The larger the storage unit, the more you'll pay to rent it. If you're trying to keep costs down, making do with a smaller storage unit is a good choice. Here are some tips for helping you downsize your items and store what's left as efficiently as possible.
Get rid of anything that don't think you'll use again.
There are items in everyone's home that they have not used in months and may never use again. Go through your things, and ask yourself two questions: Have you used this in the last three months? Are you certain that you'll use it once you remove it from the storage unit?
If the answers to both of these questions are "no," then you need to get rid of that item rather than store it. If it's worth something, you can sell it to make a bit of cash. Or, you can give it away to someone who needs it more than you do. Either way, getting rid of it will save you cash by helping you downsize to a smaller storage unit.
Pack items inside furniture and appliances.
There's valuable space inside your oven, refrigerator, dressers, and other furniture and appliances. Pack smaller items into plastic bags to protect them, and then stash them inside these larger items. Make sure you clean the appliances out with soapy water and let them dry thoroughly before doing this – otherwise you might have some problems with mold.
Use boxes that are all the same size.
If all of your boxes are the same size, then you can create neat, even stacks without any wasted space. When searching for boxes, make sure that you choose ones that are made from thick, sturdy cardboard. Make sure you tape all of your boxes tightly shut. This will make them a bit sturdier so they don't cave in, allowing you to make taller stacks.
Create a map before you pack the unit.
The best way to arrange furniture and boxes in your storage unit will depend on what, exactly, you have. To make sure you fit as much as possible in there, make a map on paper beforehand. Detail where you'll place everything, and re-arrange things on paper a few times until you find an efficient plan that works for you. In many cases, stacking boxes along the walls and then creating another big stack in the center of the unit works well since it leaves just a little aisle you can walk through.