Tips for Cleaning Out a Storage Unit

February 4, 2022

Shopping and buying are a favorite pastime of many Americans. The problem is, we never stop! We buy and buy until we are overwhelmed by all our “stuff,” and so what do we do instead of getting rid of it? We rent a storage unit or maybe two so that we can keep all our “valuables” somewhere safe. 

Filling up storage unit after storage unit seems like a simple enough option. That way, you don’t have to make any hard decisions about donating or selling the objects that supposedly mean too much to us to get rid of. Storage facilities allow us to cling to our material possessions while keeping our homes uncluttered. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

But then what? Is it really a good idea to keep filling up storage units and spending more and more money renting them each month? If you’ve decided enough is enough, and you’re ready to get rid of some unwanted items, we are prepared for you with some great tips for cleaning out a storage unit. So let’s dig right in!

Sort Items from the Junk

Many people don’t even know what’s in their storage units, especially if it’s been years since they have even been in it. So while it may be overwhelming to begin cleaning out a storage unit, starting off with sorting items is a great way to start. This has been proven to be the key ingredient for most expert decluttering methods and one of the best tips for cleaning out a storage unit.

If your storage unit is full of boxes jam-packed with a variety of items, start removing items from the boxes and sorting them into four different piles. Your piles should consist of a:

1. Throw away pile

2. Donate pile

3. Keep pile

4. Still deciding pile

It can even be fun exploring what you have packed away. If you are finding you have too much emotional attachment to discard an item, put it in your “still deciding pile” for now. Try to make as many decisions as possible so that this pile doesn’t end up with everything in it, but it’s understandable that you might need more time to think about a few items.

Enlist friends and family to help you with the sorting process. It might take you several days to go through everything, but it can be a much more enjoyable task if you have others to share in the project. Plus, they can help you make the hard decisions that you might not be able to make on your own.

Don’t leave it out to look at once you fill a “throwaway” or “donation” bag or box. Instead, pack it up and either get rid of it or put it in your car to take to the donation site later. Plan to donate those items as soon as possible, though. Don’t give yourself too much time to second-guess your decisions. After all, you are working hard to make sure your storage unit cleanout is successful.

Invest in Containers

Once you have been able to sort through a few things in your storage unit, it may be time to invest in some containers. This is the best way to organize and keep your storage unit clean or the items you’re keeping at home if your goal is to no longer rent a storage unit. 

Labeling your containers is incredibly important too. If things are well marked, you can find something you are looking for quickly and easily. Labeling boxes and containers the best you can is not an overrated suggestion! This is by far one of the most important tips for cleaning out a storage unit or organizing any space.


While downsizing is your goal, there are many ways to get there. Of course, you can always throw things away, but there is also the option of donating items, selling items, or using the items in your home. You want to have a plan for anything you bring home, though. If you are just filling up your house or basement with stuff, it defeats the purpose, right? 

If you are thinking of throwing out items, especially large items or donating items, a junk removal company may be your easiest way. They can come and take whatever you need to be gone right from the storage unit, so you don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting. They will take items to the landfill or donation center for you or even a recycle center. Afterward, a tax-free donation slip can be provided for your donated items as well.

Maybe selling items in your storage unit is your best option. Do yourself a favor and try posting items on Facebook marketplace or other online selling apps as you’re going through things so that buyers can come right to your storage unit to pick it up. This is especially helpful if you’re selling bigger items like furniture or appliances. If you decide to have a yard sale, hold it the following day or weekend so that you can get rid of things quickly while you have the momentum going.

Another idea is to take pictures of items and text them out to a group of friends or family to see if they would like them. Don’t just take these items home for them to pick up later, though. Instead, have them come to your storage unit and pick it up if they want it. Otherwise, donate it and move on.

Find a Junk Removal Company

Hiring Junk-A-Haulics is probably one of the best tips for cleaning out a storage unit. We have a team of heavy lifters ready to make your work lighter. You’ll be amazed at how helpful having someone else taking care of the lifting, throwing out, donating, and recycling can be. Cleaning out items from your storage unit doesn’t have to be the headache you think it will be. Trust us to alleviate some stress and simplify the process for you. So call Junk-A-Haulics to get started today!

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