The Basics of Business Storage

Jon Fesmire |

So, you’re running a business, and the space at your shop or office is limited. The obvious solution is to rent a storage space large enough for your extra inventory, files, or parts. You’ll need to select the right sort of unit and set it up in the most efficient way possible, and these ideas can help.

Size

Whether renting for your home or business, you should know what size unit you will need before renting it. A 5x5 is a small unit, and it is about the size of a large closet. A 5x10 is the size of an extra large walk-in closet. A 10x10 is considered a medium unit, and is the size of an average bedroom. Other common sizes are 10x15, 10x20, and 10x30.

If you need a lot of inventory in storage so you can restock your shelves as needed, rather than waiting for the next shipment to come in, then you should consider the larger sizes. If you have a small crafting business, on the other hand, or simply need to store paperwork, then a 5x5 or 5x10 will probably be enough.

Organization

It’s easy to pack a bunch of boxes and stack them in a storage unit, but for businesses, that will only make it tougher to retrieve what you need. So, think of the unit as you would shelves at a store.

Talk to the facility manager about installing shelves in your unit. They may already have special shelves custom made for that purpose. Once you have them installed, organize your goods by sections. For example, a drug store storage unit might have a section for school supplies, another for electronics and batteries, and so on.

You will also want high-quality bins for items. Bins of the same size are generally made for stacking. These can go on the shelves, and if you cannot set up shelves in the middle area of your unit, you can place items in bins there. Keep in mind that plastic bins don’t breathe well, though they are sturdy. If you need material that breathes, get sturdy cardboard boxes.

We recommend keeping items off the floor as well, where the temperature is usually cooler and moisture can form. Place palates on the floor where you plan to stack your bins.

Many self storage facilities allow for deliveries to your unit. Work with them to iron out the details. When you show up for more inventory or to organize, any new orders will be waiting for you.

Climate Control

When storing inventory that people may buy, it’s a good idea to get a unit with climate control. Of course, it will depend on what you’re storing and the climate. If you’re in a temperate zone, this may be unnecessary. However, if you store anywhere that has big temperature fluctuations, or humidity, or dry air, we highly recommend getting a climate controlled unit. That will keep the air humidity and temperature in a small, safe range for your stored items so they’ll be ready to go when you need them.

Inventory

Business is all about keeping track of income and expenses. So, it’s important to keep an inventory of all items in storage. This should be kept in digital format. You may consider having the spreadsheet stored on a cloud server that you can access from anywhere. When you need to take items from the storage unit, you can bring up the spreadsheet on a tablet and mark down that they are no longer there. Consider having a column that lists whether an item is still in storage, or at your place of business.

It’s not difficult to create an inventory of your storage unit. It is time consuming, but worth the effort, especially since you will want to keep track of every item used for your business.

Business storage doesn’t have to be difficult, but it should be meticulous. Follow these instructions and you’ll be off to a great start.