In my last Blog, I told the story of my friend Evelyn whose mother had moved in with she and her Husband. Everyone was happy and things were going well. But, a bit later, Evelyn’s adult son found himself in a life-changing situation and he too moved in with his young son (Evelyn’s grandson) in tow.
I called Evelyn today and asked her how things were panning out. She was so happy and excited!! “We rented a storage unit!” She exclaimed. “A space for everything and everything in its place!” Not only did she seem relieved, but also she sounded completely rejuvenated and ready for all of Life’s adventures!
So, I took Evelyn out for lunch and she chatted away about how all of the logistics were falling into place.
They had tried to get everyone’s furniture worked into the house in a comfortable arrangement. Since they are dealing with 4 generations, there had to be a lot of discussion on who needed what and where. Evelyn’s grandson liked a play area in the Family room and he promised to keep it nice and tidy. Her son needed a quiet area for working on resumes and taking phone calls for business applications. Grandma wanted an “alone” space where she could watch her special TV shows and knit. Evelyns’ Great Talent is cooking and baking, so everyone agreed that the kitchen is Evelyn’s Kitchen. Of course, Evelyn’s husband had created a “Man Cave” in the garage and he was pleased as punch that it would remain his after they removed all of the extra things that had recently been stored out there.
After everyone had created a space of their own, things that were left over were put in the garage and divided as to whom it belonged to. Then they began the phone calls to Storage Facilities.
They found that renting by the square foot got cheaper as the storage Unit got bigger. Because this was the coming together of THREE separate families, they decided that if they rented a 10’ X 30’, they could divide it up in three 10’ x 10’ sections and evenly divide the rent. They also discovered that the average rent for a 10’ x 10’ unit in our town runs $100 per month. The average cost of a 10’ x 30’ is $175 per month. Of course, Evelyn’s family decided on the biggest unit and each “family” would contribute $58 a month!!! Big savings if they each rented a separate unit!!
I asked Evelyn how were they going to work it out to have access. Well I guess, our home improvement stores are going to be the big winners because everyone collectively decided that they were going to divide each section of the storage unit with back-to-back shelves. Evelyn and her husband decided that they were going to take the section in the far back because most of the stuff they were giving up in the house were all things they rarely used.
Evelyn’s mother is taking the middle section since much of her belongings are memorabilia and keepsakes. She had gotten rid of a huge part of her belongings when she sold her home and moved in with Evelyn. So, the front of the unit would be totally dedicated to Evelyn’s son and grandson. It all seemed extremely logical and very organized to me!!
My schedule in the afternoons are spent on the internet doing research for all sorts of different companies and people, so I decided to do a little research for Evelyn.
How to Setup a storage unit for maximum access.
(A) Keep a simple diagram inside your storage unit that shows where everything is located. Put together this diagram BEFORE you move in so that you can put everything in its designated place.. Keep this diagram taped to the wall inside the unit so that you can easily find everything easily and quickly. If things get moved around for some reason or get taken out, make sure you update the diagram!
(B) Create an aisle. In the case of Evelyn’s family, the aisle will go down one side of the storage unit. The center is probably the most desired position since you would be able to reach in to either side all the way back to the wall. A large or wider unit would allow two aisles, one in the center and one along a wall. If you are unable to create an aisle down the middle, be sure to keep things you may need often in the front of the unit so they are easily accessible. Things such as important documents, Christmas decorations, children’s winter clothing, tools and so on.
( C ) Label boxes with as much detail as possible so that you can identify Everything that is inside the box. Try to keep “Like” items together.. Mark boxes that may be inside dressers or cabinets. Pack everything like you are moving long distance. Use bubble wrap and heavy papers. Even though the storage unit is being used like basement storage or a garage, you never know what the future will bring and the packing can be considered half done!!! Don’t pack your boxes too heavily. You want to make sure you can easily pick them up and move them about without hurting yourself or needing assistance. Sometimes using many smaller boxes is easier than using a few large ones, especially if you cannot lift them alone.
(D) Put items that you will NOT be using way in the back of your storage unit or way up high. Seasonal items like clothing or Holiday decorations should be the next level and then the things you intend to get to quite often should be stored near the front and about waist high.
(E) Put all furniture Against the walls. Things like tables and chests can become shelves and couches can have “soft” items like comforters or pillows stacked on them in plastic bags.
I am sure I am missing a few more ideas, but I think these are the most important when you are using a Frequent Access Storage Unit.
I found a couple of Storage Unit ideas on line and I wanted to share them with you!! Enjoy!
Please add to this list for others who may be using a storage unit for their “basement”.
Thank You!!! We appreciate ALL input!!
Until Next time!
Keep on Junkin”