Nobody loves giving their hard-earned dollars to a storage company. But since life sometimes forces our belongings elsewhere—and storage units are often the safest option—we’re often stuck paying for someone else to watch our things for the short- or long-term.

The best way to cut these costs is by choosing the smallest storage space possible. Since we love storage—and saving money—we tracked down the best tips and tricks to maximize the amount of items stored within the smallest unit possible.

We can’t promise you’ll squeeze the contents from a three-bedroom house into a space meant for a studio. However, we can equip you with savvy, space-saving tips that’ll transform you into the Houdini of storing your stuff.

Don’t Ignore the Walls and Ceilings

There’s so much more usable space in a storage unit than just stacking boxes from the floor up. By installing racks, pegboards, hooks, shelving, etc. to the walls and ceilings, it’s possible to store tons of additional items inside your space. As a bonus, these add-ons also boost organization.

Though there are many strategies to use the walls and ceilings for storage, one of our favorites include attaching your bulky bikes to the top of the unit using a pulley system, bicycle mount or even strong zip ties.

By securing pegboards, hooks, and even wood lattices to the wall, you can seriously boost your storage capacity. These attachments are fantastic for things like tools, string lights, hoses, pots and pans, pictures, mirrors, frames, or nearly anything else you can hang.

Lastly, don’t forget to add properly measured shelving that reaches as close as possible to the top. This allows for every last inch of space to be utilized.

Buy Some Space Saver Bags

These handy little bags are space-saving superheroes when it comes to clothing, blankets, bedding, pillows, and similar items.

If you haven’t used space saver bags before, just place your items inside the open bag, properly seal, and then use either manual or vacuum power to suck out all excess air. In seconds, your once stacked pile compresses to a fraction of its former size.

When you’re ready to enjoy your things once again, open up the bag and they’ll instantly pop back into tip-top shape.

Just a quick browse on Amazon will reveal countless options when it comes to these handy tools. The vacuum versions tend to work better, and more quickly, than the self-squeezing kind, but both will save you significant space within your storage unit.

Make a Plan Before You Get There

Never arrive at your storage space without a solid game plan. All spontaneity will do is guarantee that you’ll get fewer things in your unit.

Instead, take time to draw out your storage unit on a piece of paper. Then, fill in exactly where and how everything you’re planning on storage will fit—all to the proper size. Be sure to also consider additional shelving or storage, box sizes, item weight, etc.

By fully visualizing your storage unit before getting there, you’ll have an accurate sense of how—and if—everything will fit. This could lead to you realizing that it’s possible to downsize your unit further. Or on the flip side, at least have a heads up that you’ll need a bigger space.

Also, if you arrive at your unit without a plan, your focus will likely be on speed rather than saving space. However, by already envisioning where your belongings are going to go, expect to pack your unit smarter and faster.

Dismantle Everything You Can

Are you storing items that can be taken apart? Then be sure to disassemble them before arriving at the storage unit. It’s simply easier to move, stack, wrap, and pack away items that are separated than those that are still connected.

Though furniture like beds, shelving, and tables are the most common things to be disassembled, don’t forget about things like kid’s playsets, electronics, computers and gaming systems.

Create Untraditional Storage Containers

Of course, it’s great to use things like plastic and cardboard boxes to store your belongings safely. However, why not look outside-the-box—both literally and figuratively—when finding a place to put things?

For one, make sure every suitcase, backpack, purse, and bag is filled with belongings. Then, start considering less obvious items that could also make a suitable storage container like shoes, pots and pans, vases, bowls, etc. They may only be able to fit small things, but those little things can quickly add up.

Choose On-Demand Storage

If reading these tips already makes you feel exhausted, we don’t blame you. So, why not skip self-storage altogether and use on-demand, full-service storage instead?

On-demand storage is the easiest way to store your things. Instead of hauling everything yourself, a team of movers will pick up and safely transport your belongings to a secure, fully-monitored facility. When you’re ready for your items to be returned, schedule a drop-off time and your things will arrive at your doorstep.

Sound like the right storage solution for you? Then trust the expert team at Wayforth! Wayforth offers on-demand storage that’s typically around 15% more affordable than self-storage. Just use our user-friendly app to schedule a convenient time for us to pick up your stuff. It’s really that simple. Get your free quote today.