Packing with Purpose: What Items Should You Put into Storage?

If your apartment has begun to feel crammed, it might be time to put some stuff into storage. But how do you decide what to store? Read on for our advice.
Ross Sapir
By Ross Sapir
6 Min Read

Advice about what to put into storage is pretty scarce. We wrote a blog about the prices of storage units in NYC, which we hope is helpful, but now, we want to tackle the process of actually deciding what to put in your unit. 

It might seem simple at first glance. Storage units are for items you don't really need much anymore but don't know how to get rid of, right? 

Not exactly. Storage units can be crucial extensions of your home, especially in cities where space is hard to come by. They can be used more fluidly and frequently than you might think, meaning that the items you might put in them can be just as useful and important as the stuff in your apartment. While storage units can be one-and-done places you only visit once a year, they can also be an ideal resource for creating a more spacious and fresh atmosphere in your home throughout the year. 

Here's how to decide what to put in your storage unit, and how to use it productively.

Start with an Inventory

Right now, as you're looking around your apartment, make an inventory of your items. Start with the item you think you use the absolute most, and work your way down, with as much detail as possible (including towels, utensils, etc.), to the item you think you use the least or not at all. 

When you see all your items in a list right in front of you, it might become clear that you only really use or need a fraction of what you own. While you might think the items you don't use much are the ones you'll put into storage, it's important to remember that storage units should be used as strategically and helpfully as possible, not as a kind of limbo for your garbage.  

So, instead of taking up space in your unit with that extra kettle, bring it to your local Salvation Army. Instead of trying to put that random armchair into your unit, offer it to the rest of your building by leaving it in the lobby. And instead of storing that set of large plates, ask your friends if anyone needs them. 

After years of helping clients set up storage units in our facilities, we've learned that the storing process is all about prioritizing usefulness. Everything you store should still be useful to you in some way, so by starting with a long list, hopefully you'll be able to dispose of the extra stuff productively and whittle down your list to a smaller group of items. That way, when you start deciding what items to store and what items to keep in your apartment, you're not actually getting rid of anything, and you're not holding on to anything unnecessary. You're simply prioritizing the usefulness of your items and deciding to create a certain kind of atmosphere in your apartment in the present moment.

Think About Tomorrow

Now that your list is a list of all the items you really do use, it's time to think about which items you'd like to use tomorrow. Imagine every step of your day: waking up, showering, making coffee, eating breakfast, heading out to work, coming home, hanging out, going to sleep. What items are going to make your routine as smooth and comfortable as possible? Whichever ones they are, keep them in your apartment!

Zooming out from the specifics of your routine, consider your spaces. What is your bedroom like now? Does it feel cluttered? If so, really ask yourself why it feels cluttered, and whether there's one object that might be causing it. You might love that chair or lamp or carpet, but if you think it's not working right now, store it. 

And how about your living room? Is there one too many awesome posters on the wall? Have you just taken your air conditioner out of the window for the season and left it on the floor? Are you wondering whether a new stand-up lamp might be fun in the corner? Then store that poster, the AC, and your current lamp! 

Again, you're not getting rid of these items by putting them into storage. That's the beauty of easy-to-access storage facilities like ours: you can always pick up the stuff you've stored. And you can create a whole new vibe in your apartment by experimenting with the stuff you already own. 

But it all starts with this simple question: what do I want my apartment to look like tomorrow? That immediacy will help you figure out which items you're loving right now, and which ones you're liking right now. 

And this is the answer to the question in the title of this blog. You should store the items you still really like, but aren't totally inspired to make daily use of right now.

Maintain Your Unit

This is absolutely crucial for using your unit productively. Your storage unit is like an extra room in your apartment that happens to be somewhere else. It's extremely easy to let it spiral into a state of total disarray. But by keeping it organized, you'll ensure that the unit doesn't become the limbo we mentioned earlier. 

By making it a pleasant place to visit, you won't dread having to go there, and the items you stored will really begin to feel like easily accessible alternatives you can bring into your place anytime. Giving these items a little home of their own will remind you of how much you care about them. And it'll also inspire you to think of new ways to use them in the future.

If You're Still Looking for a Unit

Remember that our facilities are like a VIP pass to the city. We guarantee green practices and a bespoke experience, and because we know that moving and storage go hand-in-hand, we bring a unique expertise that'll enable you to bring items in and out of your unit whenever you want.

We love helping you make the most of all of your spaces. Reach out with questions or to get started today!

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