How To Clean Out a Storage Unit: A Step-by-Step Guide

June 14, 2024

How To Clean Out a Storage Unit: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you use your storage unit for personal items that are seasonal or that you can’t quite bring yourself to part with, your storage unit could have become quite disorganised. Or maybe even down right messy. If your unit has got in a bit of a mess, it is really important to give it a clearing out and clean it. Within this article we are going to take you through our step by step guide on how to clean out a storage unit. 

How to clean out a storage unit. Image shows lights on in an empty storage unit space with white walls and grey floor.

Preparing to Clean Out Your Storage Unit

Before you begin, you will want to form a plan for your clear out and schedule in a good chunk of time for you to do it. If it has got really disorganised, you will want to go through each item so you can see if there are items that you can discard or sell. 

You will also need to get yourself some supplies. This will include items such as cardboard boxes, marker pens, storage boxes and a broom, for giving the unit a good sweep whilst it’s empty. 

Strategies for Sorting Through Storage Unit Contents

Categorising Items

Once you have a plan in place, you will want to begin going through your items. A good method to use is The Four Box Method. If you began using your unit after decluttering, you may have already used this method but if not, it is extremely simple. You just need to get four boxes and mark one Keep, one Sell, one Throw/Give Away and one Storage. And then you simply go through each item, placing it into the correct box. 

Valuation and Appraisal

If you have items of value that you are wanting to sell, you will want to get them appraised so you can find out their value. There are many online valuation services or you could enquire at your local antique shop or auctioneers. 

You will need to remember that you will need to pay for the valuation services and that if you sell via an auction you will also have to pay a commission. 

Efficiently Cleaning and Clearing the Unit

Systematic Removal Process

When you begin moving items, you will want to have your boxes ready so you can place each item in the right box – Keep, Sell, Give/Throw Away or Storage. 

If you have large or heavy items, you will want to recruit some help to avoid injuring yourself. In fact, if you have a lot of items within your unit in general, you may want to consider asking someone for help. 

Cleaning the Unit

Once everything is out and in the correct box or safely stored outside your unit, you may want to give your unit a quick clean. Simply giving it a sweep with a broom will do a lot of good. 

If you are leaving your unit completely this is even more important as you have an obligation to leave it the way it was when you began renting it. 

Organising and Storing Items Post-Cleanout

Storage Solutions

Once you know which items you are going to keep within your unit, you will want to make sure that it stays organised. If everything is in boxes, you could simply pile them up, heaviest items on the bottom. 

Shelving is also a very good option particularly if you want to be able to easily access your items. You could place items directly onto the shelves or use plastic containers to store the items. Make sure to add labels to both the boxes and shelves to keep your unit organised. 

Transportation and Logistics

The items in the other boxes will also need to be moved. If you are just dealing with a few boxes, this could easily be done with a car but if you have larger items to move you may want to consider professional movers. It can be tempting to rent a van but if it is an item  of value, it is best to use professional movers. 

Handling Documents and Personal Items

If you are storing important or sensitive documents, whether personal or business, it is important that you take special consideration when disposing of these items. You will want to make sure that the items are disposed of properly. Any paper documents will need to be shredded. 

How To Clean Out A Storage Unit

It is easy for a storage unit to get a little disorganised so it is important to keep on top of clearing it and keeping it clean. At regular intervals go through the items within your unit and see if there are any other items that you could remove from the unit, via selling or giving away the items. 

When all the items are out of the unit, give the unit a quick clean by using a brush to sweep it. How to clean out a storage unit is very simple but it is also very important as it will help you to keep your unit organised and your items safe. 

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