A Simple Guide on How to Keep Inventory of Stored Items
Overwhelmed by all your stuff and the clutter it can cause? An excellent solution would be to tuck it away in a safe and convenient self-storage unit. However, before you do, you might want to consider a plan on how to organize and track your stuff, otherwise, the clutter in your house can become the same clutter in your self-storage unit in no time.
Adopting an inventory system similar to that used by retail business is an efficient way to keep track of your stored items. This approach makes things more organized and sorted especially because you don't want to forget which box you stashed your seasonal decors, your CD collection back in college, or your high school yearbook in.
With this in mind, here are some steps you can take to get the most out of your storage space and how to keep an efficient inventory system of the items in it.
Decide which items to store
As with other things in life, people should be selective about what they're keeping, what they're not, and of course, where they're keeping it. It would be easy for us to dump things we no longer use in the basement, garage, a spare room, or by renting mini storage without thinking things through. For instance, would you store a precious heirloom from your great grandmother in your garage along with the shovels, bikes, and batteries? Or what about the things you're keeping for someone like a piece of artwork or a promise necklace? You want to secure them somewhere safe and accessible as soon as you need them.
Sorting and packing
Make sure to pack the items properly should you decide to rent a storage unit. This can be accomplished by knowing you have the right storage size space and setting it up properly. You may also want to put up some shelving or set up racks if you plan to be going in and out of your unit regularly for easy access to stored items.
Using containers and labels
In general, using airtight plastic containers is a smart move for storing your items. They last longer than cardboard boxes and because they are transparent, you can easily see what's in them. Regardless, whether it's the plastic containers or the card boxes, make sure to label them. Labels allow you to know exactly what's inside the container and if you plan to change out the contents of the containers, you can consider using self-adhesive index card pockets so you don't have to scratch the label off.
Choose your inventory tool
Do you work well with a laptop or phone or do you find pen and paper still better? Whichever method you choose, the goal is to have a detailed list of your stored items so you will really know what you have whether it's the ribbons you've saved in shoeboxes or the postcards from around the world you've kept in folders.
Using your good old pen and paper
Again, having an efficient inventory systems means knowing what you really have. If you prefer the old-fashioned way of using a pen and paper, make sure to number each box you have on all four sides with a permanent marker. You can then use a notebook to create an inventory, writing down everything that you have placed in each numbered box. The simpler it is, the better. You don't have to be as detailed as jotting down 30 mugs, 50 pairs of spoon and fork, and 12 serving trays, but just so you know it's pots and pans, glasses, and dishes. Consider loading the boxes into your storage unit consecutively as much as possible if you don't want to have a hard time locating box number 9 from box number 29.
Using an inventory app
(Disclaimer: We are in no way endorsing any of these apps, but more like a guide base on their functions if and when you'd like to try using one.)
Do you love collecting books, comics, CDs, or vinyl records? This app is a great way to manage and sort your large collection.
Mainly built for small businesses, this app can also be used by self-storage users as well. What's nice about this app is that you can create a visual inventory of the items using your phone's camera. It also allows you to create folders and categories such as owner, type, or number. It also has a premium feature where you can create and print QR code labels that you can scan using the same app.
With more than 3000 templates to choose from, this app lets you store data with search, sort, and filter options to make it easier for you to find exactly what you are looking for.
Indeed, with an efficient inventory in hand, you will be able to readily assess and evaluate your stored items - why and where should the need arises.
Need a place to store your stuff? Feel free to get in touch with our friendly storage manager at our South San Francisco facility or call 800-789-STOR for more information about our storage solutions.