By Vince Mancuso, Storage.com
Everyone has that one room in their home that they’d like to change into something else. Storage.com is here to help provide you with ideas and the storage necessary to make a transformation.
Men, sometimes when it comes to being at home, you just need a space for yourself. You need your den, your room, your man cave. Unfortunately, there isn’t always a pre-built space for this private oasis, which means you may have to roll up your sleeves, get out the elbow grease, and build it yourself.
How Much Space Do You Need for a Man Cave?
The first issue most would-be man cave dwellers run into is having enough space for a man cave at home.
“The space needed for a man cave can vary depending on how you want to use it,” says designer Meg McMillan, who designed for the “Space Off” series on The Design Network. “If you want a big TV and comfortable seating, you really don’t need too much room. But if you’re thinking of having a bar or pool table, the more room you have, the better.”
McMillan says these spaces can range from a small bonus room in your house to the entire basement. However, these rooms are typically already in use.
“Unless you’re building a new home with a man cave in mind, [space] tends to be an afterthought.”
So How Can You Create Space for a Man Cave in Your Home?
“If you’re wanting to create a man cave in your own home and think that you don’t have the space, consider those rooms that you’re currently using as storage or a junk room,” says McMillan.
In most cases, a basement or extra room in your home is probably being used for storage space. While storage space at home is important for keeping items that you don’t need all the time around (for when you suddenly need them), McMillan says the majority of items are seasonal and really don’t need to take up usable space. Think winter or summer clothing that’s being kept in storage tubs during the off-season.
This is where a storage unit could help. “You could use a storage unit to store items that were taking over your room, or even as a temporary place to store furniture while you’re remodeling,” McMillan adds.
“You could use a storage unit to store items that were taking over your room, or even as a temporary place to store furniture while you’re remodeling.” -Meg McMillan, designer for the “Space Off” series on The Design Network
“Renting a storage unit can allow a remodeler to have the space in their home to really see their project come to life,” says Emily Ventura, Assistant General Manager of Las Vegas-based AAAABCO Storage. Using self storage, she adds, helps remodelers clear out a space without spreading the clutter throughout the house, making the overall experience much easier.
When it comes to actually making your man cave, McMillan warns that it can seem overwhelming, especially when space is tight. But that shouldn’t deter you.
“Sometimes, it’s easiest to completely clean out the room or space you’re wanting to use,” McMillan says. “Put all your junk in a storage unit, even if it’s just temporary, and tape out the layout of your room.”
What Storage Unit Size Is Necessary for Eliminating Clutter?
When it comes to finding a storage unit to reduce clutter in your home, Ventura recommends figuring out what storage unit size you need. To solve this problem, she suggests reaching out to a storage facility.
“Most facilities have a well-educated staff who can, over the phone or in person, tell you what size unit they think you need,” Ventura says. That being said, it’s best to go to the facility and look at the unit size, as well as one size up and one size down to be sure you’ll have enough space. While a storage operator is likely right in his or her suggestion, Ventura says, “There’s also no substitute for seeing with your own eyes.”
“If you want to pull things in and out on a regular basis, you should plan to get a unit slightly larger than you need so you can leave an aisle down the middle to allow for easier access to everything in the unit.” -Emily Ventura, Assistant General Manager of AAAABCO Storage
The right storage unit size for clearing out items from a basement or additional room depends on how many items you intend to store. Ventura says the furniture and belongings in most basement spaces can fit into a 10×15 or 10×20 while those in most spare bedrooms can fit into a 5×10 when packed tightly.
Making a list and clearly labeling everything you place in your storage unit can help with organization, too. As for how items should be organized, Ventura says it depends on how often you’re visiting. “If you want to pull things in and out on a regular basis, you should plan to get a unit slightly larger than you need so you can leave an aisle down the middle to allow for easier access to everything in the unit,” she explains.
Also, if you’re not going to access your items until you move out of your storage unit, Ventura says to go ahead and stack items from floor to ceiling and front to back so “you don’t have wasted space.” That way, you won’t be paying extra for storage space you aren’t actually using.
How Can You Keep Your Items Safe in Storage?
While a remodel or redesign of the space for your man cave may not take more than a couple weeks, Ventura says it’s important to ensure your items are protected with amenities like climate control and storage security.
The climate control feature keeps your storage unit within a temperature range of 55-85°F and keeps humidity levels low, too. This is ideal for storing wooden furniture, electronics, paper items, or expensive garments, as these items can be damaged by extreme temperatures and too much moisture.
Ventura warns that climate control doesn’t necessarily mean air conditioned or heated, though. “If you’re going to be storing something very valuable to you that might be sensitive to temperature, ask the facility you’re thinking of renting at if they have AC, heat, or swamp coolers. [Also], go down to the facility to check out the unit for yourself to make sure you’re happy with the temperature.”
As far as security measures to protect your items from theft or vandalism, Ventura says these features are important regardless of the duration of your time in storage. “If [your items] weren’t important to you, you wouldn’t keep them,” she says. “So always check with a facility to make sure they’re secure.”
Common security features include gated access, security cameras, and individual unit locks. You can also get more advanced with on-site management. “At our facilities, we have all [common features], plus roaming security to really make sure you can feel safe leaving your belongings with us,” Ventura adds.
For any other bits of advice on laying out a man cave or using a storage unit to get space at home, both McMillan and Ventura suggest you reach out to professionals.
- “You’d be surprised the difference [designers] can make!” McMillan says.
- “Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions,” Ventura says. “Storage facilities often have specials and are willing to work with a customers if they have special circumstances or needs.”