By Peggy Bisbey, Certified Self Storage Manager
Who doesn’t love tailgating? Most of us know someone (or several someones) who goes all out at every game. They have all the equipment and supplies to feed a small town. If they are lucky, they have a large enough space to store it all in between games and during the off season in their garage or basement. But if they are like most people, there is just never enough space at home! So, let’s take it from tailgating to self storage to keep you organized and give you that extra space you need for all the necessities.
When you think of all the items needed for an epic fun tailgating time rooting for your favorite team, it can be overwhelming. To stop that negativity and keep your feelings of joy and fun, you need to organize first and foremost. Everything from portable grills, coolers, tables, tents and folding chairs to the TVs, speakers and even satellite dish set up that hooks to your vehicle (yes they do exist)…you first need a plan!
Step one is renting a self storage unit that will fit everything you have. Typically, a 10×10 drive up storage unit should be enough to hold all these items. But, if you literally pack up two giant SUVs and pull a trailer to the game each week, you may want to spring for the 10×20 and treat it as a second garage just for tailgating.
Next you should purchase shelving units to set up against the side and back walls inside your storage unit. This will make it easy to quickly see and access all your team goodies without having to move things out of the way or dig through piles and boxes of stuff. We suggest getting shelves that are 18” deep so they fit even the bulky items. Wire shelves are great, but can sometimes have drawbacks for smaller items. Make sure there are solid shelves you can purchase as an add on, or that you can easily add plywood or heavy plastic shelving to them yourself.
Now you need to plan the layout inside your storage unit. Follow these guidelines to make the most of your space:
- Stand folding tables up against an empty wall near the unit door. These can often be heavy and are bulky, so the less distance you have to move them the better. The same goes for folding chairs and portable tents. Pick one area near the door and designate it for these items that cannot go on shelves due to their size, weight and shape.
- Place heavy items on the bottom shelves. These can be things like portable grills if they fold up nicely for storage, metal food prep stations along with the warming candles for keeping your food hot, TVs and audio equipment (which you should at least wrap in bubble wrap or pack inside boxes for protection) and so on.
- Place portable games like bag toss, footballs, frisbees and the sort on the middle shelves. If you end up having these in totes or boxes to keep them together, be sure to label them so you know what’s inside. You can also keep team blankets, pom poms, hats, gloves and even coats and boots on these shelves.
- Keep the lightest items on the top shelves. These are items like paper plates, cups, napkins, plasticware, single use hand warmers and so on. Box the throw away items up ahead of time per game if you can. Then you can simply grab one box for each game and not have to worry about taking too many or not enough of one thing. Knowing how many people tailgate with you and if you cover one or two meals is essential in packing enough of each item in each game box. It’s also good to know how many games you will be tailgating so you can have enough throw away boxes packed for the whole season before it begins.
- Also on the top shelves, keep your reusable decorations like table cloths, flags, signs, banners, etc. in one or two boxes that gets repacked after each game to take to the next one.
You can take the extra step to label the shelves as well. That way you know what goes back on which shelf when you return from each game. By the end of the season, you will likely have it mostly memorized! Even so, it is also a good idea to draw up a map of your storage unit that shows what goes where; and hang a copy near the storage door and keep one inside your vehicle as a backup.
And, if you have a pull behind trailer that you also use to transport your tailgating goodies, we offer outdoor parking spaces at most of our locations, and we have large enough drive up storage units to accommodate trailers as well – whether they are open or enclosed.
By using self storage for your tailgating space, you will ensure your items are safe, dry and easy to access when you need them. All of our locations are fully fenced, have an electronic access gate that requires an access code to enter the property, are well lit with security cameras and have a property manager on site at least five days a week. In addition to all the safety features we offer, you have the added bonus of keeping all of these seasonal items out of your garage, shed, attic or basement and giving you more space at home.
Please Note: You cannot store perishable items inside your storage unit or on our property at any time. You are also not permitted to store other items that are flammable like gas, propane, fireworks and similar items, That means you need to keep your sodas, beer, chips, dip and all your other food items and beverages at your house until game day. These items can draw unwanted visitors to your storage unit and your neighbor’s and create a whole world of problems. This is a stipulation of our rental agreement that you sign when you rent a storage unit or parking space with us.
Now that you know how much easier tailgating life can be when using a self storage unit, you can rent one online now and get on your game! And if you have any questions about storage, you can contact us or reach out to our property managers and they will be glad to help. Go team!