Does All Your Stuff Really Require Storage?

Kim Kubsch

Are you overflowing with stuff in your home? Stuff is a collection of things without value, so let go of it! But if you can’t do that just yet, proceed with caution in choosing a storage unit using these helpful insights.

How can you protect your belongings in a storage unit? Choose the best unit location within the storage facility. Ideally, it will not be at the end of a long corridor but, rather, one that is easily accessible for easy loading and unloading.

Check the security of the storage facility. What is the condition of the surveillance equipment? Is the lighting in the parking lot and inside the storage halls sufficient? Are there people and/or cameras monitoring the premises 24/7? How is a break-in or loss reported?

Purchase the best lock you can afford. Don’t give anyone your access code or key. Visit it monthly to verify the condition of the facility, unit, and your contents.

Purchase insurance, even if it’s not required. Often, homeowner policies do not cover those items outside of your home, so a rider or additional policy is wise. The inventory list with values of each item will be helpful should you suffer a loss.

Label each box in two places on each box using a thick marker. Every box should identify the room name and content description before storing it. You will likely want access to your items, so labeling those that are heavy or fragile will determine how they are arranged within the storage unit. Ideally, use boxes or bins of the same or similar size so they will stack neatly. Fragile and/or heavy stickers can be purchased at U-Haul outlets or

As you label, record each box to create an inventory. Ideally, you will have a list with pictures of the unit and a floor plan. A hand-drawn floor plan is extremely helpful if you ever want to recruit someone to retrieve items for you. Pack your items with caution. Be very generous with the packing paper, bubble wrap, and/or foam wrap. Don’t stuff the boxes, and be sure they close completely to enable stacking.

Now that you have considered these points or are in the process of implementing them, be honest with yourself as to why you want to spend the money and time to manage a storage unit. Is it because you have too much stuff at home and the overflow stuff needs storage? Are you aware that the items in storage will be out of sight and out of mind, which will become very expensive over time? Have you added the monthly storage rent, the extra insurance, plus the cost to move the stuff in and out, to your household budget? Have you thought that you could have a nice vacation instead of paying so much money for storage?

Should you wish to reconsider the need for a storage unit, as a professional downsizer, I am ready to declutter and reorganize to keep your possessions in your home and not in storage! Contact me for a free 30-minute consultation at 480-720-8566 or [email protected].

Check back monthly for more ideas about organizing, decluttering, and downsizing! Visit to order my book Getting Your Life Together Organizer. The book is available in printed paperback or downloadable and editable eBook.