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How to Organize a Self-Storage Unit.

racks stacked with storage containers to help organize a storage unit.
Organize a self-storage unit with shelves and bins for easy storage organization!

Self-storage organization can save time and frustration. Imagine opening a self-storage unit and easily finding the item you are looking for. The only way this will happen is with organization. Most storage units are not organized, nothing is more frustrating than needing something and it is in a box at the back of the unit. Recovering this item requires emptying the unit to find the item then packing it all back into the unit. Who has time for this? Therefore, organization of a self-storage unit saves time and frustration.  

Organize for Resale Business 

First step is to determine the size unit you will need. A space estimator guide (found here) is a great tool to help determine the correct size self-storage unit. Next decide how much extra space you want. Then choose the unit size that will allow you the level of access you need. As a reseller you may need to access the storage unit daily. Being ultra-organized will save you time and money. Lastly decide how you will organize with shelves, labels, and bins.  

Now that you have an idea how you want it set up work up a plan-o-gram. A plan-o-gram is a diagram of where items are on a shelf. A plan-o-gram is a terrific way to know where items are located. A plan-o-gram will be labeled in sections and shelves will be numbered as well as the bins will need to be numbered. For example, the first section of the shelves could be labeled A, the next section B and so forth. Then each shelf in the section could be numbered 1, 2, 3 and so on. The bins could be numbered the same way. Therefore, if you were looking for an item and it was in Section C, self 3, bin 5 you would know exactly where to go to find that item. This is a huge time saver. Imagine having to spend hours looking through bins to find an item. Instead have a plan of organization that will help you spend less time looking and allow more time for shipping and selling. In other words, taking the extra time at the beginning to set up a system will save you time and money on the other end. Safety hint: store heavier items on the bottom shelves. 

Simple Plan-0-gram of shelving sections for ease of finding items stored.
A section broken down into numbered shelves and bins with a list of bin items.

Organization for an Individual  

The same method of organizing will work for an individual as well. The only difference is that you could label the boxes and decide that Section A is for Kitchen items. All kitchen items will then be stored in section A. Next Section B could be the living room boxes. As you build each section label it with the room being stored on those shelves. Therefore, the plan-o-gram would be simpler.  

The benefits will far outweigh the cons. Imagine having to find the gift your sister gave you for your last birthday. She is coming for a visit and will expect to see her gift in use. Sisters are like that sometimes. The gift is in self-storage, and you have no idea what box it is in. This might require hours to empty the unit and go through the boxes looking for her gift. Imagine instead knowing it is in Section G and the box it is stored in is clearly labeled on the outside. Having a plan sure saves time and frustration.  

Now it is time to move into a new home. The next benefit of having a highly organized self-storage unit will be very evident on moving day. All the boxes for the kitchen will be together and clearly labeled. The moving company, if using one, can clearly see that the box belongs in the kitchen. This saves time and your money.  

Lastly, having an organized self-storage unit for a reseller is a necessity. The time it saves translates into money. Having an organized self-storage unit as an individual is purely a convenience. If you have the time to spend looking through boxes for items you need, organization will not be necessary. But if you are a busy person and have little time for a game of hide and seek with your possession’s organization is critical. Therefore, having an organized self-storage unit will save you time and frustration.  

Preparing Plastic/Plastic Resin Patio Furniture For Storage

Preparing for storage tips
How to prepare plastic and plastic resin furniture for storage.

Outdoor living and patio time are some of the best parts of summer in Brewer, Maine. Plastic composite and plastic resin patio furniture have become very popular and for good reason! It is highly durable to withstand the Maine winters and easily cleaned. Cleaning your plastic patio furniture is the single most important thing you can do to keep it looking like new.  Keeping your plastic composite and plastic resin patio furniture clean and fresh for the summer is easy with some simple cleaning tips. Use the easy cleaning guide below to clean and prepare your patio furniture for proper storage during the off season. Utilizing self storage will prolong the life of your investment.  

Most patio furniture has cushions that require proper care. Read this article about caring for your cushions and storage tips.

air drying cushions before storage
Preparing for storage hint: allow your freshly cleaned cushions to thoroughly dry in the sun and fresh air.

Plastic or Plastic Resin Cleaning tips:

Plastic is the easiest of all to clean. Any type of cleaning solution can be used as long as it is rinsed immediately from the surface. A great cleaning hack for greasy grime is to use shaving cream, spray on the surface and let sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a soft brush until clean, rinse and allow to dry. Molded resin furniture will need to be brushed to clear any debris then wipe down with a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Depending on the amount of dirt a sponge will suffice. If it’s a large area of dirt use a soft bristled brush to really clean the affected area. If the finish of your plastic patio furniture is chalky, sprinkle a wet sponge with baking soda and rub the entire piece, rinse off with clean water and dry. To restore shine use paste car wax and cover the furniture with a light coating. Allow the paste to dry for about 5 minutes and then softly buff the glow back into your furniture.  

If your molded resin furniture is white and you would like to restore the color of your furniture  follow the same instructions for molded resin furniture but do not wax. Instead mix 2 tablespoons of powdered oxygen bleach (like OxyClean) in a gallon of water or if you have tough stains mix 1 cup of liquid bleach with a gallon of water, don rubber gloves and sponge the mixture onto the furniture and scrub until the stain is gone. Let the mixture sit on the surface for 5 to 10 minutes then rinse with clear water, dry and follow with the wax step above for a sparkling shine. 

Textured plastic composite furniture will need a soft bristled brush to clean the lines and crevasses. Follow the grain of the composite and rinse well to ensure all soap is removed from the texture. A low pressure rinse will whisk the soap from any deep texture.  

Wicker and Wicker Resin Cleaning tips:

Traditional wicker should only be used indoors or on a screened in porch to protect it from the elements. It doesn’t fair well left outside because of the organic material real wicker is made from. Clean using a vacuum cleaner with the soft bristled brush attachment. Damp cloth away any spills with a solution of warm water and white vinegar in a 50/50 mixture. This will prevent mold and mildew on your wicker. Allow to air dry completely before storing.

Traditional wicker has been replaced with a wicker resin weave that is super durable and weather resistant but retains all the charm of traditional wicker. Cleaning wicker resin furniture will keep it looking new and extend the lifespan of your investment. Use a soft bristled brush for surface debris, vacuum with a brush attachment for deeper debris. To deep clean the weave use a pressure washer set on low or moderate and wet the entire piece, then gently scrub with a hand brush and warm soapy water. Rinse well and allow to air dry in a shaded area until completely dry. Storage tip: remove the cushions and place cleaned and thoroughly dry cushions in a garbage bag with a dryer sheet to protect them from rodents. Wrap your clean dry wicker resin furniture in plastic to keep dust or dirt away from the weave. This will save you time in the Spring when it’s time to bring your patio furniture from storage!

Mold and Mildew Removal Tip:

 A generic mold cleaning solution that will work on most surfaces is a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar sprayed on the surface of your furniture, let set 30 minutes before rinsing followed with a towel dry and then allow to thoroughly air dry. Mold and mildew if left untreated will permanently stain your furniture. Once the furniture has been cleaned and dried, if you notice mold and mildew stain you can retreat for mold and mildew or use the bleach method above to remove the stain. 

Cleaning plastic composite and resin patio furniture is the first step in preparing your furniture for self storage. Most plastic resin furniture can be stacked without fear of damage. It is the easiest of all patio furniture to store. Wrapping wicker resin furniture helps keep it fresh for the next outdoor or patio living season!

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