How to clean out a storage unit

Mar 14, 2023 | Moving

For every person that is fastidious about their storage unit, visiting frequently and keeping on top of what’s inside, there will be others that haven’t visited their unit in quite some time.

Sometimes people inherit a unit from a family member who has passed away. Or maybe it was used as a dumping ground when moving house or having building work done – and it has been left ever since, with everyone enjoying the clutter free extra space at home. Some people even buy abandoned storage units in the hope of finding some treasure inside!

Whatever the reason – sorting out a storage unit can seem like a daunting task.

So, here are our top tips for clearing out a unit, from our storage Leeds team.

Create an inventory

How many boxes are there? Is it easy to see what’s inside? Are things labelled? Try and get a basic overview of what is there so you can work out if you’re going to need assistance, what materials or transportation you might need, and so on.

Create space

You’re going to need space to be able to properly assess items. If you can, create a clear corner where there is space to open boxes and get things out to be checked over and sorted. You could always see if the storage centre has a unit close-by you could hire temporarily to move things into as you’re getting organised. Looking for storage near Leeds?

Create a plan

Is this something you will do slowly, over time, or do you want to blitz it over a weekend? Is there a deadline you need to be out of the unit by? What materials and assistance will you need?

Go prepared

Make sure you have anything you might need such as rubbish bags, cleaning products, scissors, gloves, quality boxes, packing materials and strong packing tape. Snacks and drinks might be a good idea too! Looking for McCarthy boxes?

Sort into piles   

Depending on what the contents of your unit are, you’re likely to need to create several piles (or have several fresh boxes to fill). One should be for items to take home, one should be for items to donate to a charity shop, one for items you plan on selling and one should be for items to bin. You may need another pile for items to go to other people – and potentially one for ‘stays in storage’ if you’re keeping the unit.

If there are large items of furniture which are no longer needed and are in good condition, if you’re not selling them, you may want to donate them. Some organisations will come and pick them up, so you’re not having to transport them yourself.

Be methodical and ruthless

It will seem like a more overwhelming task if you go at it haphazardly. Try and create a process so you always know what you’re tackling next.

You may need to be ruthless. Always bear in mind, if these are your things and they’ve been in storage for some time, you obviously haven’t needed them or missed them too much! If this is someone else’s unit, sentimentality and nostalgia might make it hard, so it’s often useful to have other people there to help in those moments. Give yourself time too.

Keep on top of the rubbish

It might help you to keep taking things to a tip as you go along. It’s likely the storage centre won’t have huge bins for you to use, so be clear on where excess waste items will go. Clearing out regularly will help create more space and keep you feeling motivated. Remember – if you’re completely emptying the unit, it must be left empty or you may incur charges for clearance.

If you’re looking for self storage in Leeds, storage units in Sheffield or storage in Lincoln, get in touch to find out more about our cost-effective, convenient and flexible storage solutions.




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