Your Ultimate Guide on How To Clean Out A Storage Unit

Your Ultimate Guide on How To Clean Out A Storage Unit

Posted by Ali Mirdamadi on

Are you feeling dreadful about having to clean out your storage unit? Unfortunately, cleaning out a storage unit isn't exactly high on the list of fun activities. But, lucky for you, storage unit experts like us here at Juujbox have strategies to help you conquer this task.

Storage units serve many purposes. But interestingly enough, many of them eventually end up being sold off at auctions. For a lot of families, having a storage unit is essential. But, unfortunately, the type of items we keep stored there is rarely significant enough for us to have them on top of our minds and in constant memory.

As a result, people are more likely to forget about or put off dealing with whatever they've been keeping in their lockers. These items seem to disappear in a storage graveyard that takes your money. The right time to deal with the daunting task of cleaning your closet/storage unit is now.

Is your storage unit unorganized? Don't worry; we'll show you the best way to empty a storage unit, including deciding what to keep, sell, and throw away.

Tackling your storage unit using the tips below should make your life easier and take care of a significant annoyance you've been putting off dealing with.

How To Clean Out A Storage Unit Like A Pro

Take Inventory Storage

Prep Work 

Step 1 - Take a Complete Inventory

A quick scan and inventory of the storage space's contents should be the first order of business. Whether you've inherited a storage unit, bought one at auction, or have just been using one for a while, this should be the place to start. If the contents are unknown to you, you might want to move quickly with less attention to detail to get through it all. Taking inventory of your storage unit shouldn't be too frustrating of an experience. 

To quickly evaluate the unit, think about the following:

  • Take note of the items you notice right away. Count the boxes and note how much of that you'll need to sort through to get an idea of how long the cleanout will take.
  • Set up a pop-up tent and process items out front when there's no room indoors. Remember to clean your unit during operating hours. Also, be a friendly neighbor and avoid blocking someone's storage unit.
  • Check available boxes. Open as many boxes as possible and begin jotting down everything inside. Note anything valuable, fragile, or essential in each box. If packages are already labeled, skip this step. 

A detailed inventory should show you how much work you have in front of you.

STEP 2: Schedule a Clean-Up Day

In a perfect world, you'll have the inventory and clean-up days separate from each other. Doing this will help avoid any excessive frustration and being overwhelmed. 

Trust us, going through a storage unit on a time crunch is an incredibly less-than-ideal experience. Preparation is the key, so give yourself plenty of time. Making this a two-step process will allow you to come back with the right boxes, labels, and sorting bins and have a solution for junk removal. 

As you're beginning to tidy up your storage unit, remember the following: 

  • How long do you need? Make a significant rough estimate here. It could take more than a day to empty your storage unit. If you prepare ahead, you'll have more than enough time to finish the task.
  • How do auctions for storage units work? If you earned the storage unit at bidding, you might need to get everything out of the unit right away and sort through it somewhere else.
  • Do you feel any connection with any of the items? Remember that sorting through memorabilia can be a difficult task. If you have received a storage unit as an inheritance or have used one to store items belonging to a loved one, it is only natural that you may experience some emotion.

Cleaning Out Your Storage Unit

Step 3: Sort Your Items Into Groups

The Four-Box Declutter Method is an efficient way to go through many things and clean them up from a storage unit. This method uses four cardboard boxes to sort things: one to keep, one to throw away, one to store or donate, and one to sell items.

  • Keep a box that contains items you can take from storage.
  • The "store" box sorts stored things that you'll want to keep at this or a smaller storage unit.
  • You'll have a "donate/sell"' box for content you want to donate or any items you wish to sell in a garage sale or online.
  • The last box is a "junk removal" box for things you know you want to throw away or broken items that are unfixable.

Fortunately, Juujbox's storage by the box makes this step easier. With our storage solutions, you can save less instead of paying for an entire storage unit. Plus, we'll do the heavy lifting and pick up and drop off your items from your door. 

Step 4: Know When You Need Help

The most common oversight is missing the deadline for a storage unit cleanout. When all else fails, and you can't seem to get it done, it may be time to call in the storage unit experts. The help of someone who makes a living in clearing clutter from other people's lives will serve to focus and prevent you from wandering off-task. People who are usually very good at staying on task sometimes lose focus.

When cleaning out your storage, professional organizers prove to be invaluable. Professional organizers are objective third parties who can help you decide whether or not to keep, discard, sell, or donate your storage unit stuff.

These are some of the things to remember when getting rid of clutter from your storage unit:

  • Don't just take on extensive areas at random. Instead, begin with a small part of your storage space and organize it before moving on to the next.
  • Make sure you have a place for everything you take out of the storage unit. If you remove items from your storage unit, you might want to move the boxes to a basement or garage.
  • Make it a goal to eliminate storage items you don't need.

Cleaning Out Your Storage Unit

Step 5: Getting Rid of Items in your Storage Unit

If you follow the instructions above, the items in your storage unit should now be split into four sections; things to throw away, keep, store, and sell or donate. After organizing, it's time to take everything out.

Think about moving things in this order:

  • First, a clean storage unit should be waste-free. If you have more than you can load in your car, then maybe skip to step 7 and read our tip there about getting some help.
  • For the larger items, you can call a local thrift shop or even the salvation army for free pick-up of the items you want to donate. Avoid putting usable items in the dumpster. If you only have a few things to donate, put them in your car and drive them to a donation site.
  • Next, let's put the things you want to take back home into your car.
  • Lastly, transfer all the small or large items for sale to a place where you can list them online until their gone. If you still have time on your lease, you could leave those in the storage unit until a lucky buyer comes to collect their new belongings.

Step 6: It's Time to Clean Out and Call it a Day

After you've unloaded everything, grab a broom to clean thoroughly clean your now empty storage unit. This isn't your mother's house, and storage facilities will likely charge you a hefty cleaning fee if you don't properly clean and empty the unit. 

Juujbox Protip: Take a quick picture of your unit after cleaning it to save as proof.

Are you still overwhelmed? There's no shame in calling in for help. But, before your backup people arrive at your storage facility, you should still make sure you've gotten rid of anything that could be donated or used.

With any luck, these suggestions for emptying a storage unit will assist you in letting go and making a decision about the large items and storage unit stuff you no longer need or want.

While storage unit cleanout can be time-consuming, the money you save and the weight you'll be able to lift off your shoulders make it well worth your while. In addition, cleaning and rearranging your storage unit puts your mind at ease, knowing that your belongings are safe.

As self-storage unit experts in San Diego, we know our way around decluttering, organizing, and decluttering tips for your home. Juujbox is here to help you simplify your life by providing storage by the box. 


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