By Molly Hammond, Storage.com
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which means one thing—it’s time to figure out what gifts to give!
Between Black Friday bargains and always-open online retailers, it’s easy to get your hands on the items your loved ones have put on their lists. But as the bags and boxes pile up, you might be caught wondering where on Earth you can stash all the stuff. The answer? A storage unit!
Every family has their own holiday traditions that make celebrating special for them, but one of the most common is keeping presents tucked away until Christmas Eve. Still, it can be difficult to find space to hide presents from prying eyes in a season that’s already rife with clutter.
“Christmas is indeed a space hog,” says Jeff Westover, Editor of My Merry Christmas, an online community for Christmas enthusiasts. “In my house, where space is limited, putting up the tree means losing some of the furniture…I think that’s a reality for a lot of people.”‘
“Kids anticipate Christmas not because of what they know they will receive, but because they know they will be surprised.”
Jeff Westover, Editor of My Merry Christmas
Westover is a parent of seven children, so he understands the joy that Christmas gifts bring to families, particularly for little ones. “Kids anticipate Christmas not because of what they know they will receive, but because they know they will be surprised. They love that delicious anticipation, kind of like seeing a horror movie. They love what they are going to feel, and they love being a part of that.”
“I think every parent is concerned about storing gifts before the holidays,” says Laurie Hyman, co-founder of Green Toys, which sells toys made of recycled and environmentally-friendly materials. “Maintaining the mystery and surprise is part of the fun…many parents [go] to great lengths to keep that surprise.”
Hyman says she knows parents who will hide gifts in dog houses, under beds, in their offices, and even in their neighbors’s homes just to keep kids from spoiling the holiday surprise. “Parents get creative when it means keeping gifts away from their little ones.”
“I think every parent is concerned about storing gifts before the holidays…Maintaining the mystery and surprise is part of the fun.”
Laurie Hyman, co-founder of Green Toys
If your home is already tight on space, and you don’t want the spirit of the season to be ruined, you can use a storage unit to hide your Christmas gifts from your loved ones.
Christian Marcen, manager at Affordable Storage Solutions in Pueblo, Colo., says she sees tenants every year storing Christmas gifts in units. “Customers really enjoy the convenience.”
WHAT KIND OF STORAGE UNIT SHOULD I RENT?
Since hiding Christmas gifts in a storage unit will be a short-term affair, there’s no reason not to rent a unit that comes with all of the trappings for safe storage. As far as gifts are concerned, the most important things to look for are security, climate control, and convenience.
It’s always important to feel that your items are safe in storage, but that’s especially true when storing items that are both monetarily and emotionally valuable, like Christmas gifts.
“Visit the facility before [renting],” Marcen advises. “Make sure the facility has a gate system, cameras, and [takes] every precaution possible make sure customers’s items are safe.”
Facilities offer different security options, so you can always ask the facility manager to elaborate on their security measures, procedures, and history with any breaches.
“At the end of the day, all things stored are someone’s investments,” Marcen adds. “We want to make sure we do everything in our power to take every precaution to make sure their items are not vulnerable.”
In cold and wet winter months, climate-controlled storage is an important amenity to consider, particularly if you’re storing fragile gifts or gifts that have already been wrapped. Moisture inside a unit can spell mold or mildew that will leave gifts with an unpleasant odor and sometimes irreversible damage.
“Storing items in an environment similar to the environment in which the products are intended to be used is always best,” says Hyman. “Nobody likes to experience extreme temperatures or moisture shifts—and I’m guessing most toys don’t either.”
“Storage, like anything else associated with Christmas, has to be done well, and it has to be thought out, planned, and executed,” says Westover. “I think a lot of people tend to think of storage as costing money, not realizing that doing it right means also saving a lot of time, which is always at a premium at Christmas.”
To maximize your time spent with the very people you’re shopping for, look for a storage unit that’s located near your home. The shorter the drive between your home and self storage, the quicker you can get everything assembled and under the tree when the time comes! If you’re looking to be truly covert, seek out a facility that offers 24-hour-access. That way, you can sneak off to your unit at a moment’s notice.
Using self storage to hide Christmas gifts is a great option for anyone—okay, except for the people who are surprising their families with a new puppy or kitten. A storage unit has room for just about any gift, big or small. Not to mention, self storage can help minimize stress and maximize joy for people looking to create those special memories with family. So get storing, and Happy Holidays!