A couple write a list in a notebook. Behind them are several taped-up packing boxes.

Creating an Inventory List for Your Storage Unit

StaxUP Storage | June 6, 2024 @ 12:00 AM

Using a storage unit can be a great way to free up space at home or store seasonal items. However, it’s easy to lose track of what you’ve put away. Keeping a detailed inventory of your storage unit's contents is important – it not only helps you remember what you have, but also comes in handy for insurance claims or in the unfortunate event of a break-in. Here’s a guide to help you create and maintain an inventory list for your storage unit.

1. Record Contents When Loading Each Box

As you pack each box, take the time to record its contents. This can be done in two ways:

  • Personal Inventory: Keep a detailed list of what goes into each box. This can be a physical notebook or a digital document.
  • On-Box List: Write the contents on a piece of paper and tape it to the top of the box. This makes it easy to know what’s inside without having to open it up.

2. Label Each Box

Proper labeling is crucial for easy identification and retrieval. Mark each box with the room or category of items it contains (e.g., "Kitchen Utensils," "Winter Clothes"). You may also want to use color-coded labels to group similar boxes together. For instance, all kitchen items might have blue labels, while all holiday decorations have red labels.

3. Create a Master Spreadsheet

Consolidate all your mini inventory lists into one larger spreadsheet. This allows you to have everything in one place and makes it easily searchable. Here’s what to include in your spreadsheet:

  • Box number or label
  • Detailed list of contents
  • Notes on fragile items or those that might degrade over time
  • A column for any special instructions (e.g., "Handle with care")

4. Draw a Map of Your Storage Unit

If you're a visual person, drawing a map of your storage unit can be very helpful. Label where each box is placed within the unit. This visual aid can save you time when you need to locate a specific item.

5. Organize Strategically

When placing boxes in your storage unit, think about access and space maximization. Keep boxes with similar contents in the same area. Try using shelving units and cubbies – taking advantage of vertical space can help fully take advantage of everything your storage unit has to offer.

You may have items you’ll need to access more frequently. This includes items like wine, art, and electronics – which you’ll want to check on during long-term storage – or something like sports equipment that you plan to use regularly but don’t have room for in your house. When you’re loading your storage unit, make sure these items are near the front of your unit for easy access.

6. Update Your Inventory Regularly

Your inventory list should be a living document. Whenever you move, add, or remove items from your storage unit, update your inventory. This might seem tedious, but it will save you time and hassle in the long run.

Keeping a detailed inventory of your storage unit contents may seem like a lot of work upfront, but the benefits far outweigh the effort. You'll have peace of mind knowing exactly what you have stored, and you'll be able to find items quickly and easily when you need them. Plus, in the case of an emergency, you'll have all the necessary information at your fingertips. Happy organizing!

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