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When was the last time you cleaned your self-storage unit? A month ago? A year? Never? Just because your belongings are secure, doesn’t mean they can’t get dirty or messy. In fact, if you don’t clean your unit regularly, you could wind up with discolouration, unpleasant smells or even damaged goods. What’s more, a disorganised unit can make it hard to find what you’re looking for – and expose you or staff to injury.

But it’s never too late to turn things around. Here are some tips to getting your unit looking clean and tidy again.

Assess the space

The first step is to make a list of what’s inside the unit. You can even take photos or draw a map if you’re a visual person. This can help you decide what stays, what goes and what needs to be stored more effectively. For example, if you have old files and documents, consider digitising them or shredding them. If you’ve got outdoor furniture, find out if it can be dismantled to minimise its footprint in the unit.

Break down each task

Once you’ve got a plan, break it down into manageable tasks, such as making a list of the contents, removing unwanted items, installing shelves, vacuuming and reorganising, etc. It’s unrealistic to clean your unit in one session or even in one weekend. Instead, set a couple of tasks to do each day. It’ll make cleaning your unit faster and more focused – and you’ll feel a sense of achievement at the end of the day.

Sell and donate

Once you’ve decided what items need to go, divide them up according to how you’re going to dispose of them. For example, electronics and printer cartridges can be taken to a recycling centre and old furniture can be sold or donated. This will declutter your unit and allow you to better organise the rest of your belongings.

Get support

If you’ve got a mountain of work before you, invite friends or family members to help. Turn it into a working bee with allocated tasks, snack breaks and rewards. This will make the process fun – and you’ll clean your unit in a fraction of the time. If you can’t find anyone to help, a great way to stay motivated is by listening to your favourite music, audiobook or podcast.


While units are locked and secure, they’re not completely sealed, which means that dust or moisture can enter your unit. That’s why you need to give your unit a clean. Ideally, you should remove everything from the unit and give the space a vacuum. If this isn’t possible, move the furniture or boxes around and clean each section one by one. Remember to vacuum the items you’ve stored as well and check for mould or mildew. If you find traces of mould, remove it with a cleaning solution and dry the item thoroughly. During the clean, make sure you wear gloves to protect your hands and a face mask to avoid inhaling dust and allergens.


Now that everything is clean, it’s time to start reorganising your unit. Consider using shelves, racks and archive boxes to keep things tidy. Boxes that are the same size will make stacking easy and improve presentation. A great tip is to put similar items together, like furniture, kitchenware or books, and label the sections for fast and easy access. If you have time, put together a list of all the contents. Keep this at home and in the unit so you always know what’s in a storage facility. For more organisational tips, see Organise Your Storage Unit Like An Expert.


First impressions count, which is why you need to put as much effort on the outside as the inside of your If you didn’t use furniture covers before, use them now. It’ll save you hours of dusting or vacuuming, and you’ll preserve the condition of your furniture for much longer. If you have larger items, like wall units or sideboards, cover them with a tarp and secure the sides with ties or rope.

Final thoughts

Cleaning your self-storage unit can take time and effort, but it’ll help you increase the longevity of your belongings and make finding things a whole lot easier. If you want to avoid another massive cleanout, put your belongings away when you’re done, check for signs of mould and schedule a light vacuum every six months. However, if you’ve recently cleaned out your unit and it’s still looking cramped, it may be time for an upgrade. Feel free to contact our friendly team to find the right-sized unit for your needs.