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How to Clean Out a Storage Unit


Whether you are cleaning out your storage unit or trying to keep it clutter free, there are some steps that you need to follow in order to maintain your ideal space. Are you someone that store the things you no longer appreciate in your storage unit? Storage units get a reputation for storing unwanted items. Smith Valley Storage is here to change that and we have gotten some help from the KonMari Method™, from Marie Kondo, to help see this though! Learn how to clean out a storage unit below. 

Who is Marie Kondo

Have you seen the new Netflix series ‘Tidying Up’ with Marie Kondo? If not, Marie Kondo is known for her organizational skills. Kondo is the star of a hit reality TV show called ‘Tidying Up’ where she goes to people’s homes and helps them tidy up their lives. She is even part of the #1 New York Time’s bestselling author list with selling over 11 million copies of her books. Kondo has found huge success with her KonMari Method™ and wants to help you tidy up your life.

The KonMari Method™

Kondo has even been seen on the Today Show with Jenna Bush Hager. Kondo helped tidy Jenna’s daughter’s closet and keep the things that only brought joy. This is Kondo’s method. She encourages keeping only the things that bring joy into your life and keeping the cluttered mess out. She believes if you show appreciation for your things, you will take good care of them.

This could not be any truer when it comes to keeping your storage unit clean or cleaning out a storage unit. If you appreciate the things in your storage unit, chances are you will keep it clean. When it comes time to clean out your storage unit, it will be a piece of cake.

The ‘Tidying Up’ Way

Kondo has a very specific way of tidying up. Kond tidies by category rather than by room in the house. Her first step is to declutter the clothing. Then she will move to books. After this, she will then tidy papers, like bills and receipts. The is her ‘komono’ category. ‘Komono’ is Japanese for miscellaneous. Lastly, is her sentimental category. This is because these items are the hardest to get rid of.

The SmithValleyStorage Method

We have taken the advice from the KonMari Method™ and created our own method to help you keep a clutter-free storage unit. We have also made our method help with the cleaning out a storage unit.

The SmithValleyStorage Move In Method

When it comes to storing your belongings, first thing’s first, don’t store unwanted items. When we store unwanted or useless items, we don’t care about how it is stored. Even though you don’t live in this unit, your belongings do. To Kondo’s point, everything needs a home. In this case, everything needs a place. Follow these steps below to keep a tidy storage unit.


Step 1: Map it Out

If you map out your storage unit and categorize dedicated sections, it will be much easier to find your things. This will also help you decide what you need to load in the Uhaul first. For example, you can categorize clothing and shoes together, appliances together, and bedding, throws, and towels together. This will help with boxing! (and cleaning out a storage unit)

Download our free layouts below to map it out! 

Step 2: Store Like Items Together

If you store like items like clothing with shoes, then chances are you will put things back where you found them. Or when you are switching your seasonal clothing, it will be much easier to take out and put back.

Step 3: Use Storage Boxes

Storage boxes make it much easier to stack items on top of each other. Bases off of the hight of your unit, going up is always a space saver. Storage boxes will be a lifesaver when it comes to labeling. Be sure to clearly label every box so you know exactly what’s inside. Also, be mindful of how you box your item. If it is breakable, bubble wrap it. If they are clothes, fold or hang them. By having storage boxes, it will also help you clean out your storage unit.


Step 4: Load it Up!

Now that you have everything in boxes, and your map drawn, you are good to go! Happy storing!

SmithValleyStorage Clean Out Method

Now for the easy part. If you followed direction and loaded your unit with the SmithValleyStorage Method, then clean out should be a piece of cake. If you didn’t, we have a solution for you to clean out a storage unit! Check out out SmithValleyStorage Clean Out Method below.

Step 1: Vehicle & Weather

The most important step is deciding how big of a vehicle you need to transport your items. Are you moving large furniture? You may need to rent a Uhaul. It is also a good idea to check the weather. If you are loading a trailer, you don’t want your items to get wet!

Step 2: Categorize

The hardest part about packing up is figuring out where to start. Typically you go front to back but this isn’t always the ideal solution. Starting with a certain category will make moving out and storing somewhere else a breeze. Starting with a category like appliances, or clothing will help when loading up the Uhaul.

Step 3: Map it Out

Mapping it out is always key. You want to make sure all of your items will fit in your transportation. Plan accordingly. If you are moving by category, start with the clothing boxes. Boxes tend to stack nicely and will use your space the wisest. When you clean out a storage unit, be sure to keep it organized!

Step 4: Clean Up

When you clean out a storage unit, don’t forget to clean up! If you followed our Move-In Method, then you shouldn’t have much to do other than giving it a good sweep. If you didn’t, there might be some scuff marks you will want to scrub away or oil stains to soak up. By cleaning your unit, you will avoid being fined!

Post Move

Now that you are completely out of your storage unit, what do you do with your belongings? Sometimes you just need to get out of a unit, other times you don’t need the items anymore. Below we have some possible scenarios and what yo do!

No Longer Needed:

If you no longer need your items, a garage sale is always a great way to get rid of things that are still of good use. You can also give to a charity.

Moving to a New Unit:

Maybe your unit was too far away. Be sure to follow our SmithValleyStorage Move In Method when moving to your new unit!

Big Move:

Maybe you had too many things in your home. But now you have upgraded to a larger house. Follow the KonMari Method when unloading your belongings into your new home. This will help you remain clutter free.

Kondo x Smith Valley

Now that you have mastered the KonMari and SmithValleyStorage Method, you are an organized pro! You will also be able to clean out a storage unit without breaking a sweat. By following the mindful steps, your moving will be headache free. Be sure to catch an episode of Marie Kondo as she helps declutter homes one category at a time.

Smith Valley Storage in Greenwood, Indiana

At Smith Valley Storage we provide clean, secure, and affordable self-storage units in Greenwood, Indiana! When you rent a storage unit from us, you’ll have 24-hour access to your belongings. Give us a call or rent storage units online today! 317-882-7361.

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