One of the newer ways that storage customers are using storage units is to help them plan and organize before a move.

For people who are planning a move three to six months in the future, renting a storage unit BEFORE the move can be a great way to declutter their home before listing it for sale and to organize the belongings they intend to take to their new home.

The process is fairly simple.

The tenant who is planning a move determines how much stuff in their old house needs to be evaluated, purged or packed for moving to the new home. Then, rather than trying to pack everything in the weeks or month leading up to the big move, they start planning early.

Getting a storage unit close to home or close to where you work makes it easy to drop off a box or two every day or a few days a week. Because you are planning months ahead, you can take your time to go through family belongings and determine what is worth keeping and moving and what needs to be trashed or recycled.

After renting the storage unit, you start with the things you are least likely to need before the move.

For example, since we are in late spring, starting with winter holiday decorations or winter clothes might make sense. As you are taking your time, you can plug in lights to see if they work and look at each sweater to check it for holes. Each item can be evaluated and then packed, donated or purged to the local landfill.

After the out of season things, you might pack books or DVDs that are unlikely to be used until after the move, then hobby equipment and so forth until you reach the items that are necessary to daily life. When we moved, we even packed most of our dishes the week before the move, just keeping out enough to prepare our meals, two plates, two bowls and some silverware.

Depending on how far in advance you are planning your move, you can prepack everything from the guest bedroom to your extra socks. By staging your boxed things at the storage unit instead of at home, you can remove the stress that often accompanies a move and clean as you go, an especially important consideration if you are trying to sell the house and buy a new one.