of storage units including indoor storage, outdoor drive-up storage, split level storage, RV storage, boat storage, vehicle storage, warehouse storage, office storage, wine storage, closet storage, and climate controlled units. The larger the storage unit, the more expensive it is. In addition to finding the best type of storage, make sure you don’t pay for a unit that is larger than your needs. Pick a location that is close to your home or business so you can get your stored items quickly and easily. Which unit size do I need? 5 X 5 5 X 10 10 X 10 10 X 15 10 X 20 10 X 30 Boxes Bookcases Small furniture Furniture 1 Bedroom contents Furniture Appliances Boxes Bookcases Motorcycles Appliances Boxes 2 Bedroom contents Appliances Car 4 Bedroom contents (standard 1-car garage) Entire home contents Keep a record Remember to keep a record of every item you have in storage, as well as to mark and label boxes so you know what is inside. You may want to take a picture or keep a written copy of the inside layout of the unit to be sure you have everything you need. In the instance that something should go wrong at your facility, a recorded inventory list will help you moving forward. Pack carefully Packing the storage unit must be done in a systematic way to ensure organization. Remember that plastic retains moisture and can ruin items if used as a cover. Place the heaviest boxes on the bottom and stack your most expensive and valuable items on top of other boxes to prevent damage. Place all items you are likely to need in the front of the storage unit for easy access, and place those that you don’t need towards the back. Understandably, if you can go years without using it, perhaps you don’t need to keep the item at all. Don't: Store restricted items Storage facilities generally have guidelines restricting the storage of certain items. You are not allowed to store any flammable items such as oils, fuels, propane, weapons, ammunition, or aerosols. You are not allowed to store any type of food or drink, including food storage. Food attracts unwanted visitors to your unit like bugs and rodents. Plants are also prohibited in storage units. Most storage units aren’t frequently cleaned or maintained, so only store only items that that cannot get easily damaged. Give out the passcode Most storage facilities have security measures to ensure the safety of your belongings. However, you must not give out the passcode or gate entry code to anyone. You may be tempted to not keep your unit completely locked to allow easier pick up and drop off, but you are leaving yourself open to having your items stolen. In addition, you may want to consider purchasing storage insurance to further protect your items. Forget to ask for help Ask for help if you need it. Most managers are more than willing to help with your questions or concerns. Many storage units also have additional resources, like packing materials, available to customers. Whether your past or current experience with a storage unit facility has been good or bad, we would love to hear about it. Leaving a review about your storage unit provider can help others avoid negative experiences, or find the best facility possible. If your storage unit provider is listed on bestcompany.com, leave a review and help others who are researching storage units.