Improving Home Improvement: Using Storage Units

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We’ve talked a bit about the importance of efficient storage here on this humble blog. But, today we’ve got the point of view from an expert in the field.  Tim Eyre works for a storage unit company, Extra Space Storage, and has seen his clients use storage units for various active purposes other than just to put their extra stuff out of sight and out of mind.

So, how can you the homeowner actively utilize an offsite storage space to aid you in your home improvement and interior design projects? Tim would like a word with you …


I’m in the self storage business, and most people would probably be surprised to find out how diverse our client base is these days. Although we still have folks using our facilities as a short term solution when relocating, it seems like we hear new, creative ideas for utilizing storage units almost daily.

For example, we count several pharmaceutical reps among our clients. Many people in this line of work don’t maintain offices outside of the home.  So if space is tight, they may need somewhere to store samples. Others use our units to stockpile inventory for small retail businesses. And it’s not uncommon for college students to use our spaces to store the contents of their dorm rooms once they’ve moved off campus during summer breaks.

When the economy started on its downward spiral a few years ago, people developed even more creative uses for storage units. And then, when the housing bubble burst, homeowners in particular flocked to storage units for a variety of reasons. That trend has continued today with homeowners embarking on renovation projects. Regardless of how big or small your home improvement project may be, chances are a storage unit may come in handy along the way.

Storage units benefits to the home renovator

While some projects won’t produce a lot of storage needs, sometimes tools, equipment and materials can’t conveniently be stored at home. Enter the storage unit. Storage unit facilities often offer a wide range of options for homeowners. Units may vary by size, they may have different layouts, some may be climate controlled, and they may or may not have electricity.

All reputable facilities will have safety measures implemented to ensure that your tools, equipment, and materials are protected. In addition, if hiring a professional decorator isn’t in the budget, a storage unit could function as the headquarters for your interior design master plan. New acquisitions, from furnishings to pillows and curtains, can be safely stowed away in a storage unit away from the construction site.the renovation.

Storage units: the do-it-yourself interior design approach

With home values declining across the country now more than ever, homeowners are pinching pennies when tackling any sort of renovation project. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the number of DIY television shows and websites are on the rise, providing inspiration for homeowners to take charge of projects around their own homes. And, if paying a contractor isn’t in your home renovation budget, then you’ll likely bear responsibility for storing all the materials and equipment.

The storage unit, with its empty space and bare walls, can be a blank canvas for you to experiment with various design elements. With a storage unit, testing out furniture placement and the mixture of various colors and textures can take place days, weeks, or even months before completing

The gradual approach to storage unit use and home renovation

I’ve talked to many handy homeowners who have high hopes for their own home renovations, but don’t have the cash just yet to see them through to completion. Some of these folks are slowly accumulating materials that they hope to eventually incorporate into a swanky redo.

For example, I know one gal who purchased incredibly discounted ceramic tile at an auction recently, even though she doesn’t have immediately plans to renovate her bathrooms. She’s also been casually shopping for deals on new light fixtures, mirrors, and other accessories. Her house isn’t equipped with a garage (that’s on the very long term plan), so she’s opted to store her materials in a storage unit until she’s ready to move forward with the project.

The clean approach

If you’re living in the house while conducting a renovation project, chances are you’ll need to move around furniture and other household items to avoid damage. If the house doesn’t have extra space available, furnishings from several room can likely fit in even a small storage unit if packed carefully. Relocating household items, particularly valuable pieces and anything breakable, is a prudent move, regardless of how long the project will last and regardless of how much demo work is involved.

In addition, if the mess created by a home improvement project will extend to the exterior of the house, a storage unit can come in handy. Tools, equipment and materials shouldn’t be left outdoors; doing so subjects them to the elements and makes them targets for theft or vandalism. So, keeping these items in a storage unit overnight will help protect them, and it also avoids getting neighbors upset over the unsightly conditions.


Thanks, Tim!

Tim Eyre works in the self storage industry, regularly traveling to see locations like Baltimore self storage. In many locations, like Bonita Springs self storage, Tim helps his customers store seasonal equipment when it is not being used for outdoor activities or home improvement projects.



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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.