Summer is finally upon us. Break out the flip flops and margaritas because the sun is out!

Before you start celebrating on the beach, get organized. Take stock of what you have at home and in your self-storage unit, and make some changes.

Here are some ideas for what moves IN and what comes OUT of your self-storage unit this summer.

Welcoming Back Summer: Packing and Unpacking Your Storage Unit

IN: Holiday decorations.

“Typically, the most common items heading into self storage during the summer months are Christmas decorations,” says Mike Nowicki, area manager for Uncle Bob’s in the Virginia region.

But why stop there? You won’t be needing the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day or St. Patty’s Day decorations for quite a while, so free up some space at home by sticking all of these items in self storage.

OUT: Clutter.

As you move things in and out of your self-storage unit, do a lap around and take note of what you have in there. Are there things you haven’t touched in years that you probably won’t ever use again? What about those ugly decorations from your grad party that you won’t ever need? Consider removing them to free up space for other, more important items, or donate them to someone who could put them to use.

IN: Winter clothing and outerwear.

The parka can be put away! Hallelujah. It’s swimsuit and tank top season, so move any sweaters, coats, hats and gloves into your self-storage unit in order to make room for your warm weather ensemble at home.

Bonus tip: While it might be tempting to stick your clothing in any box you have lying around, invest in a couple sturdy storage totes.

“My recommendation is not to use recycled grocery boxes to store,” Nowicki says. “They may be free, but they attract pests even if they don’t have food items in them. The box itself is scented with the item that was in it. Grocery boxes also break down over time, and they are liable to fall if stacked.”

You can typically find a good deal at big department stores this time of year, so a plastic bin will be well worth the $10 or less it’ll cost.

OUT: Lawn and landscaping equipment.

According to Nowicki, the most popular things he sees coming out of self-storage units this time of year are lawn care and landscaping equipment. That means grab your vehicle and load up the lawnmower, weedwacker, rake and other garden tools you’ve been storing away all winter.

Friendly Reminder: There are many things you should never keep in your self-storage unit. Pool chemicals, weed killers, gasoline for your lawnmower, and propane for your grill are a few of the items you should never put into storage (Here are some others to remember, too.) Keep these in mind as you stock up for the season.

IN: College dorm essentials.

As kids move home from their universities, tell them to leave their stuff in their college town, rather than take it all home. It’s a win-win for everyone: It’ll save them the hassle of transporting it a far distance, and it’ll save you the headache of finding a place to put it in your already cramped storage spaces.

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“My experience shows that college students get together and share a larger storage space and split the rent,” says Nowicki. “This makes it easier to afford the space and it allows them quicker set up in the fall when they return to school.”

OUT: Camping gear.

Take advantage of the great weather and sleep under the stars! If your tents and sleeping bags have been tucked away at Uncle Bob’s all winter, it’s time to grab them and take them to the great outdoors. (And as a bonus tip: Here’s how to best store them again when the time comes.)

What will you use your self-storage unit for this summer? And what will you be taking out and enjoying in this nice weather? Let me know on Twitter at @JennyStorage.



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