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The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Out a Storage Unit

The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Out a Storage Unit

Are you looking for ways on how to get rid of storage unit stuff? Clearing out storage unit can be challenging, mainly if you’ve amassed a sizable collection of possessions over an extended period. But do not worry! The process can be manageable if you plan and follow a structure.

Keeping things organized will make an otherwise challenging task appear less complicated. You can thoroughly clean out your storage unit and stop needless clutter from building up again with time and effort. To help you recover your space, this guide breaks the task down into simple, doable stages. You can effectively do a free storage unit cleanout by organizing your belongings in advance and utilizing a productive sorting method. Stay tuned and continue reading to discover effective ways to know in-depth details.

Why is Storage Cleanout Necessary?

Cleaning out a storage facility is required for a variety of reasons. First, it facilitates clearing clutter and recovering precious space, enabling a more ordered and effective use of the storage area. Second, frequent storage unit cleanout reduces the opportunity for hoarding, which can have detrimental psychological and emotional impacts, and stops the accumulation of pointless goods.

Furthermore, decluttering a storage container enables people to reevaluate their possessions, see unnecessary or unusable things, and decide more intelligently whether to keep, donate, sell, or throw away. It also reduces financial waste, eliminating the need to pay for the continuous storage of useless goods. Ultimately, organizing storage spaces improves the quality and balance of one’s living space and increases one’s sense of clarity, control, and well-being.

Now, the ‘Why’ is clear. But the question comes down to ‘How’. Don’t worry! We have listed step-by-step instructions on how to clean out your storage unit in the following section.

Step 1: Preparation to Free Storage Unit Cleanout

Here are some tips that you should consider if you want to clean out storage unit easily:

  • Give Yourself Adequate TimeAlways remember how long it will take to go through and get rid of years’ worth of accumulated belongings. Give yourself more time than you think you will need.
  • Ask for AssistanceAsk friends, relatives, or a professional organizing team to help. More hands make the task easier.
  • Collect the Necessary MaterialsKeep boxes, trash bags, brooms, cleaning cloths, dust masks, permanent markers, and everything else you’ll need for sorting, purging, and cleaning close at hand.
  • Rent a DumpsterIf you are wondering ‘Do storage units have dumpsters?’, the answer is yes! Most storage facilities provide a dumpster on-site or can arrange for one upon request. If not, you can rent a dumpster from a reputed provider, as it will save you multiple trips to the landfill.
  • Be in the Right MentalityPrepare yourself mentally to part with what you don’t need. Do not attempt to defend clinging to anything.
  • Know Your ObjectivesEstablish goals for yourself, such as eliminating a set amount of boxes or sticking to a given number of storage containers. As a result, the situation becomes more focused.

Now that we are done preparing ways to clutter self-storage, the next step is to categorize.

Step 2: Categorizing the Waste in Your Storage Unit

A well-structured categorization scheme is essential when dealing with a crowded storage facility. Here are some practical and easy ways that you can consider to do storage cleaning and categorizing the items:

  • Donations and TrashFrom the collected items, donate everything that you can to a charity or throw in the trash right away.
  • KeepStore goods that you want to bring home or continue storing in boxes.
  • SellYou can gain profit from selling valuables by hosting an estate or garage sale or listing them online.
  • ArchiveKeep all the important papers and belongings you need for legal and tax reasons or any significant purpose.
  • SeasonalSports gear, holiday decorations, and other seasonal things are only utilized during a portion of the year.
  • Uncertain CategoryYou can create a short-term holding area for things you still need to figure out. After you’ve completed sorting the other piles, come back to this one.

Apart from these, sort smaller categories, such as donations and garbage, to create space and make visible progress. The storage unit’s labeled subsections can then organize more significant categories.

Now that you are done with categorizing, the question comes down to whether you need to keep, sell, or donate it, or what other ways? Here are some practical ways you can consider while doing storage clean out to manage things.

Effective Ways to Manage the Items During Storage Unit Cleanout

Below, we have listed out ways that you can consider to manage your waste when doing storage unit clean out:

    1. Taking Care of Things You’re KeepingOrganization is essential whether it comes to goods you’re keeping at home or those that will stay in storage:
      • Sort similar goods into transparent plastic containers of consistent size. Also, bins should have clear labels for easy storage clean out.
      • Stow everything safely in boxes, grouping like items together. List the contents of the box on both sides.
      • Place the goods that are needed the most frequently next to the storage unit entrance for quick access.
      • Arrange them on shelves or pallets rather than on the ground to protect things from pests and water damage.
      • Eliminate things from storage that you last required a long time ago. You don’t need it if you haven’t utilized it by now.
    2. Donating Unneeded ItemsRather than discarding items that are still useful, consider finding them a new home instead of tossing them in the trash. Here’s how you can donate things that you no longer need during your storage unit cleanout:
      • Contacting local nonprofits to arrange pickups for furniture, clothing, and household items from organizations like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Amvets.
      • Donating non-perishable food items and unopened cans to a food bank.
      • Donating media and books to schools and libraries.
      • Supplying small startup companies and local organizations with materials and equipment for their operations.
      • Selling high-quality goods to vintage and thrift stores.
    3. Selling ValuablesIf you find that you’re keeping goods in your storage unit that you don’t need, you can also consider selling those valuables:
      • Selling collectibles, gold, watches, jewelry, and pawn shops through resale websites.
      • Putting on an online or garage sale to sell collectibles, antiques, and vintage goods.
      • Selling furniture and household goods through consignment stores and online classifieds sites like eBay and Craigslist.
      • Trading gadgets, musical instruments, and other items at stores with buyback initiatives.

Pro Tip: Research before selling anything to determine its market value and the potential profit margin.

Now, you are only left with the things that you need. So, it is time to reorganize your storage unit.

Step 3: Reorganize Your Storage Unit

As your unit empties, clean it thoroughly to make it squeaky and clutter-free during storage cleaning.

  • Sweep the floors and wipe down the walls and shelves to eliminate cobwebs, dust, and filth.
  • Check for leaks and pests (such as rats and spiders) and handle any problems. Call your storage facility if you see any leaks or other structural issues.
  • Use deodorizers like baking soda to get rid of lingering scents caused by mildew or moisture.
  • If you end up with fewer items after cleanup, consider downsizing to a storage container one size smaller.

Final Steps for a Clutter-Free Unit

Here are the final steps that you must consider to free storage unit cleanout to keep the area uncluttered:

  • Don’t keep something in the storage unit “just in case” you need it later. Keep only the items you use right now.
  • Examine stored goods again every season. Clean out something you last touched on months ago on a regular basis.
  • Record what is being stored, when it was put in storage, and when it was last taken out of storage in an inventory journal.
  • Arrange the products in boxes with clear labels squarely on the shelves. Refrain from stuffing or crowding.


In conclusion, although cleaning out a storage unit might be challenging, it is entirely doable with thorough preparation, organization, and willpower. You can take back control of your area, get rid of clutter, and design a more valuable and well-organized storage solution by following the systematic steps described in this guide. It’s essential to keep in mind that decluttering involves more than just getting rid of waste. Remember, it’s also about making space for the things that matter and enhancing your life. So grab a cloth, don your organizing cap, and get started on a clutter-free, cleaner storage unit right now!


  1. What types of dumpsters are available for rent?At S&A Container Service, we offer various dumpster types, including roll-off containers, front-load dumpsters, and compactors. Contact us to learn more about our dumpster rental options.
  2. How can S&A Container Service assist me with dumpster rentals?S&A Container Service can assist you with container rentals by providing a variety of sizes and types to fit your specific project needs, as well as offering hassle-free delivery and pickup services. If you are unclear on which size or type of dumpster is best for your project, our team of experts can help guide you through the selection process. We also offer flexible rental periods to fit your timeline and budget.
  3. What sizes of containers are offered for rent?S&A Container Service provides containers of 10, 20, and 40 cubic yards, among other sizes, to accommodate a range of storage requirements and spatial limitations.
  4. Do you provide rental container delivery and pickup services?S&A Container Service offers easy delivery and pickup services for rental containers to ensure our clients have a hassle-free experience.
  5. Can I rent a dumpster for storage cleanout?Yes, you can rent a dumpster to clean out your storage. It’s simpler to get rid of waste and useless goods that have been amassed in your storage unit when you rent a dumpster. Just make sure you choose the appropriate size and follow any placement-related municipal laws.
Talk' N Trash with S&A Container Service

Talk' N Trash with S&A Container Service

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