How To Declutter & Clean Your Storage Unit

Storage units offer a convenient way to stash belongings when space is limited. Maybe you’re between homes, downsizing, or storing seasonal items.  While intended as a temporary solution, storage units often become a long-term dumping ground for unwanted possessions.

If your storage unit is starting to feel more like a burden than a benefit, it’s time to declutter and regain control. Junk removal from a storage unit can seem daunting, but the rewards are well worth it. You might find items with sentimental or monetary value, reduce ongoing rental costs, and free up much-needed space.

Why Cleaning Out a Storage Unit Is Important

Did you know approximately 1 in 5 Americans currently rent a storage unit? That’s a massive amount of stuff tucked away, often out of sight and out of mind. If this sounds like you, here’s some motivation to clear out the clutter:

Reduced Costs

Storage units aren’t free, and the more you need to store, the more you’ll pay every month. Cleaning out your unit and getting rid of unneeded items could lower your recurring bill. Downsizing to a smaller storage unit is also an option if you manage to clear out a significant amount.

Maximizing Space

A clean, organized storage unit lets you fully utilize the space you are paying for. Imagine the wasted space caused by piles of old boxes or items you don’t even remember having!  With a little effort, you can optimize your storage and find things much more easily.

Avoiding Pests

Cramped and disorganized storage units are a haven for pests. Spiders, insects, and rodents all love to hide in boxes and cluttered spaces. 

Regularly cleaning and decluttering can help you avoid unwanted visitors and potential damage to your belongings.

Hidden Treasures

Sorting through a storage unit can become a treasure hunt. You might rediscover old items that hold sentimental value, or even uncover forgotten things you could sell for some extra cash.

Peace of Mind

Dealing with a disorganized storage unit can be a source of stress. In contrast, knowing your items are neatly stored and easily accessible brings a sense of peace and satisfaction. A good cleanout session leaves you feeling accomplished and potentially saves you money and future headaches. 

Essential Cleaning Supplies

Before you tackle your storage unit, gather these supplies:

  • Boxes and Bins: For sorting items you plan to keep.
  • Trash Bags: Heavy-duty bags for items you’ll discard
  • Cleaning Products: All-purpose spray, paper towels, and a dustpan for wiping down items
  • Broom and Dustpan: To clean any debris or dirt on the storage unit floor
  • Masks and Gloves: To protect yourself from dust and dirt
  • Labels and Markers: To identify boxes for keeping, selling, and donating

Sorting Through the Junk

The moment has arrived to tackle that storage unit and regain some control! Before you start moving boxes around, prepare a dedicated sorting area. This could be a space inside your unit,  a cleared-out section nearby, or even a tarp spread out in a nearby parking lot. Here’s a step-by-step approach:

Categorize with Purpose

Create four designated areas or use large boxes labeled Keep, Donate, Sell, and Trash. The key is to be decisive. If you haven’t thought about an item in over a year, chances are you can live without it.

The Heartstrings Pile

Sentimental belongings can cloud judgment. During your storage unit junk removal, designate a box or separate area for items that evoke strong emotions. Give yourself time to carefully consider these later, once you’ve dealt with more straightforward decisions.

Hidden Value?

Take the time to identify items that might have resale value. Compare them to listings on sites like eBay or Facebook marketplace. This helps determine if it’s worth the effort to sell them instead of donating.

Trash Be Gone!

Start by clearing out the obvious clutter. Broken items, old packaging, anything expired, or damaged beyond repair goes straight to the trash. This clears much-needed space immediately.

With your now-clearer workspace, revisit your Donate and Sell piles. 

Donate Your Junk

Divide these items into more specific categories (clothes, books, household goods, etc.) for streamlined drop-offs. 

Know Your Cause

Think about what causes are important to you. Choose charities that support things like homelessness, animal welfare, children in need, or specific community projects. This ensures your donations are making a positive impact where you care the most.

Think Beyond the Usual

While well-known donation centers are great, smaller local charities often have more urgent needs. Check with food banks, homeless shelters, women’s shelters, or local schools to see how you can help.

Condition Matters

Donating items in good condition is a sign of respect. Wash clothing, wipe down furniture, and make sure items are functional. Most donation centers can’t use torn, stained, or broken belongings.

Tax Time Benefits

If you itemize deductions on your tax return, get receipts for donations. A detailed list from the charity makes tax season easier. Track the estimated value of items (using online resources) for the most accurate deduction.

Sell You Junk

For the Sell pile, start a list of items that seem worth listing online and designate containers for those you plan to sell at a yard sale or similar event.

Choosing the Right Platform

Different platforms cater to different markets. eBay is good for collectibles or rare items. Facebook Marketplace is strong for local sales. Apps like Poshmark or ThredUp make selling clothes easier.

Presentation Is Key

Clean items sell better. Spend time washing clothes, dusting furniture, and ensuring things are photographed attractively. Good descriptions with relevant details (size, brand, condition) also help.

Pricing Strategically

Balance getting a fair price with attracting buyers. Research similar items, but price slightly lower to make yours more appealing. Be open to negotiation.

Customer Service Counts

Quick and polite responses to inquiries encourage buyers to follow through. Consider offering safe, contactless local pickup options or be prepared to manage shipping costs and logistics.

Yard Sale Success

Contact your local town or city government to understand any rules about holding yard sales. Use flyers, social media and online community boards. Let people know the date, time and a hint of what you’ll be selling.

Hints: Price lower than you would online! People come to yard sales for deals! Keep displays organized — and have change on hand!

NOTE: Storage Companies Can and Will Auction Your Unit

Remember that you’re only renting your storage unit. If you fail to pay, companies often have the right to auction your belongings.  Check your state legislation on storage auctions, although the threat alone should motivate you to stay on top of payments and avoid a stressful situation. 

For example, self-storage facility owners in Texas must provide written notice of a lien and then wait two more weeks before they can seize and sell a tenant’s property. That’s not a lot of time!

East Texas Junk Removal Gets It Done! Reach Out Today

If the thought of decluttering feels overwhelming or if you have large items to remove, a junk removal company can be a lifesaver. If you’re in East Texas, consider East Texas Junk Removal. We specialize in storage unit junk removal, handling the hauling and disposal of unwanted items from your storage unit.

Decluttering your storage unit takes work, but it’s a task with fantastic rewards. By following these steps and considering professional storage unit junk removal services when needed, you’ll transform your unit into a tidy and usable space. 

Reach out to East Texas Junk Removal and you can get started on your storage unit right away!