The holiday season is a time for personal reflection and taking stock of all you are thankful for. Pie, elastic waistbands, the iPad that is surely hiding in one of those neatly wrapped boxes, and above all, family. Speaking of, what’s that speeding your way over the horizon? It’s a caravan of all your treasured family members and extended treasured family members! You don’t recognize all of their faces, but you are sure of one thing: There is no way they are all going to fit inside your house.

Holiday self-storage to the rescue! SpareFoot makes it easy to find a quality storage unit with all the accommodations you’ll need to store aggressively moochy family members for the winter. Before you go shoving everyone into a 5×5, we have some tips to make the family storage process smooth, festive and memorable for all.

Give your stored relatives enough space to move— but don’t go too crazy. At this time of year, nobody expects you to splurge when you don’t have to. For family storage, we suggest pursuing what we like to call “Airplane Comfortable.” Allow for one to two square feet of movement for each relative to accommodate for itching and pressure sores. Couples should be used to close quarters, and are generally more than willing to scratch their soulmate if needed. Allocate two to three square feet for the love birds.

Keep in mind this is standing-room-only, and remind each family member that we all have to make sacrifices and that there are children in Africa who spend every holiday season without proper seating arrangements. Consult with your local self-storage manager to find the dimensions that best suit your kin.

Maximize “comfort” with smart organization. Even with all your smart calculations, there is something to be said about a thoughtful, methodical approach to boxing up your relatives. Place the smelliest relatives (grandparents, uncles) towards the front of the unit to preserve air quality. Chatty aunts are best suited for corners and should be arranged in bunches. Give the gift of gossip by positioning them near any troubled marriages or unplanned pregnancies in your family. Large cousins should be kept toward the center with the fruitcakes they brought.

Just because they’re spending the better part of December in a self-storage unit doesn’t mean your family can’t get into the holiday spirit. Keep it festive by lining the walls with lights and tinsel. Note that most storage units are not equipped with power outlets, so you’ll only be able to light the unit when you visit. Make it a fun event by letting relatives take turns plugging in the extension cord, while keeping a sharp eye out for any escape attempts. If there’s room, toss a radio in there set to a 24-hour Christmas music station. Eventually, your family will have no choice but to sing along with every single number.

Congratulations, you have successfully accommodated your entire family for the season! Crack open the eggnog, and don’t forget to thank your self-storage manager, without whom this family visit wouldn’t have been nearly as rewarding.

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