By Jonathan Deesing
Providing free, professional advice that helps your tenants overcome common storage challenges—like how to store holiday decorations—is a terrific way to differentiate your self-storage facility from local competitors. Now that the holidays are behind us, here are five tips you can provide your tenants to help them re-organize their holiday decorations for maximum security and accessibility.
1. Pack Decorations Smartly
Providing your customers with a list of ideas on how to pack holiday decorations properly will help ensure their items stay secure and organized year-round. Small, fragile items, like holiday figurines, can be packed in egg crates, then placed inside a sturdy storage box. Partitioned cardboard wine boxes are perfect for storing items that are a bit larger, such as tree ornaments, and garment bags are ideal for protecting bulky holiday decorations including lawn ornaments and wreaths.
Tip: Artificial Christmas trees are notoriously difficult to fit back into their original packaging, but leaving them assembled takes up too much room in a storage unit. Tell your renters to use old belts to cinch the pieces of their tree, and it will be easier to pack up.
2. Consolidate Similar Items
Storing similar items together will make packing and labeling much easier. Suggest your tenants consolidate holiday gift-wrap, ribbon, bows, tags and similar items into one box. They can buy a gift-wrap storage bag or simply put the supplies in a flat plastic storage container.
Tip: Trash cans and laundry hampers are easily repurposed into gift-wrap organizers, and your tenants may already be storing these items in their unit.
3. Diagram Storage Layout
Give your tenants a simple outline of their storage space, and encourage them to use it to diagram where every box of holiday décor is stored. They may also find it helpful to take pictures of box locations to attach to the plan. As they organize, suggest they arrange boxes by the date they’ll be needed again. The holiday boxes they’ll use soonest should be in the most accessible location.
Tip: Recommend ways your tenants can more effectively maximize their storage space at home, too. This can help reduce the number of items kept in their unit, which will give them more space to store and arrange boxes.
4. Label Every Storage Container
Labeling every box of holiday decorations may be tedious, but your tenants will quickly realize that it’s time well spent. An easy way to label holiday boxes is to stick a wide strip of colored duct tape on the outside of the container. Red tape can be used to label Christmas boxes, orange tape for Halloween boxes and so on. If tenants later want to store different items in a container, all they have to do is pull off the duct tape.
Tip: Keep a business-grade label maker in your office, and loan or rent it to tenants who prefer personalized labels. You can also sell packages of multi-colored duct tape.
5. Inventory Box Contents
In addition to labeling every box according to holiday, renters should also inventory contents. Writing out a list of items by hand is possible, but it can be time-consuming. Instead, suggest tenants try an app like Sortly. Sortly lets users photograph and record the contents of each box to create a printable inventory, which can then be taped to the corresponding container.
Tip: Your customers can also keep track of their things by using the app to make quick-response (QR) code labels that stick to the outside of the box. Later, they simply have to scan the QR code with their phone to find out what’s in the box.
Passing these helpful tips on to your tenants will improve their self-storage experience and separate your facility from the competition.
Jonathan Deesing is a packing and organization specialist with imove.com, where he spends most of his time building box forts. iMove is an online moving resource and directory, which helps connect homeowners with moving companies.