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Your New Storage Unit: How to Determine What to Keep

Storage Unit Boxes on a Dolly

Your New Storage Unit: How to Determine What to Keep

For many, when something is out of sight, it’s out of mind. This often happens to personal belongings that are kept in a storage unit. You may forget about your storage unit, so when initially packing it, evaluate what items you can get rid of. Doing this will help open up more space for future storage needs. Also, every time you visit your storage unit to add something, see what you can remove.

Here are some tops tips to helping determine what you should keep:

Check the dates:

If you’re storing documents and papers, check the dates. If your bill, statements, and resumes, are from five (or more) years ago, they are probably no longer necessary anymore. Shred and toss them. The same goes for old newspapers and magazines. Unless a newspaper has sentimental value or a magazine houses a recipe you use every holiday, they should be recycled.

Sort Photos:

You should also sort through photos that are loosely tossed in boxes. Photos that were tossed haphazardly may not be important or may also be wrinkled and ruined. Sort through based on condition. If you cannot part ways with images, invest time putting them in a photo book or save them electronically. Once you have them saved electronically, keep a few hard copies to frame and recycle the rest.

Ask if you love the item:

When going through your belongings, ask yourself: Do I LOVE this item? If it was once something that made you happy but you no longer find that excitement in the item, then it is time to let it go. Donate so others can potentially feel that same happiness that you once felt. Items that are still loved, meaningful, and relevant can be properly boxed and stored.

Question duplicates:

Do you have more than one? Duplicates of items can take up a lot of valuable space in your home or storage unit. Do you really need that extra mattress or toaster? If the answer is no, the item should be removed from your unit and either sold, donated, or thrown out appropriately.

Question item usage:

Do you use an item regularly or ever find yourself thinking about it? If you have the item in storage because you weren’t ready to throw it out or felt like the item might be handy one day, then you should donate the item. Items you should clear out include items you bought on sale that you didn’t want to miss out on, gifts that were nice but not wanted, or something you bought that you didn’t think you’d be able to find again. Storage space is a valuable resource. Don’t fill it with belongings that you don’t really use. A good rule of thumb is to determine if you’ve used the item in the past six months (or during the previous holiday season). If the answer is no, you should reconsider storing it.

Treat your unit as if it was your home:

Even though you do not see your storage unit as often as you see your closets in your house, it can just as easily become overstuffed and disorganized with items that no longer serve a purpose. Getting rid of old stuff can be liberating and help with future unexpected storage needs. When checking in on your unit, reassess your needs and items. Life Demands Space® so make sure the space you have is being used effectively!

For more advice on self storage, visit the Prime Storage facility nearest to you. One of our knowledgeable, friendly facility managers will be able to assist you with helpful tips on packing and maintaining your unit. To find a unit nearby, visit Prime Storage on the web at

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