In efforts to remedy a cluttered home, you may have come across the option of renting a self-storage unit. Searching online through sites like SpareFoot, you found a facility that works perfectly for you, and you’re ready to move in. But before you start wiping out the attic, consider the seasonal uses a storage unit can serve. Creating a seasonal rotation for your storage unit will reduce the clutter, exercise your organizational muscles, and give you a greater awareness of just what exactly has been sitting in your attic all these years. This is the perfect “Fall cleaning” project to help you get organized for the new season.

Plan Ahead
Prior to loading up your storage unit, set up a logbook or Excel chart of some sort to keep track of all stored items (whether they live in the attic, a closet or your storage unit). Knowing exactly where possessions are is practically a luxury in today’s fast-paced world, but having an accessible log of everything in storage will prevent a lot of headaches in the long run.

Take note of what items you’ll need and when you’ll need them. You won’t need your gardening tools or surf board during Halloween, so keep them at the storage facility until next Spring. Set a timetable that suits your needs— the amount of trips you make to and from the storage facility will depend on the amount of existing storage space in your home, as well as in your unit. If you’re short on space at home, you may want a larger storage unit that you visit more frequently.

Start Your Rotation
Storing items in your new unit should be approached methodically. The key word is “rotation.” Rotate the stuff you’ll need sooner to the front of the unit to facilitate a quick transfer. Using this method, wheeled carts and shelves can prevent a lot of grueling labor. When your winter gear is next in line, wheel it up to the front and wheel everything else back. Some storage facilities sell or offer free use of carts and dollies; otherwise, your local home improvement store sells them. Think of it as a sliding block puzzle— moving everything around to achieve the perfect layout requires a little bit of thought and planning, but the result is a picture of organization.

Think Creatively
Creating a rotation schedule for your storage unit has even more implications than the ones mentioned so far. Think creatively about the organizational issues in your life that could be alleviated with a rotational storage unit. Here are a few more tips for getting the most out of your self-storage experience:

  • If you have especially large items to move to your storage unit, consider investing in a utility trailer. These can be easily stored in a larger unit and make rotation much faster. Large seasonal items like lawnmowers and leaf blowers can be quickly stored in the utility trailer and carted away for next season.
  • Store non-perishable food bought in bulk to cut down on used kitchen space. If you live in an area subject to natural disasters, you can expand this idea to form an emergency stockpile.
  • If you like to shop in advance for gifts, these can go in the storage unit as well. Include them in your rotating timetable so they’ll be available when you need them. Swing by the storage unit on the way to the party, slap on some wrapping paper and a card, and you’re good to go.
  • If you’re planning to move, rotate less crucial items into your unit now. Many storage unit costs are tax-deductible during a move, so do some research or talk to your facility manager to find out if you’re eligible.