Does the thought of cleaning a Storage Unit scare you? Emptying and cleaning a storage unit isn’t easy and if you haven’t done it before, it can be a nightmare. Below we have discussed some effective ways of cleaning a storage unit that can make this task less cumbersome.
Take Inventory of Contents Inside the Storage Unit
The most important step before you begin the cleaning process is taking an immediate inventory of things inside. Take a pen and paper and note down the large items that you see immediately. Count the boxes and write down how many you will have to sort through to get an estimate of the time you will need. You will also get clarity if you need someone’s help to do the entire process.
Follow this by creating an open space inside or near the unit. In case you have limited space, you may carve out a free corner that acts as your processing area for step three. You may set up a temporary canopy if you don’t have enough room within the unit. Clean the unit and pick up the mess during business hours as you can’t block other units with your belongings. Check for available boxes inside and open as many boxes as you can to note down a quick inventory. In case boxes were already labeled, you can skip this step.
Preplan The Day to Clean and Ask Friends For Help
To avoid being overwhelmed, you should prepare yourself for unanticipated situations. You should select a time to perform the entire cleaning and prepare yourself for the day with garbage bags, labels, sorting totes, and moving supplies. Before starting the cleaning process, prepare yourself mentally for the following:
- How long will it take? (Estimate more than you think as you might take more than a day to clean the entire storage)
- What are the rules applicable to storage unit auctions? (In case you won it at an auction, estimate the time you have to empty it)
- How much help do I need? (Evaluate the number of people you might need and ask for help in advance)
- Do you have any emotional attachment to any stuff inside? (As the cleaning process can be overwhelming, the response is natural.
Hence, refrain from beating yourself if you become emotional in case you inherited the storage unit)
Sort Your Things In Different Categories
Adopt the 4-Box Declutter Method for effectively sorting through and cleaning out the items on a grand scale. The basis of this technique requires four empty boxes to sort. They are:
- Keep box: For items which you could remove from the storage unit and bring home.
- Store Box: Things you plan to keep in the storage after cleaning.
- Sell/Donate: Things you wish to sell or donate.
- Toss: Things that are broken and unrepairable.
Proceed As Planned and Do the Job Accordingly
Inability to clean a storage unit within a scheduled time frame is one of the most common mistakes people make. If you get stuck somewhere after going through the steps above, you might want to take help from a professional organizer. They are someone who cleans out areas for others and can help you from getting distracted. Professional organizers are a great help if you are cleaning out estates.
As they don’t have any attachment to the items inside, they help in making rational decisions about what goes in which box.
Look For Creative Ways For Getting Rid of Things Inside The Unit
If the unit stores a lot of valuable items, you should consider renting the unit for at least another month. After following the steps above, you will have already organized the unit into four sections (Keep, Toss, Sell/Donate, Store). Once you complete the organizing stage, it’s time to remove everything.
Proceed to move items in the following sequence:
- Remove trash from the unit by loading it on a dumpster.
- Contact any local thrift store to pick up the donation items and a dumpster should be the last option as these things can still be repurposed or reused.
- Load your car with items that you are taking home with you. It should also include things that you will keep or put into storage.
- Lastly, move the sell items to the concerned location to process further. You may keep them inside the storage unit if you still have time left for the rental.
Sell Items From The Storage Unit
You will have multiple options to sell items from the storage unit. You might sell the entire unit through an auction company or you may sell each item individually. Online sales through Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc. are great platforms. To sell valuable items you may use Etsy or eBay. For people preferring the old-fashioned route, a garage sale is a great idea too.
Contact Junk Removal Company
Several junk removals companies can help in getting rid of contents inside the storage unit. Hiring them means you won’t have to do anything and they will take care of the entire process.
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