ORGANIZED LIVING: Develop a Strategy to Access the Things You Need While Selling Your Home

Since you packed up half of your belongings and moved them into a storage unit, your staged house looks amazing. And chances are good that your home will sell sooner, rather than later.

The only problem is, chances are also good that you’ll need some of the items in your storage unit before you’re ready to move into your next home. Like your family’s summer clothing. And the camping gear you’ll be using during the next family vacation. Or your Easter decorations.

Now you’re starting to wonder how you’ll ever pinpoint their location in the mountain range of boxes occupying your storage unit. Digging through them, opening and resealing boxes as you go, could take hours.

The good news is, there are plenty of strategies you can use to prevent this kind of scenario—or at least make sure you never have to repeat it. Here are our suggestions for maintaining easy access to the stored items you still need.


Get Your Priorities Right

Before you put one box in your storage unit, figure out what you’re most likely to need during the next year. That could include:

  • Seasonal clothing
  • Vacation supplies (from ski gear to tents)
  • Children’s toys
  • Tools
  • Hobby supplies
  • Tax/office documents

Once you’ve identified these items, you’ll be prepared to place them in spots you can find and access easily once you start packing up your unit.


Learn to Love Labels

Every box you pack should have a label on top and at least one side with a box number, the room it’s from, and the box contents.

“Labeling is a must because ‘mystery boxes’ are time killers,” says master organizer Kim Miller, owner of Kim’s Organizing Solutions.

In the case of items you’ll need to access from time to time, give them a special mark or symbol so you can make sure they’re placed in your storage unit last (see our next suggestion).


Your Packing Strategy

Now that your boxes are ready, think about how to best pack them into your unit for easy access.

“Take the larger items and things you don’t need often and put them in the back,” Kim suggests. “Seasonal items and things you need easy access to, such as a Christmas wreath, need to go in the front.”

And don’t forget to establish clear pathways all around your storage unit as you start placing your boxes. Then you won’t have to unpack your entire unit to get to that one box you need in the back.


When You Need Your Space

Map out your storage unit layout, and ask yourself HONESTLY if you’ve given yourself enough space to store all your boxes and furniture—while giving yourself room to access them.

Our on-site managers can help you estimate the best unit sizes for your needs. If you’re adding items to an existing storage space, you may need to consider going up a size or two.



The All-Important Master List

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to create a master list, an inventory, that spells out the contents of each box in your unit. Use the box numbers that you included on your labels.

“Leave a copy of your master list, and you’ll find everything you’re looking for when you come to your storage unit,” Kim says.



Note: In appreciation of our customers, we’re launching a drawing for six free hours with Kim Miller. Read all about it!