The age-old saying, “out of sight, out of mind,” couldn’t be truer when it comes to self-storage in Toronto. So many Torontonians use their storage places to keep boxes of knick-knacks, unused furniture, seasonal equipment, and other belongings, that it sometimes becomes difficult to determine where everything is in your space. For long-term renters, especially, the slow buildup of belongings over time can make a storage space appear impossible to navigate. Fortunately, this isn’t a lost cause. Your self-storage unit can be salvaged with a bit of organization and cleaning.
At Jiffy Self-Storage, we understand that life sometimes gets the best of us and organizing a storage space can seem low on the list of priorities. We’ve witnessed many storage space cleanouts and have even cleaned some ourselves. This has given us an advantage when it comes to organizing self-storage areas.
Here, we’ve organized our top 6 tips for getting your storage space looking its best and making it manageable once again.
1. Examine the space and take a photo
Before you start collecting the proper cleaning equipment and building up the courage to tackle your storage unit, it helps to know what you’re getting yourself into. A quick visit to your storage space will give you a good idea of what needs to be done. While you’re there, snap a few quick photos from various angles to ensure you capture everything in the space. This will help you design an organization scheme later.
Once home from your outing, lay your photos down and grab a sheet of paper and a pen. Make a list of what you can see in the photo, and jot down things you’ll need to organize them. For example, if you’ve got a lot of old office paperwork, you might want to invest in a shredder and scanner to digitize and dissolve the physical documents. If you see several old, outdated electronics, it could be time to recycle, and you may want to bring a few large boxes or contact a junk removal agency that deals with recycling electronic equipment.
Being prepared will ensure that your cleaning goes quickly and efficiently.
2. Divide and conquer
Depending on the size of your storage unit, you might feel extremely overwhelmed by what you see before you. In some cases, it may even appear impossible to reach the back of the unit. We recommend not concerning yourself with attempting to finish the cleanup in a single session. Breaking a large space down into smaller parts and conquering them one at a time improves morale, keeps you on track, and increases chances for success.
A great place to begin is by creating a path from one end of your unit toward the back if one doesn’t already exist. This will allow you to separate the space into four sections and work on them one at a time.
3. Sell and donate
Too often, a storage unit cleaning means a massive dump in the landfill. To avoid deteriorating the ecosystem further, consider selling or donating anything of value within your storage space. You might be surprised to find that many items can be recycled and even have a monetary value. For example, old electronics are often reused for parts, scrap metal can be sold, and old jewelry, books, and knick-knacks might be a hot item on an online marketplace app.
If you don’t want to go through the effort of selling online, collect any clothing, usable electronics, books, toys, and other belongings and drop them off at a donation box. Many shelters, churches, and community programs can give your unwanted belongings a new home.
4. Call for backup or bring entertainment
Organizing and cleaning an entire storage space is daunting, even at the best of times. If you don’t have help, now is the time to call for backup. Bring in friends or family to help you sort through everything you’ve got, and organize it into categories. Next, you can begin to store the items by category.
If you can’t find anybody to lend a hand, don’t let your spirits fall. There are plenty of ways to stay entertained and keep yourself company. A smartphone is a magnificent tool for a long day of sorting and cleaning. Before you head out to your self-storage unit, download some music, an audiobook, or some podcasts to listen to while you work. You can video chat or phone chat with a friend as you go. Keeping your mind busy will help you keep your hands busy on the work ahead, and things will be clean before you know it!
5. Maximize your space
Before you start with the cleaning of your unit, you’ll want to organize everything. Some ways to maximize storage space is by installing:
- Wall shelves
- Tool hangers
- Coat and clothing racks
- Storage containers with drawers
Most self-storage spaces come as bare-bones units so customers can fit large-sized furniture and appliances without obstacles. However, for those storing smaller belongings, seasonal clothing, tools, gardening equipment, office supplies, etc., these storage devices will play a huge role in the organization of your space.
6. Get cleaning
Storage spaces get dusty; some of them might even get a little mildew inside, depending on where they are located and the air quality. This calls for some dusting, sweeping, and light scrubbing. Once your space is organized enough to see the floor and all the surfaces requiring some TLC, you can collect the appropriate cleaning supplies. Some things you should look for when cleaning a storage space are:
- Gloves (to protect your hands)
- Face mask (Dusting in a small space with poor ventilation can cause respiratory issues. The mask will protect your nose, mouth, and lungs)
- Garbage bags
- Recycling bags
- Cleaning rag
- Hot water
- Cleaning solution
Once your space is bright and shiny, you’ll feel better about keeping your belongings there.
Contact Jiffy Self-Storage
Are you interested in storing your belongings in a safe and affordable space? Call Jiffy Self-Storage at 1-416-745-4339 and learn more about our services and storage units today!