Even with top notch ventilation and temperature control, it’s reasonable to worry about your things in storage getting musty or smelling stale from being packed away in stacked boxes for a long time. The easiest way to address this concern in your storage unit (or your home) is by using natural deodorizers. There are plenty of chemical free items that you can place in spaces you want smelling fresh and we’ve collected a list of them for you here:


Lemons are great. Cutting a lemon in half and placing it in a bowl of water and setting it somewhere you want to smell fresher will permeate the room with that fresh scent in no time.


Oranges can be used the same way you use lemons to freshen up a small area like a storage unit. Plus, when they’re done doing their job all they do is dry up which makes disposal easy. One cool thing you can do with an orange is create a “pomander”. A pomander is essentially an orange that has a bunch of cloves stuck into it, covering it’s surface. It’s then left hanging from a string. Pomanders have been used for centuries as a natural air freshener.


Bunches of dried lavender are usually fairly easy to buy in bulk. You can hang bunches in your unit for a smell that is not only pleasant, but known to help make you feel calm and relaxed. That could be a bonus the next time you need to unload a bunch of boxes into storage!


This option is a little harder to procure than some of the others, but is very beneficial. The oil that comes from eucalyptus is both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, so it not only smells fresh and clean but helps prevent mold as well. Placing a few branches hanging around a unit, or if used in your home, in a closet, can make a world of difference.

Dryer sheets

This is more for in your boxes than around the unit. Tucking a few in, especially with fabric that is packed away, will help maintain a fresh smell for textiles that are stored long term. Cheap, easy, and helpful.

Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is one of the stronger natural options available, but it is also the most powerful. Soaking cotton balls, rags, or pieces of sponge with extract and then strategically placing them around your storage unit will smell more like fresh baked cookies and less like cardboard boxes the next time you open the door.

Baking soda

Baking soda works to suck bad smells right out of the air. If you’re interested in a neutral smelling storage unit without any extra frills like citrus or vanilla, you can leave a few boxes of baking soda laying around to tackle problem odors before they become problems.

The first step to having a storage unit that smells great is renting one that is climate-controlled to avoid humidity build up and other things that can cause musty smells. Then again… there’s no problem in going the extra mile to not only have a home or unit that doesn’t smell bad, but actually smells good.