Your business running out of storage space to keep inventory, equipment, documents, or any other items is a good problem to face. It means that your company is growing, and solving that problem will likely boost your productivity for even more gains. While you can move your operations to a different location where you have more space, it might be better to try some space-saving strategies first that won’t cost you much, disrupt your operation, or result in significant downtime.
There are a number of storage hacks that businesses employ to overcome the space problem. But first, you must identify how much more space you need. You can decide whether to create space internally by moving things around or find space outside your premises, such as by renting a storage unit. To do this, you should take an inventory of the items you have in storage, and then use the list to assess how much space each item needs and the possible arrangement.
With your inventory list, you can explore different storage hacks for your business, such as:
- Get rid of any waste. Any items that don’t serve any purpose are just cluttering your space and making it look messy. Discard any items that cannot be repaired, and donate or sell any old electronics that are no longer in use. Alternatively, you can move them to a storage unit until you find a better use for them.
- Adding built-in storage to your work desks. Rather than using traditional desks with lots of unused space underneath, you can add appropriately sized drawers (two sets) on one or both sides of the desk to store documents, files, books, and other records. This will also reduce the need for large cabinets that take up space.
- Add wheels to your desk. This is a common trick among startups. Installing casters on the legs of your desk makes it easy to move when you need to reorganize your office space. This also gives your team flexibility for collaborative work.
- Desk-shelf combo. Rather than adding a simple partition between any two desks, you can make the partition into a bookshelf that adds privacy for each user while providing plenty of storage space.
- Maximize your wall space. For desks positioned next to the wall or a tall cubicle, you can create honeycomb shelves to store office supplies, mail, and gadgets that would otherwise clutter the space.
- Put your printer on a draw slider. Printers are essential in any office, but they’re only used for a few minutes every day. By putting your printer in a space-saving draw slider, it stays out of the way when no one is using it, allowing you to do more with that space.
- Use jars and stationery holders. You can make use of well-designed all-in-one stationery holders to keep your pens and markers organized on your work desk. If you need more space to keep many small items, like staplers, scissors, tape, rubber, ink, glue, and so on, you can put them in an appropriately sized jar. Since it’s transparent, you can easily retrieve any items you need.
- Repurpose old shutters. These can be used to organize your bills, with the top half for incoming bills and the bottom half for outgoing bills.
- Magazine holder/shelf combo. You can attach a retractable magazine holder to an existing shelf so it can be pulled out to access a magazine.
- Repurposed wall brackets. These can be improvised to hold envelopes, papers, or magazines on your walls, helping to maximize wall space while eliminating the need for bulky stands.
- Retractable bookcase/desk. Consider getting a hinged desk-top that can be folded up when not in use to create a bookcase.
- Get an office library. If you need more space to keep your books, simply add a few shelves to one of the walls that are easily accessible and arrange the books in alphabetical order or depending on the topic.
Consider On-Demand Storage
With your list of items that need to be stored away, you can determine whether you need to seek the extra space inside or outside your premises. Any non-functional items that are just taking up space, such as old desks, old computers, old furniture, or even an office hammock that was once a cool idea but should now be removed and stored offsite. You can bring back any items that you need or make arrangements to sell or donate them.
Self-storage facilities have units of different sizes for all your storage needs. To visualize the amount of space provided by each storage unit, consider:
- 5 x 5 units – similar to the size of a standard household closet
- 5 x 10 units – about the size of a walk-in closet
- 10 x 10 units – slightly bigger than half of a one-car garage
- 10 x 20 units – slightly bigger than a one-car garage
Get a Climate Controlled Storage Unit
For storing sensitive items such as confidential documents, electronics, antiques, and artwork, you might need to rent a climate-controlled self-storage unit that keeps the temperature and humidity consistent, irrespective of the outside temperature. In this kind of environment, wood will neither contract nor expand; fluids won’t freeze or evaporate; batteries won’t die; canvas won’t warp; papers won’t crinkle; and there won’t be any condensation to ruin your items. Valuables stored in a climate-controlled unit will be in the same condition when retrieving them as when they went into storage.
Insure Valuables in Storage
If you choose to keep your items in a storage unit, you should choose a facility that is equipped with the latest security systems. However, some unpredictable incidents are harder to mitigate, like fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and other catastrophes. Getting insurance cover for valuables in storage will help to protect you against unexpected damage or losses.
If too much paperwork is one of your biggest concerns for space, you should consider going paperless. This will help you reduce the clutter and make it easier to organize your work, rather than struggling to keep track of all your files and folders. Alternatively, you can outsource your paperwork management to another company. If you still need more business storage space, then you should be able to find a suitable solution from the options discussed above.