I'm what some may call a “neat freak,” but I always have the last laugh when I can find items in my room within five seconds and not fifty minutes. Being clean and organized will just make life easier in many situations. If you're in dire need of self storage, it's because you've let life accumulate and you've recognized that you need to de-clutter the home. That's a good thing because because the first step is recognizing you have a mess on your hands.
Renting a storage unit does not mean this is yet another space you can just dump all your belongings. Keeping a storage unit organized will make sorting through ten times easier and faster. Remember when you first moved out of your parents' home and you neatly packaged everything in brown boxes and wrote in Sharpie on the outside? (Or was that just me?) This is a practice you should still be doing. Try to keep like items together so you can easily label them. When it comes to items like books though, all that weight can add up quickly so distribute the weight evenly between boxes. Tape up the boxes nice and tight so dust and little critters do not make a home in all your items -it's not fun opening up musty boxes and finding spiders in your books.
For those lighting furniture, ensure it's well covered and protected. Place used towels on items that can easily scratch, especially if you need to stack other items on top. Couches or anything fabric should have furniture bags over them to prevent any tears, stains, and dust. Also keep in mind that climate controlled storage is an excellent idea to keep belongings from deteriorating. Items that you know you will be pulling out of storage sooner rather than later should be closer to the entrance and easily accessible. (When you take the time to do something right the first time, it makes it so much easier later!).
When you rent a storage unit, you will need to determine what size space you need. Naturally everyone wants the least amount of space for a cheaper price. But do not allow your stuff to be cramped and stacked up a mile high like a jigsaw puzzle. If you can not even move around in the unit, you need to upgrade. Shoving in more items than can really fit is dangerous. One wrong move and it all comes tumbling down like a game of Jenga … on your head. (Major ouch!)
Keep it neat, keep it organized, and you will have one happy storage unit experience.