Keep most frequently used items in an accessible part of the unit. The front opening of the unit is the best option. You can store these items on free-standing, open-backed shelves or in large stacking bins. Organize the items by keeping like items together or itemizing by family member or final room destination, or in alphabetical order. Make certain all closed bins are clearly and permanently labeled. Choose storage bins of the same shape and size to maximize the space available on the shelves or the floor. Pack items too large for shelf storage in the stacking bins, but keep bin weight in mind. A well-placed bin that is too heavy to move will be of little use for accessibility.
Many self-storage units have interior walls or ceilings with exposed metal frames. With permission of the facility, install hardware that will enable you to use one wall and the ceiling for storage. Suspend bikes, kayaks or other like sporting goods off the floor, leaving that valuable floor space for your heaviest and bulkiest items. Designate one wall of the unit for installation of hardware and hooks, suitable to provide vertical storage for irregular-shaped flat items such as garden tools, sporting goods, ironing boards or other things that won't fit in a box.
Fill Open Space
Use open spaces of furniture to store items applicable for the room the piece came from. Dresser drawers can hold out-of-season clothes, hutches can be home to folded linens, and clothes hampers can hold laundry goods. You can even store items in appliances. Since it is best to prop appliance doors open to fend off mold and mildew, employ that space to store any items that will fit neatly inside.
Rent the Right Unit
While it is true that larger rental units often come with a higher rental fee, it is best to rent the size appropriate for the items you need to store, and the configuration that affords greatest accessibility. Ask the staff of the self-storage facility to help you determine which size unit is best for your needs. If you plan to fill the unit from floor to ceiling with neatly organized items that you never need to access, a smaller unit might work. When you'll need frequent access to the items in storage, you need to carefully consider unit size and location. Choose a unit that allows you to quickly, efficiently and safely access belongings.